#KeepWade Hashtag Fails to Keep Wade Phillips From Signing With L.A. Rams

Wade Phillips, in white, at the Broncos' victory parade last February. Tweets and more below.
Wade Phillips, in white, at the Broncos' victory parade last February. Tweets and more below. Photo by Michael Roberts
Update: The #KeepWade hashtag didn't prevent defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, a major contributor to the Denver Broncos' victory in Super Bowl 50, from either jumping or being pushed from the team's staff. Mere hours after former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was introduced at a press conference yesterday, reports confirmed suspicions that Phillips had been named DC of the Los Angeles Rams — a woeful franchise, but one with a defense capable of much better things. Whether the same will prove true of Denver's D will be among the more intriguing story lines of the upcoming season. Continue for our previous coverage.

Original post, 6:30 a.m. January 12: Over the objections of many Broncos fans on Twitter, executive John Elway named Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as the team's new head coach — a decision that has those very same supporters so terrified that current DC Wade Phillips will now be jettisoned that they've started a campaign to save his job using the hashtag #KeepWade.

Talk about a worthy cause.

We were among those who didn't think the Joseph hire made sense. After all, the Broncos' biggest problems involve a terribly deficient offense and two young QBs, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, whose development is key to Denver doing damage in the years to come. As such, the best man for the job seemed to be Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, whose play-calling acumen and quarterback-whispering skills are second to none right now.

In contrast, the Broncos' defense under Phillips remained the strength of the squad — which is why, in our previous post, we urged Elway and company to move heaven and earth to retain Wade.

Instead, Big John gave the nod to Joseph, setting into motion a classic fixing-what-isn't-broken scenario. The offense could still be addressed, especially if either Mike McCoy or Bill Musgrave (a graduate, like me, of Grand Junction High School!) are brought aboard to coordinate things on that side of the ball. But Phillips now becomes extraneous under Joseph, who'll want to use his own system rather than deferring to a veteran in his specific area of specialty.

Nonetheless, plenty of fans don't want Phillips to go anywhere — hence the proliferation of #KeepWade (and #SaveWade) hashtags. Count down our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets on the topic below.

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Continue to see ten more memorable #KeepWade Phillips tweets in the wake of the Broncos hiring Vance Joseph as the team's next head coach.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts