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5 Things to Know About New Vikings Offensive Coordinator Wes Phillips

Offensive Coordinator Wes Phillips
Offensive Coordinator Wes Phillips

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have added another piece to the puzzle.

Minnesota has hired Wes Phillips to serve as the Vikings offensive coordinator under new Head Coach Kevin O'Connell, the team announced Monday.

Phillips, who turned 43 last Thursday, has 15 seasons of NFL coaching experience under his belt. Most recently, he worked as the Rams tight ends coach from 2019-21 and with O'Connell as his offensive coordinator for the past two seasons.

He added the role of passing game coordinator to his title for the 2021 campaign, which of course culminated in Super Bowl LVI, where the Rams defeated the Bengals 23-20.

Here are five things to know about the Minnesota's new offensive coordinator.

1. Football is in his blood

If Phillips' name sounds familiar to you, it's because Wes is the son of longtime NFL coach Wade Phillips and the grandson of former Oilers and Saints Head Coach Bum Phillips.

Wes Phillips was born in Houston, Texas, when his grandfather was coaching the Oilers and his father worked as their defensive line coach. Wes attended the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP), where he earned three letters playing football for the Miners after playing for and graduating from Williamsville North High School.

View photos of new Vikings Offensive Coordinator Wes Phillips in photos from his time in the league.

2. Quarterback turned coach

Phillips played quarterback for UTEP, taking over as the starter in his senior season. That year, he was 143-of-257 passing for 1,839 yards, with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also scored two rushing touchdowns.

Phillips graduated from UTEP in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. In 2003, he got into coaching by joining the Miners staff as a student assistant.

He went on to serve as the quarterbacks coach for West Texas A&M (2004-05) and for Baylor (2006) before getting his first NFL coaching gig. Phillips joined the Cowboys in 2007 and worked as a quality control coach/offensive assistant through 2010.

Phillips transitioned to assistant offensive line coach in Dallas from 2011-12 and then in 2013 worked as the team's tight ends coach.

He then coached tight ends in Washington from 2014-18, where he overlapped with Kirk Cousins for four seasons, before joining the Rams in 2019.

3. Tight ends' success

In Washington, Phillips coached Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Reid for five seasons. And during Phillips' three seasons with the Rams, tight end Tyler Higbee's stats took a forward leap.

Higbee recorded a career-high 69 catches for 734 yards in 2019. He caught a career-high five touchdowns in 2020 and matched that total this past season.

Higbee added nine catches for 115 yards in the playoffs before suffering a knee injury in the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers. Kendall Blanton – who spent the past two seasons on the Rams practice squad and played just 20 percent of snaps in 2021 – stepped in and recorded five catches for 57 yards against the 49ers.

"Just the energy he brings to the room every day – I don't think he's ever really had a bad day," Blanton told The Buffalo News of Phillips. "I know people do, but I've never got that vibe from him. He's always ready to go. Always ready to coach. He's very detailed, which is something I've always needed and always looked for in a coach."

4. Occasional tweeter

If you're looking for Phillips on social media, you can find him on Twitter @iamwesphillips.

Phillips doesn't appear to tweet a whole lot, though, and we don't see that changing as he steps into an even bigger coaching role.

He's not quite as active as his dad, who is an entertaining follow.

5. Father of 3

Phillips has been married to his wife, Anna, for 13 years.

The couple has two daughters, Ivy and Minnie; and a son, Mac.

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