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USATSI

Longtime NFL coordinator Wade Phillips, one of the more well-liked coaches in the game, is primed for a return to the NFL in 2021, league sources said, after sitting out last season following his departure from the Rams. Phillips, 73, still has a fire for coaching and has already been approached informally by several teams mulling a potential coordinator change in 2021.

Phillips is 73, but the Texans have Romeo Crennel, 73, serving as their interim head coach and his age is not expected to limit the possibilities as the market prepares for an abundance of coordinator openings in 2021. It was not long ago at all that Phillips' hire was viewed as a masterstroke by young Rams head coach Sean McVay, with the duo quickly reaching the Super Bowl. Phillips is seen as a keen mentor and someone whose prior head coaching experience might be particularly valuable to other first-time head coaches hired in 2021.

Several candidates have Phillips on their list of prospective defensive coordinators, sources said, and he is expected to have multiple suitors when the hiring cycle begins in earnest in January.