Former Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips rebuts report that he “divided the locker room”

On Monday, Charlie Campbell with the website WalterFootball.com suggested that Phillips’ departure was in part due to him dividing the Broncos’ offensive and defensive units against each other.

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This is a 2015 photo of Wade Phillips of the Denver Broncos NFL football team. This image reflects the Denver Broncos active roster as of June 8, 2015  when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

A 2015 photo of Wade Phillips. (AP Photo via Denver Broncos)

Wade Phillips left his post as defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos for the same position with the Los Angeles Rams last week.

Phillips and the Broncos couldn’t work out a new deal before Phillips’ deal was set to expire. So Phillips headed west, and the Broncos promoted defensive backs coach Joe Woods to defensive coordinator.

On Monday, Charlie Campbell with the website WalterFootball.com suggested that Phillips’ departure was in part due to him dividing the Broncos’ offensive and defensive units. It didn’t take long for Phillips and some of his former players to strongly dispute the report.

Here’s what Campbell wrote:

“The Los Angeles Rams’ hire of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator was met with a lot of acclaim. That was understandable, as Phillips’ defense led the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory a year ago. Many criticized the Broncos for allowing Phillips to leave with the transition to Vance Joseph. Sources with the Broncos, however, say that Phillips divided the locker room and pitted the defense against the offense. The divided locker room was toxic at the end of the season, and that was why the Broncos felt they would be better off to have Phillips depart. Sources in Houston say that Phillips stirred up some similar problems in the Texans’ locker room during the 2013 season, but not to the same extent as in Denver last season.”

Phillips fired back with this tweet:

Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. backed up his former coach.

Broncos offensive linemen Max Garcia seemed to join in shortly afterward using the hashtag “AlternativeFacts.”

Phillips is moving on from Denver. But the 69-year-old coach and multiple Broncos players seem insistent that it’s not because he was causing some sort of rift in the locker room.

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