ATLANTA — Some 71-year-olds live in the past. Wade Phillips is all about the Future.
The Rams’ defensive coordinator casually worked in a line from Future’s latest song when he was being interviewed by cornerback Aqib Talib just before Super Bowl LIII Opening Night on Monday. “Well,” Phillips said of his long career in the NFL, “I’ve been poppin’ since my demo, baby.”
That’s a sanitized line from Future’s song “Rocket Ship,” which was released this month.
“Why does a 70-year-old man know that? Why?” Rams safety John Johnson asked.
It’s part of what makes Phillips so beloved by his players, and part of why some in Los Angeles have taken to calling him Holly-Wade.
“I just pick up stuff every once in a while,” Phillips said. “And I ask them what they’re talking about … I kind of fit in.”
Phillips and Talib have used this shtick before. When they were together with the Broncos for their victory in Super Bowl 50, Talib put one of his heavy gold chains over Phillips’ head for Opening Night.
“The last Super Bowl he introduced me to drippin’,” Phillips said Monday. “I said I don’t know about drippin’. I think I’m trippin’.”
As for his tastes in musicians, Phillips may have gone with Future this year but said he has not yet become his favorite rapper.
“I’m still with Drake,” Phillips said. Why? Because he "started from the bottom.”
For those who might not be as hip as this 70-year-old football coach, that’s the title of a Drake song.