ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Wade Phillips is 68 years old, a veteran of 45 years of coaching, including 37 in the NFL. He’s also a savvy six-year social media master who’s become a must-follow on Twitter.

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“He’s a character, isn’t he?” Denver linebacker DeMarcus Ware said.

Phillips said he came up with his @sonofbum Twitter handle himself as a nod to his father, the late Bum Phillips.

“I picked it because I’m proud of him,” he said. “A lot of people call me S.O.B., but that’s a little different thing.”

Phillips has nearly 80,000 followers and has had to block a few others.

“There’s some haters out there now, and there’s some people that are vulgar and I definitely block those kind of people,” he said Thursday. “But we have a lot of fans. I don’t know — it’s 70,000 people — I don’t know why they would look at what I said or think it’s important.”

Phillips joined Twitter in August 2009.

“When it first came out I thought it was interesting and I thought it was something that maybe you could have fun with your fans,” Phillips said. “I was with the Cowboys then and I still have followers from the Cowboys. Some of them hate me now. And the same thing with the Texans. I try to do it for our fans. I try to be light-hearted about it. I never want to offend anyone.”

So, his “taunting” tweets are usually pretty groan-worthy, along the lines of “We need to beat the Browns this week and I am not ‘Josh ing'” which he sent out prior to the Broncos’ game at Cleveland last month.

But when he tried to have a little fun following the Broncos’ 29-10 blowout of Green Bay on Sunday night, it backfired.

Monday morning was just too soon for Packers fans smarting over the beating Aaron Rodgers had taken from Denver’s defense when he threw for a career-worst 77 yards.

“Chicken Parm tastes so good — I like it especially with Cheese,” Phillips tweeted.

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OK, chicken parmesan by definition contains cheese.

At any rate, it was a simple nod to his team’s quarterback and Nationwide Insurance pitchman Peyton Manning — you know, that jingle you just can’t get out of your head.

And, sure, maybe a friendly jab at the green and gold, too.

“No offense to Packers and their fans-just having fun with Broncos fans–Aaron Rodgers still remains a great-great QB,” Phillips quickly added in a follow-up tweet lest he offended any Packer backers.

Too late, the nasty replies were already pouring in.

So, Phillips tweeted again, saying he was a “big fan of the Packers” had once coached Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson, remained good friends with Thompson, had “great admiration for Aaron” and also called Green Bay “one of the greatest places to play.”

“Evidently the Packers fans, or some of them, really took it the wrong way,” Phillips said. “Ted Thompson played for me. He’s a good friend. I think the Packers are one of the great organizations and teams in the league. I never mentioned the Packers anyway. All I said was cheese.

“Anyway, I don’t do it for anything but our fans to try to give them a little insight sometimes or say, ‘Hey, we caged the Lions,’ or something clever like that,” Phillips said. “And sometimes it’s not always clever.”


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