THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams haven’t been to the playoffs in 13 years. Their roster has only six players with NFL postseason experience, and they’re led by the youngest head coach ever to earn a playoff berth.

They’ve also got Wade Phillips, who has done, seen and counter-schemed just about everything that can be accomplished on a football field during 40 NFL seasons with 10 teams.

“He’s a guy that you love having on your side when you’re going into any situation,” said Sean McVay, the Rams’ 31-year-old head coach.

The Rams’ 70-year-old defensive coordinator is in the NFL postseason for the 20th time after putting together yet another solid defense in his first season with a new team. Phillips has been a head coach, a defensive mastermind and a steady mentor to generations of football talent during an all-encompassing career, and shows zero signs of slowing down.

“As long as you have a passion and you can contribute, and that’s what you like doing. I’m lucky to be where I am,” Phillips said recently. “I enjoy what I’m doing. I love what I’m doing.”

When the Rams (11-5) host the Atlanta Falcons (10-6) on Saturday night, Phillips will be going after his second championship in three seasons after winning his first Super Bowl with Denver just two years ago. That title was a long-awaited reward for decades of hard work, but Phillips is visibly energized by the chance to contend for another ring with the NFC’s No. 3 seed.

For the eighth straight time since 1989, Phillips has accepted a new job and immediately taken a team to the playoffs in his first season. Phillips knows experience is important but thinks these Rams already have it.

“If you’re playing for the division against Seattle or playing to get in the playoffs against Tennessee, those are playoff-type atmospheres,” Phillips said. “I don’t see a whole lot of difference, except the Super Bowl is the one that stands out from all the other playoff games, as opposed to the big games you play during the year.”

It’s tough for Phillips to face any opponent these days with which he has no connection, and the Falcons are no exception: He became Atlanta’s defensive coordinator for a 2002 playoff run and served as interim head coach in 2003 for the fired Dan Reeves.

McVay and Phillips seemed to be an odd-couple pairing when they first teamed up last January, but they’ve reveled in their differences. Scarcely a day went by during the Rams’ playoff push when McVay didn’t publicly express his gratitude for being able to rely on the experiences and strategies accumulated by Phillips.

“Age doesn’t make any difference with me,” Phillips said. “I had some opportunities but his seemed like the best.”