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Shaun Phillips playing his best, quietly

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Kevin Acee
    Originally published October 8, 2010 at 5:58 p.m., updated October 8, 2010 at 7:49 p.m.

    Shaun Phillips has shut up and stepped up.
    “Sometimes your mouth gets so big,” Phillips said. “Less talk is more action. I like to say I’m one of the best outside linebackers in the league. But how can you say your one of the best when you haven’t been to the Pro Bowl? I said, let me shut my mouth and do a little more.”
    In the days after one of the best games a defender could play, Phillips this week talked about his not talking.
    He did so, in part, because NFL players are required to make themselves available to the media at least once a week if requested. But also, he had pledged months ago to discuss with the Union-Tribune the past and the present when both parties were ready.
    Now seemed like a good time.
    See, Phillips after last season imposed on himself a media ban widely interpreted as his being unhappy with coverage of his personal foul that aided a New York Jets’ touchdown in the Chargers’ playoff loss last January.
    (Thursday, for the first time, he addressed his head butt of D’Brickashaw Ferguson head-on: “I made a mistake. I made a bonehead mistake. Definitely it was an important play ... He pushed me, I went to hit him back. You don’t just let people push you. This is stuff that goes on back and forth every single play. It’s if you get caught. I got caught. It was a mistake.”)
    The never-shy Philips maintains his silence was simply him trying “something different, take the attention off myself” as he attempted to elevate his game.
    If so, it has worked so far.
    His four sacks, interception and return for a touchdown, two passes defended, four quarterback knockdowns and six tackles Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals constituted what was by far the best game of his seven-year career. Only Leslie O’Neal (twice with five) ever had more sacks in a game for the Chargers. Just 25 have players have had more in any NFL game. And of the 99 other players who have had four or more sacks in a game since 1982, none ever combined it with an interception return for a touchdown.
    Said head coach Norv Turner: “It would be hard to play much better than that.”
    Phillips, who left the locker room quickly Sunday, received texts from teammates and coaches congratulating him and saying they’d been waiting for that type of performance.
    “I’ve been champing at the bit to have one of those games,” Philips said. “It’s not unbelievable. I always expected to do that.”
    It’s not that he’s been ineffective.
    Phillips had a team-record seven forced fumbles to go with seven sacks in 2009, and teammates voted he and cornerback Quentin Jammer co-defensive MVPs. Since 2005, Phillips’ 47½ sacks are fourth among NFL linebackers.
    Moreover, his value has extended to his versatility, even lining up as an end and inside linebacker to help with a frequently undermanned, injury-riddled defense the past two seasons. This season, Phillips is for the first time since 2007 consistently able to play his natural spot outside.

    Coaches and others in the organization have counseled Philips throughout the summer and fall about the need to focus his energy and talent.
    “He’s really been very cognizant of getting better,” defensive coordinator Ron Rivera said. “… He’s really matured into the player he realizes he’s capable of being.”
    Philips believes it is those around him that have helped most.
    “Am I playing as good as I have up to this date? Yes, I am,” he said. “The guys around me are that much better. That’s what it comes down to. Instead of having one or two stars and a bunch of road graders, we’re got 11 guys making one play. That’s the biggest difference.”
    But Phillips is also on a mission. One where he’ll let his play do the talking.
    “I want to earn that recognition,” he said. “That keeps me hungry. My expectations for myself are the world. That’s why when I have a game like I had last week I’m not shocked. That game motivated me. I see what I can do. Now I know I can do it. Don’t be surprised to see me do it again.”
  2. szarmes

    szarmes I am the Walrus

    Jan 11, 2010
    I think that if Shaun keeps this attitude, he will become our premier defensive player. I wouldn't be surprised if he makes the Pro Bowl this year. If he earns it, then that's great for him and great for our team.
  3. mainstayjames

    mainstayjames BoltTalker

    Sep 12, 2010
    Hopefully he keeps it up and the rest of the defense feeds off of him and his play. So far, so good...
  4. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Aug 15, 2006
    Finally gets it.
  5. BoltsFanUK

    BoltsFanUK Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    it had to happen eventually
  6. StratoBoltz

    StratoBoltz BoltTalker

    Jun 5, 2008
    Good to see him showing what an excellent player he is and letting his football do most of the talking.
  7. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

    Aug 19, 2008
    Hey, if a couple of other players decide to man up and play like possessed defensive demons, this could be a lot of fun to watch! Notice that Shaun didn't do his usual "Bowling move" after those sacks? He would just shake his head saying "No" and hop up and down. At least that's what I saw from my observation point in the stands.


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