After terrorizing the Denver Broncos as a 3-4 outside linebacker with the San Diego Chargers since entering the league in 2004, Shaun Phillips joins the hated division rival. This change in lifestyle will be difficult but that has nothing to do with formerly being the enemy.
“Nobody really thinks about that or cares about it,” Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said, via the team website. “Nobody is going to look back. Yeah, we didn’t like him because he played on the opposing team – that’s anybody. But when you come to this team, we welcome anybody that is willing to put in hard work and go out there and try to help us win it. ”
Phillips’ role with the Broncos will involve his hand hitting the dirt far more than in San Diego, as the Chargers seem to fashion him as a 4-3 defensive end in their base alignment. His ability to fly after the quarterback will be greatly enhanced by having such a dominant force as Von Miller across the formation, drawing the attention of the opposition. However, there are still growing pains in Phillips’ new role.
“It’s a little tough that they’ve got me covering tight ends a little bit more and not just rushing the passer, but it’s the first day. I’m learning,” Phillips said. “Just the fact of covering tight ends more man-to-man whereas we just were more of a zone-drop team, so I got to do a little bit man-to-man. But after they start rushing the passer and getting after the quarterback, that’s where I shine.”