Kenny Phillips, when healthy, is a Pro Bowl-caliber safety. With the New York Giants, when healthy, he patrolled the center field while serving as an intimidating force for any wide receiver or tight end who came across the middle. He even made a key break up against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The problem with Phillips has not been his ability to play on the field on Sundays, it has been his ability to stay healthy and even see the field on Sundays. Phillips has fought injuries on and off ever since his rookie year really, and missed a big chunk of the season again this past year. This was the major reason the Giants weren’t beating down the door to re-sign Phillips when he became a free agent in March.
Phillips, when healthy, gives the Eagles a dynamic safety they have not had in a long time. He has the range to help out corners in coverage and make plays on the ball while also delivering a big hit when needed. Not since Brian Dawkins have the Eagles had these attributes at safety, and if Phillips can stay healthy paired up with newly acquired Patrick Chung, the Eagles could finally have a solid veteran safety tandem — something they have not boasted in a while relying on rookies and young players to man the crucial position.
Phillips is still feeling out his knee in early mini- and training camp. If he is right and on his game, the Eagles will finally have an intimidating force on the back end player on Sundays that they can rely on. The key to Phillips’ success will be staying healthy. If he does so, we could be reminded of Eagles defenses of the past in 2013.