Shaun Phillips Signs With Indianapolis Colts

Shaun Phillips Signs With Indianapolis Colts

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  • The Indianapolis Colts claimed Shaun Phillips off waivers on Nov. 26.
  • The Tennessee Titans released hi a day earlier.
  • The Colts will face the Washington Redskins in Week 13.

A day after the Tennessee Titans released him, veteran outside linebacker Shaun Philllips signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

Shaun Phillips has signed with the Indianapolis Colts

The Colts claimed Phillips off waivers on Nov. 26, per Kevin Bowen of the team’s official website:

“The Indianapolis Colts today claimed outside linebacker Shaun Phillips off waivers (Tennessee) and waived outside linebacker Victor Butler. 

“Phillips, 6-3, 255 pounds, has recorded 554 tackles (397 solo), 81.5 sacks, 22 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries and seven interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, 163 career games (121 starts). He has also posted 48 tackles (32 solo), 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in 11 postseason contests (10 starts). Phillips has totaled at least 7.0 sacks in eight of his first 10 seasons and his current sack total ranks 12th in the NFL since 2004.

“Phillips played the first nine seasons (2004-12) of his career with the San Diego Chargers, followed by the Denver Broncos (2013) and Tennessee Titans (2014). In 2009, he paced the NFL with a career-high seven forced fumbles, while leading San Diego to its fourth consecutive AFC West title. The following year, Phillips earned his first career Pro Bowl selection after starting all 16 games for the Chargers and posting 11.0 sacks. In 2013, he led the Broncos in sacks with 10.0, while adding five passes defensed, two forced fumbles and an interception.

“Bowen’s analysis: The Colts have added some veteran pass rush help in the 33-year-old Phillips. Purdue’s all-time sack leader comes to Indianapolis after spending the first 11 games of 2014 with the Titans (19 tackles and 2.0 sacks). Last year, Phillips led the Denver Broncos defense with 10 sacks. 

“Of course, the pass rush position has been analyzed all season long and has been a major focal point during each of the Colts’ seven wins (26 sacks in wins). It will be interesting to see how quickly Phillips can get caught up to speed coming in on a Thursday of game week. Phillips has familiarity with the Colts having played for defensive line coach Gary Emanuel at Purdue and playing for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky in San Diego.” 

In other team news, ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter Mike Wells argues the Colts did well to select Andrew Luck over Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL draft in light of the latter’s benching in favor of backup Colt McCoy for Indianapolis’ Week 13 matchup against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 30:

“While it’s easy to point to Griffin’s win-loss records and definitely his benching to say the Colts made the right decision in picking Luck, many say it was an easy decision even before commissioner Roger Goodell stood at the podium on April 26, 2012, and announced that Indianapolis had selected Luck with the No. 1 overall pick. 

“Wednesday’s benching of RGIII just validated it. 

“‘Everybody in our building knew there was only one player to take,’ Colts punter Pat McAfee said. ‘He has been touted as the next John Elway since his sophomore year [at Stanford]. We were all excited to see how good Andrew Luck was going to be. I think we got really lucky with a legendary quarterback coming out of college and taking the place of some of the biggest shoes ever in Peyton Manning.’

“Bill Polian, the Colts’ general manager during their 2-4 season in 2011, watched every throw Griffin and Luck made on video during their time at Baylor and Stanford, respectively. One difference, though, is that Polian watched Griffin in person only twice and he watched ‘at least six’ of Luck’s games in person. 

“What separated the two?

“‘It was quite close because they were both outstanding quarterback, outstanding winners, outstanding people,’ said Polian, now an ESPN analyst. ‘I told [owner] Jim Irsay we can’t go wrong with either guy in terms of their ability but we should take Luck, two days before I was let go. We wanted the whole template of a quarterback. We weren’t looking for one individual thing and we weren’t looking to replicate Peyton because I don’t think that could be done.’

“Irsay preferred Luck too because, according to Polian, Griffin ran too much and he feared he’d get hurt. Irsay was right, because Griffin’s career changed when he injured his knee late in his rookie season when he won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and led the Redskins toi the NFC East title. 

“Irsay and Colts general manager Ryan Grigson both declined interviews.” 

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