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Zack Cox @ZackCoxNESN
Adrian Phillips’ Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods came as a special teamer, but he also had a very productive 2018 season defensively. 94 tackles, nine passes defended, one INT, four TFLs. Missed more than half of 2019 with a broken arm. https://t.co/0xVSzsrYpm
The Chargers signed Phillips, who will turn 28 on March 28, as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2014. He rotated in and out of the team’s active roster throughout his first two NFL seasons, including being cut eight times, before emerging in 2016 as a consistent producer across 14 games.
Chargers general manager Tom Telesco reflected on Phillips’ journey after L.A. retained him on a one-year deal last March, according to Ricky Henne of the team’s official website:
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“I literally have released him eight times. Eight times, he came into my office to let him go. He always handled it professionally. He just kept working and working. To see a player finally earn a job on the 53 (man active roster), then earn a role, then earn a starting role, then be an excellent special teamer, then be a big part of our defense and go to the Pro Bowl—it’s a story that you can tell other kids for years and years about what he’s done. He was kind of the heart and soul of the defense, too.”
Phillips played 31 games in 2017 and ’18. He was limited to seven contests last season by a broken forearm suffered on Sept. 15.
After the Patriots traded safety Duron Harmon to the Detroit Lions on Wednesday, Phillips will add depth at safety behind Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty and presumably make a contribution on special teams.
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