Kenny Phillips

Kenny Phillips Could Find a New Home

KennyPhillipsGiants
Kenny Phillips, S: Phillips has gradually drifted into the Bob Sanders Zone. Sanders, a Colt from 2004-10 before a brief stop in San Diego, had all the talent in the world and simply could not stay on the field. Phillips has had similar issues, though he started 15 games in both 2010 and ’11.

Lingering knee woes led to the Giants letting Phillips walk this offseason, and he was then unable to secure a spot in the Philadelphia secondary. He’s an extremely solid player when healthy … which has not been often enough.


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(cnnsi.com)
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Willis McGahee, Kenny Phillips are longshots for NY Giants

WillisMcGaheeBroncos
According NYG Cap Central last night, the New York Football Giants will be limited by salary cap concerns if the team seeks to bolster its roster in the wake of injuries to safety Stevie Brown, offensive tackle David Diehl, and running back Andre Brown. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams must have their entire roster, practice squad and injured players under the cap by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 4th.

OvertheCap.com explains the new rule, "By 4 PM on September 4 the cap valuations change. For salary cap purposes rosters expand to include everyone under contract. At a minimum that pushes the roster to 53 players plus a Practice Squad, which every team fields. The cost of two players adds at least $810,000 to the roster and a PS costs a team another $816,000. For teams that have players on Reserve lists such as PUP or IR the salary for the players who are replacing them will now count. For some teams that can be an additional four to five players that will now be accounted for. It quickly adds up and it all adds up by Wednesday."

Taking this rule into account, NYG Cap Central stated, "After adding in the practice squad, injured reserve, injury settlements, the entire 53 man roster and the physically unable to perform (PUP) list they'll be about $2.5 million over [the salary cap]."

Therefore, while various outlets state the G-men appear to have $3.2 to $3.3 million left under the cap, and with veterans like Kenny Phillips, Brandon Jacobs, Jonathan Dwyer and Willis McGahee as unsigned free agents, the fact is that currently New York has no money to ink any of these players, unless a current player or two restructures his contract.

NYG Cap Central highlighted the situation, if nothing changes, last night, "[The team] will need another $2.5 million in space plus $1 million in 'breathing room' by Wednesday at 4 pm. They'll probably turn to Snee again."

There are very few options for the Giants to turn to for cap relief. For example, of the ten ten paid players on Big Blue's roster, Victor Cruz, Matthias Kiwanuka and Will Beatty are already operating under new contracts. In addition, Cruz's contract is very cap friendly this season as well.

Don't expect another Eli Manning restructuring until next season, when a restructuring would most likely come with an extension.

Center David Baas has been injury prone in his tenure with New York, it remains doubtful that the Giants would extend a contract that already expires in 2016.
Corey Webster already restructured his contract, and David Diehl and Justin Tuck are in the final year of their contracts. That seemingly leaves only Antrel Rolle and Chris Snee available for restructuring.

For his part, Rolle has never had his deal restructured, and because New York has had salary cap issues over the period that he has been a Giant, it is reasonable to assume that the veteran safety has been approached by the team in the past, and declined.

NYG Cap Central believes that a Snee restructure makes the most sense, "Snee can give them give them as much $2.93 million more in cap space. His deal has two years left on it, and his base salary in 2013 is $6.7 million. Snee's $6.7 million base can be reduced to as little as $840,000. That's a $5.86 million difference. Divide that by two and you get the $2.93 million gain."

And while fans clamor for a big name or two to be brought in before playing Dallas on September 8th; less than $3 million has to last the entire season, and Big Blue also has to account for Will Hill's salary when he comes back from suspension in four weeks. So is it worth it to bring in a veteran safety for what will amount to a three-week audition?

The Giants' salary cap risk only grows if the team considers an injury-prone player like Kenny Phillips, assuming as well that Phillips would accept the veteran's minimum salary ($715,000). If he injures himself again, his salary will count against the cap in one shape or form; fully guaranteed if he's on the roster on opening day.

On the running back side, Willis McGahee, as a ten-year NFL veteran would command a $940,000 salary which would be guaranteed if on the roster on opening day as well. Signing the injury prone McGahee, before opening day especially, would pose a risk given both a guaranteed salary and injury history.


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(examiner.com)
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More proCanes Cut, But Some Getting Signed

AntonioDixonEagles
NFL teams are cutting their rosters down to the final 53 but also adding to their rosters.

OL Tyler Horn was released by the Texans.

TE Chase Ford who was cut by the Minnesota Vikings was SIGNED to the Vikings practice squad. WR Tommy Streeter who was cut by the Ravens has been signed to the Buffalo Bills practice squad. DL Marcus Forston was signed to the Patriots practice squad. DE Adewale Ojomo who was previously cut by the NY Giants was signed to the Giants’ practice squad.

LB Rocky McIntosh was released by the Lions. LB/DE Baraka Atkins was cut by the New Orleans Saints. DB DeMarcus Van Dyke who was cut by the Steelers and then placed on IR, was waived off of IR with a Settlement. TE Richard Gordon was cut by the Raiders. DL Antonio Dixon was cut by the Eagles. DL Micanor Regis was cut by the Falcons.

Previously, after the third NFL Pre Season game, four proCanes were cut. Ravens WR and RB Tommy Streeter and Damien Berry were waived respectively. Eagles Safety Kenny Phillips was waived. Raiders DB Cory Nelms was also waived.


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Antrel Rolle Would “Absolutely” Want Kenny Phillips Back with New York Giants

KennyPhillipsGiants
Shortly after the Philadelphia Eagles released safety Kenny Phillips on Sunday, he was on the phone with his former New York Giants teammate, Antrel Rolle. And although he stresses that the decision is not his to make, Rolle said, emphatically, that he would "absolutely" want Phillips back with Big Blue.

"Would I like to see him? Absolutely. But it’s not my call, it’s not my call to make and you have to leave that up to personnel, the owners and GM," Rolle said on Monday. "They’ll do the right job, I’m more than confident they’ll make the right choice as far as who they want to bring in or what they want to do as far as our defensive personnel in its entirety."

It's no surprise that Rolle — who displays an incredible amount of respect for every current and former teammate — would want his friend back with the Giants. And given that they've recently lost Stevie Brown (knee) for the season, there's no denying that depth at the position is now not only a concern, but a need.

Still, the Giants allowed Phillips to walk largely due to chronic injuries — the same reason he currently finds himself without a team. And given his inability to practice most of the offseason, it would appear as if he's not yet ready to return to the field. And when asked if his friend is healthy, Rolle passed on the question, saying "I don't know."

General Manager Jerry Reese maintains that the team will always "investigate everything," but unless Phillips' medical records check out, a return to the Giants seems unlikely.


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(sportsmedia101.com)
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5 proCanes Waived After 3rd Pre Season Game

DamienBerryRavens
After the third NFL Pre Season game, five proCanes have been waived. Ravens WR and RB Tommy Streeter and Damien Berry were waived respectively. Eagles Safety Kenny Phillips was waived as was Steelers DB DeMarcus Van Dyke. Raiders DB Cory Nelms was also waived.




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Eagles release injury-plagued safety Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillipsGiants
The Philadelphia Eagles have released safety Kenny Phillips, ProFootballTalk is reporting.

The team signed the 26-year-old former Giant to a one-year deal in the offseason after Phillips played just seven games in 2012 due to knee injuries.

He also missed all but two games of the 2009 season — after being selected in the first round in 2008 — with arthritis in his knee that required microfracture surgery.

With the Eagles, he competed for a starting safety spot, but has been out of action for the past two weeks with a quad injury.


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(si.com)
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Kenny Phillips in danger of missing final cut

KennyPhillips
PHILADELPHIA — Kenny Phillips’ return from a quad injury lasted for less than an hour Tuesday before he had to sit out practice again Wednesday.
That could be imperiling his chances to make the Eagles’ final roster.

Phillips, the safety signed as a free agent after five seasons with the Giants, has a long history of knee injuries. While his knee doesn’t seem to be an issue now, Phillips did miss the Eagles’ second preseason game with the quad, and there’s a good chance he’ll miss another Saturday if he can’t practice today.

“It does make it harder to evaluate when you get less looks at a guy,” defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. “That goes without saying. But Kenny’s got a lot of tape out there. We’ll have a good feel for Kenny.

“Hopefully, he can play in the preseason game.”

Davis said if Phillips is healthy, he would be a candidate to start at safety. But that hasn’t happened much in training camp for the former first-round draft pick.
And it didn’t happen last season as Phillips played in just seven games because of his knee problems.

Phillips’ knee required him to take some rest days during the spring organized team activities. It appears the knee hasn’t been an issue so far in training camp.

“Nobody wants to be on the field more than Kenny right now,” Davis said.

“He’s an experienced vet, which helps, but not experienced in this system.”


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(courierpostonline.com)
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Kenny Phillips misses practice for Eagles with quad injury

KennyPhillips
Speaking to reporters prior to Wednesday's practice, defensive coordinator Billy Davis said the upcoming session would be an important one for safety Kenny Phillips.

"Today is a big test for him," Davis said. "He's gonna see where he is."

Fifteen minutes later, Phillips took the field and was right where he has been most of training camp- on the sideline.

Phillips missed practice yet again on Wednesday with a quad injury, which flared up during Tuesday's practice. Davis said that Phillips did some work on Tuesday before going in once his quad started to bother him.

It's unclear if Phillips will play on Saturday in Jacksonville, but things certainly don't look promising- something that doesn't seem to be overly concerning to Davis.

"Nobody wants to get out on the field more than Kenny," said Davis. "Anybody that goes through the injury process, that doesn't get into the games or practices- it does make it harder to evaluate when you get less looks at the guy. But Kenny has got a lot of film on him and a lot of tape, so we'll have a good feel for him."

The Eagles knew the risk they were taking when they signed Phillips, who has missed nine games last season. His history of injuries is a big reason why his contract included zero guaranteed money. When healthy, however, Phillips is arguably the best safety on the roster.

"He's an experienced player, which helps- but not experienced in this system," Davis said.

The safety position is very much up in the air right now for the Eagles, with Nate Allen, Patrick Chung, Earl Wolff, Kurt Coleman and Phillips all battling for a starting spot. Despite his experience in the league, the reality is that the longer Phillips is out, the further behind he falls in that competition.

"Everybody is in the competition right now," Davis said. "As we go forward with these preseason games, as they play out and get out on the field, everyone has got a fair shot."

A shot that seems to be slipping away from Phillips the longer he remains on the sideline.


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(nj.com)
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Eagles still waiting for Kenny Phillips to show he deserves a job

KennyPhillips
It was regarded as a coup of sorts when the Eagles lured safety Kenny Phillips away from the Giants via free agency.  But Phillips may be back with the Giants soon — or one of the other 30 teams.

As recently explained by Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com, Phillips faces the possibility of being cut, due in large part to a quad strain that has kept Phillips out of action since August 11.  Though he plans to be back on the field Tuesday, Nate Allen and rookie Earl Wolff have taken over the starting job earmarked for the 2008 first-round pick.

“I’m just hoping to get out there as soon as possible,” Phillips said.

Mosher writes that there’s no guarantee Phillips will even make the final 53-man roster.  And Phillips seems to realize that.

“You have to compete day-to-day, but this is a new team, new coaches.  They want to see what you can do,” Phillips said.  “Being on the sideline doesn’t help the cause.”

Phillips says his quad injury is unrelated to knee problems that have plagued his career.  Regardless of the specific problem, an inability to practice and play could get Phillips cut.  But if he can get and stay healthy, Phillips could be in the starting lineup.

It’s a wide range of outcomes for a guy who, when 100 percent, can cover a wide range of ground in the secondary.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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The deal with Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillipsGiants
Kenny Phillips was on the field Tuesday for the first day of the Philadelphia Eagles' mandatory minicamp. He was not on the field last week for OTAs, though he was in the building working with team trainers. I did not catch Phillips after practice Tuesday, but Tim McManus did, and he's got the lowdown on what Phillips and the Eagles are going through with regard to his troublesome knee:

“They don’t quite understand it yet,” said Phillips following minicamp practice Tuesday. “It’s kind of building that trust. They are trying to take my word for it, and thus far it’s been working out. But I know it’s been hard on them, just as it’s been hard on me, to get through this process.”

“To go out there and try to be a hero right now, it wouldn’t benefit me or the team,” said Phillips. “I do need to put something on film, the coaches do need to see me, so I’m just trying to be smart when to go out there and when not to. Right now they are trusting me with my own reps, telling me to get the reps that I can get and just be smart, and right now it’s working.”

The good part of all of this is that Phillips is a smart veteran player whose track record as such merits some level of trust. The bad part, of course, is that some days his knee isn't going to let him practice or play, and it doesn't seem to offer any helpful patterns of behavior that let him know in advance when those days are going to be. This is not news to the Eagles, of course. Had it not been for concerns over the knee, it would have cost them much more to sign Phillips than it did. Heck, had it not been for concerns over the knee, the New York Giants likely would never have let Phillips hit the market in the first place. But the knee is a fact of Phillips' life, and for this year at least it appears it will be a fact of Chip Kelly's as well.

Phillips is a good enough player, and the Eagles' safety position needs enough help, that the Eagles will give him a lot of rope on this. If Phillips can play at all, he'll make the Eagles' defense better when he's on the field. If he can somehow get that knee through a full 16-game season, his impact on the defense could be incalculably helpful. But it's going to be a painful, halting process no matter how it turns out, and Phillips and the Eagles are just at the beginning of it.


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(espn.com)
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Kenny Phillips: I want to be smart about my knee

KennyPhillipsGiants
Word around the Eagles last week was that safety Kenny Phillips would be participating in the team’s minicamp this week after missing most of the team’s recent OTAs in order to rest his oft-injured right knee.

Those reports were proven correct on Tuesday when Phillips joined his Eagles teammates on the field for practice. Phillips, who left the Giants as a free agent this offseason, said that he didn’t feel like he’s fallen behind when it comes to comprehending a new defense and insisted that his absences have been cautionary rather than the result of any current issue with his knee.

“I had a few days off and I feel good,” Phillips said, via the team’s website. “This is something I’ve been doing the last two years and I’m not going to change it. Even though I feel good, I want to be smart. We get a lot of reps out here every day and to get out there and keep running and running and running … I’m not going to push it. I know what works for my knee so that I’m good for training camp and the season.”

Phillips is certainly right that there’s no reason to push things too far in May, but his confident words about the knee won’t do much to ease concerns that the knee will continue to be a problem for him come the regular season.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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Kenny Phillips expected back on the field next week

KennyPhillipsGiants
Kenny Phillips is, as you might expect, taking time off from OTAs to rest a sore knee.

But a source close to Phillips said he’s expected to be back on the field next week when the Eagles have a mandatory minicamp, according to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com.

Phillips missed nine games last year with knee problems, leading to the Giants allowing him to walk out the door.

He’s been a good player when well, but that’s not the kind of thing you can count on at this point.

When he did work early in OTAs, he was on the second team behind Nate Allen and Patrick Chung, in what could be an indication the Eagles aren’t banking everything on him playing.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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Kenny Phillips sits out with knee injury

KennyPhillips
Eagles FS Kenny Phillips missed Tuesday's OTA practice with an undisclosed injury to his surgically repaired knee.

Coach Chip Kelly wouldn't go into detail, only saying Phillips was "out with (a) knee injury." It's possible he suffered a setback, but until the Eagles elaborate we're inclined to believe it's due to general soreness. Phillips has battled knee injuries since entering the league.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Eagles playing it safe with safety Phillips

KennyPhillips
THE EAGLES and the Giants exchanged players this offseason. Not formally, of course, but New York signed Eagles free-agent defensive linemen Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins, and the Eagles signed former Giants first-round safety Kenny Phillips.

It will be interesting to see which organization had a better read on the other squad's talents. Patterson, a smallish defensive tackle, didn't fit the Birds' new defensive scheme. Jenkins just seemed to be wearing down at 32, and seemed expendable to a rebuilding team. Both men were solid, character guys on a 2012 defense that wasn't overflowing with those.

Phillips, 26, probably has the most upside of the trio, could fill a huge need here, but he also might come with the most risk.

A lot of fans would have been happy had the Eagles drafted Phillips in 2008, instead of trading down and letting the Giants grab the 6-2, long-armed former Miami star 31st overall. But there wasn't a lot of rejoicing when the Birds finally did acquire Phillips in March, signing him to a 1-year free-agent contract. The reason wasn't hard to understand: Phillips underwent microfracture surgery after a bad knee injury in 2009, then suffered medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament injuries that limited his play last season. In between, he was a standout on the 2011 Giants team that won the Super Bowl.

The Giants wanted to bring him back, but apparently they didn't make much of an effort, since Phillips ended up signing a make-good 1-year deal with the Eagles. One factor in his departure could be that he indicated late last season he felt his rehab had been mishandled.

So far, the Eagles seem to be taking a cautious approach with Phillips in OTAs, though he said yesterday that his knee feels fine.

"My knee is good," Phillips said. "MRIs show that it healed up nicely. Right now, we're just taking it one day at a time."

Phillips hasn't been working with the first-team defense during the 2 days reporters have been allowed to watch spring drills. He declined to shed any light on that, but agreed that coaches "most definitely" are easing him in.

"They're definitely letting me take my time, trying to just monitor me right now, so I can be good when it really counts, which is training camp and the season," Phillips said. "It's different, it's a lot different [from being an established starter with the Giants]. I'm not with the first group, but I'm still getting the same amount of reps as those guys, basically going out there and making plays and showing the coaches that I am a starter."

A reporter asked Phillips if he is the player he was a few years ago. His answer was typical of a veteran who has suffered serious injury.

"I'm better, because I'm smarter; I know what it takes to get from Point A to Point B. I know when my body needs rest," he said. "I feel like I have a long career ahead of me, as long as I just be smart with it. It's definitely something I have to be conscious of when I'm in the weight room or when I'm on the field, how many reps I take."

Phillips, mainly a free safety with the Giants, said new Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis requires more interchangability.

"That's what I like about it so far. I'm not going to just be designated in one area," Phillips said. "I'm going to get a chance to show that I'm capable of making plays."


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(philly.com)
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Kenny Phillips seeks fresh start with Eagles

KennyPhillipsGiants
PHILADELPHIA — Instead of drafting a big-time safety in the first round, the Eagles signed a safety drafted in the first round.

The acquisition would have meant more if Kenny Phillips, a first-round choice in 2008, didn’t check in the way wide receiver Steve Smith did a couple of years ago. That is to say with a suspect knee and a thick medical file stamped “New York Giants.”

“I feel like I have a long career ahead of me as long as I just be smart with it,” Phillips said after organized team activities Tuesday. “The surgery and everything went well. I have some MRIs looking great or else I wouldn’t be here right now. So right now I’m just taking everything one day at a time.”

Phillips, 26, is the eternal optimist. The 6-2, 208-pound product of the University of Miami signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Eagles, half of which is in the form of a roster bonus.

After watching tape of the 2012 safety play, the Eagles decided to upgrade. They added veteran Patrick Chung in free agency and selected Earl Wulff in the fifth round of the draft. Still on the roster are safeties Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson and David Sims.

If Phillips is healthy the Eagles have someone to build around.

Phillips ran a 4.48 and bench-pressed 225 pounds 19 times at the 2008 scouting combine. He was the top-rated free safety in the draft, and the only one selected in the first round, albeit right before Round 2.

For now, the best safety from that draft is Thomas DeCoud, the late third-round choice of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Eagles drafted a safety in 2008. Remember Quintin Demps? The Birds took him off the board in the fourth round.

Phillips was just finding his groove when he underwent serious microfracture surgery on his left knee in 2009. Two years later he was back in the starting lineup for the Super Bowl XLVI champion Giants.

Last season Phillips sprained the MCL in his right knee tackling Eagles running back LeSean McCoy in the first quarter of their Week 4 Sunday night game at Lincoln Financial Field.

Phillips played in just two games the rest of the season and with eight interceptions in five seasons and 41 starts, is picking up the pieces.

“It’s different, it’s a lot different,” Phillips said. “Right now I’m not with the first group. But I’m still getting the same amount of reps as those guys. So it’s just basically going out there and making plays and showing the coaches that I am a starter.”

Phillips isn’t pushing the knee just yet. The plan is to be fully prepared for training camp and the regular season.

“It’s definitely something I have to be conscious of when I’m in the weight room or when I’m on the field, how many reps I take,” Phillips said. “But at the same time I’m going to get my work done. I’m never going to just tap out. I’m going to do what I have to do so coach can see that I’m ready to work and that I’m a starter in this league.”

Phillips is encouraged he’ll get a shot to showcase more of his skills than during his tour with the Giants. Veteran safety Antrel Rolle, his teammate with the Giants, gave Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis a glowing recommendation from their time with the Arizona Cardinals.

“The first thing he said is ‘you’re going to make a lot of plays,’” Phillips said of his chat with Rolle. “He said (Davis) has a lot of little tricks up his sleeve. He’s looking for me to have a big year.”

Phillips needs a solid year to resurrect his career. He’s now playing special teams, which wasn’t part of his job description with the Giants.

Phillips has his fingers crossed the knowledge he picked up over the past few years will speed his ascent back into the limelight. When healthy, Phillips is one of the top deep pass defenders in the game, a centerfielder with ball skills second to veteran Ed Reed.

“It’s definitely been a lot of ups and downs,” Phillips said of his career. “But at the end of the day everything happens for a reason. Maybe it was meant for me to be here. Right now I’m enjoying it. I like the opportunity I’m getting with the defense. This year I feel like it will be a big year.”


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(delcotimes.com)
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If knee holds up, Phillips could be big plus

KennyPhillips
Kenny Phillips and Connor Barwin were the Eagles' highest-profile free agent signings this offseason, but Barwin's resume doesn't match that of Phillips, a key player on the Giants' Super Bowl winning team two seasons ago.

A lot of fans would have been happy had the Eagles drafted Phillips in the first round in 2008, instead of trading down and letting the Giants grab the big, long-armed former Miami star 31st overall. But there wasn't a lot of rejoicing when the Birds finally did acquitre Phillips in March, signing him to a one-year free agent contract. The reason wasn't hard to understand: Phillips underwent microfracture surgery after a bad knee injury in 2009, then suffered MCL and PCL injuries that limited his play last season.

So far, the Eagles seem to be taking a cautious approach with Phillips in OTAs, though he said Tuesday that his knee feels fine.

"My knee is good," Phillips said. "MRIs show that it healed up nicely. Right now, we're just taking it one day at a time."

Phillips hasn't been working with the first-team defense during the two days reporters have been allowed to watch spring drills. He declined to shed any light on that Tuesday, but agreed that coaches "most definitely" are eaqsing him in.

"They're definitely letting me take my time, trying to just monitor me right now, so I can be good when it really counts, which is training camp and the season," Phillips said. 'It's different, it's a lot different (from being an established starter with the Giants.) I'm not with the first group, but I'm still gettting the same amount of reps as those guys, basically going out there and making plays and showing the coaches that I am a starter."

A reporter asked Phillips, 26, if he is the player he was a few years ago. His answer was typical of a veteran who has suffered serious injury.

"I'm better, because I'm smarter; I know what it takes to get from Point A to Point B. I know when my body needs rest," he said. "I feel like I have a long career ahead of me, as long as I just be smart with it. It's definitely something I have to be conscious of when I'm in the weight room or when I'm on the field, how many reps I take. At the same time, I'm going to get my work done. I'm never going to just tap out. I'm going to do what I have to do."


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(philly.com)
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Antrel Rolle on the Departure of Kenny Phillips: “It Hurts Me Everyday”

AntrelRolleGiants2
The New York Giants selected Kenny Phillips in the first-round of the 2008 NFL Draft after the departure of Gibril WIlson left the team with a void in the defensive backfield. It took Phillips over half of a season to emerge as a starter, but he eventually made the most of the Giants' investment in him, as his eight interceptions and 263 tackles over five seasons established him as one of the best over-the-top safeties in the NFL. In fact, it was Phillips who knocked down Tom Brady's final Hail Mary to the end zone in Super Bowl XLVII, sealing the Giants second Super Bowl victory in five seasons.

However, Phillips' time as a member of the Giants was marred by a series of serious knee injuries. In 2009, Phillips was diagnosed with patellofemoral arthritis in his left knee, a condition the forced him to receive microfracture knee surgery and miss the final 14 games of the season. Last year, Phillips sprained his MCL against the Philadelphia Eagles and was never able to return to form. After rejecting an offer from the Giants as an unrestricted free-agent this offseason, Phillips signed with the Eagles.

Giants safety Antrel Rolle says that while he's disappointed to see Phillips in another uniform, he respects his former teammates decision to seek a fresh start in a new city.

"It hurts me everyday," Rolle said. "It's a business, and we all understand that it's a business. I just want Kenny to go out and make the best of the opportunity and get a huge pay day. That's all I've ever wanted for him. That's all I've wanted for any of my teammates."

The Giants did make Phillips a "modest" offer to return in 2013, but Phillips elected to sign a one-year, $2 million contract with the Eagles. It was a deal that raised suspicions regarding Phillips desire to return to the Giants, as it's unlikely the team was not offering a contract of a similar wage. Phillips had previously expressed his disdain with how the Giants medical staff handled his knee injury last season, which could have played a role in his decision to leave in the offseason.

With the emergence os Stevie Brown, Will Hill and the acquisition of Ryan Mundy, the Giants will be able to use multiple safety sets once again this season. Additionally, the team drafted Richmond safety Cooper Taylor in the fifth-round, whose combination of size and speed will allow the Giants to develop and slowly integrate him into the defense. Taylor's arrival may not have an impact on the defense in 2013, but given Rolle's $7 million salary cap hit next season, it's possible Rolle follows in the foot steps of Ahmad Bradshaw, Chris Canty and Michael Boley in being kicked to the curb in favor of cheaper talent.

"Whether or not I'm next [to get cut], that's not my call to make," Rolle said. "I'm here to wear a Giants uniform and whenever I put it on, I just try to give 120 percent when I'm on the field. I don't make the decisions."

Without Kenny Phillips on the roster, the Giants will look to Rolle to lead the group of young and inexperienced safeties and transform them into a strength of the defense. However, the better job Rolle does at helping the talent behind him on the depth chart improve, the greater his chances are of being asked to take a significant pay cut before next season, or possibly even released. As general manager Jerry Reese made abundantly clear with his moves this offseason, nearly every player on the roster is expandable, regardless of past contributions to the team.


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(giants101.com)
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Kenny Phillips comes to the Eagles on the cheap

KennyPhillipsGiants
Former Giants safety Kenny Phillips didn't just settle for a short-term deal with the Eagles. He did it without pocketing any guaranteed money.

Details of Phillips' deal show the oft-injured safety signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the NFC East rival, according to multiple reports. Phillips could earn another $1 million in incentives if he meets a variety of performance bonuses, including making his first career Pro Bowl.

But the deal does not contain a traditional signing bonus, meaning the Eagles can cut Phillips before the season begins without any substantial financial penalty. Phillips was limited last season with recurring knee injuries. He's still currently rehabbing.

If Phillips does remain on the Eagles' roster for the entire season, the 2008 first-round pick will collect an $850,000 base salary, $1 million roster bonus (to be paid out over 17 weeks) and a $150,000 workout bonus.

Phillips, 26, has struggled with knee injuries the past few seasons. Clearly that affected the market for his services.

The Giants recently offered him a deal, but Phillips jumped within the division anyway. The 26-year-old said he wanted a "new start." He gets that with the Eagles, but he'll have to prove himself once again if he wants a long-term deal next offseason.

Philadelphia may also re-sign Phillips during the season if he can stay healthy and be productive. In the meantime, his signing is of the low-risk, high-reward variety. The Eagles believe Phillips is on the road to recovery and there is a good chance he returns to form.

"We do think he's fine," general manager Howie Roseman said. "Kenny is a talented guy. The Giants, a very smart organization obviously, drafted him in the first round. We've seen a lot of Kenny. Kenny will tell you he was not 100 percent last year when we saw him in Week 17. That wasn't who he was.

"But give a lot of credit to his agent Drew [Rosenhaus] and Kenny for the willingness to come here and basically try and show us what he has because we do like the player."

And the player must like the Eagles considering there's no guarantee he sees any of the money they committed to him in that new deal.


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(nj.com)
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Former N.Y. Giant Kenny Phillips 'didn't like the Eagles'

KennyPhillipsGiants
Free agency can make unexpected bedfellows.

Longtime Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings just signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots. Marcus Allen went from the Oakland Raiders to the Kansas City Chiefs. The list goes on.

Former New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles last week, reportedly said he has to adjust to sleeping with the enemy.
"I just knew I didn't like the Eagles," Phillips said at introductory press conference Friday, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reported. "You're playing against them for so long, that's what you were taught as a Giant. Just like the Eagles were taught, you don't like the Giants. That's just how it goes.

"It's weird. It's definitely weird. But at this point I can't say I hate the Giants. When I was with the Giants I kind of disliked the Eagles. But I can't just say right now I hate the Giants. I guess I'll have to learn to hate them."

The Giants made Phillips a first-round draft pick in 2009, and they won a Super Bowl in 2011. He was a playmaker when healthy, but recurring knee problems made him expendable. The Eagles were cautious themselves with a one-year deal.


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(nfl.com)
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Kenny Phillips has to 'learn to hate" the Giants

KennyPhillips
Kenny Phillips admits "it's weird" being on the other side of a bitter NFC East rivalry.

And he is going to "have to learn to hate" the Giants. Phillips left the Giants for the Eagles on Thursday for a one-year deal.

"I just knew I didn't like the Eagles," Phillips said at his introductory news conference on Friday, according to CSNPhilly.com. "You're playing against them for so long, that's what you were taught as a Giant. Just like the Eagles were taught, you don't like the Giants. That's just how it goes.

"It's weird. It's definitely weird," he added. "But at this point I can't say I hate the Giants. When I was with the Giants I kind of disliked the Eagles. But I can't just say right now I hate the Giants. I guess I'll have to learn to hate them."

Phillips, 26, was drafted by the Giants in the first round in 2008. He underwent microfracture surgery on his knee in 2009 and has been trying to regain the explosive playmaking abilities he had prior to the surgery.

The Giants, who are limited by their salary cap, let Phillips walk in free agency with bigger priorities, like free agent left guard Kevin Boothe, still unsigned.

The Giants have Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown (a restricted free agent who was tendered a second-round RFA tender), Will Hill, newly signed Ryan Mundy and Tyler Sash at safety.

"Just basically a new start," Phillips said when asked why he left New York for Philadelphia. "I'm thankful that the Giants drafted me. I won a Super Bowl with the team, had some great friendships and they're a great organization.

"But it's just time for a new start," he continued. "I looked at the season (the Eagles} had last year, and I heard a lot of good things about (them) before I signed. And they're bringing in guys to make this team better, and I just want to be a part of it."

So now Phillips has the next several months to try to develop some hatred for his old team.

One thing he hopes to show this coming season is that his knee is healthy.

"It feels good," said Phillips, who also missed nine games last season with an MCL injury. "Since the season ended, I’ve been rehabbing five days a week and continue to get strong.

"I took my physical (Friday), and the doctors liked what they saw," he added. "If they didn't, I wouldn't be sitting here. I'm 100 percent right now, and I'm just ready to get back to work."


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Kenny Phillips ready to test free-agent market

KennyPhillipsGiants
The Giants made an offer to safety Kenny Phillips in the hopes of keeping him off the open market. But it wasn’t nearly enough, according to an NFL source, and any chance of Phillips re-signing in the next few days appear gone.

Phillips, according to the source, will become an unrestricted free agent when the market opens on March 12, barring a last-ditch effort from the Giants. He would still prefer to re-sign with the Giants, the source said, and it appears the Giants would like to keep him.

But the price, so far, has not been right.

It wasn’t immediately clear what Phillips is looking for in a new contract, but the Giants are apparently being cautious with the 26-year-old who missed nine games last season with a sprained right MCL. He also had major surgery on his left knee back in 2009 and hasn’t really been the same player since.

Still, the Giants value the player they took in the first round of the 2009 draft and believe he’s young enough that he can still fulfill his potential. They hoped he’d return and join veteran Antrel Rolle and restricted free agent Stevie Brown as part of a strong, three-safety rotation.

With Phillips now likely heading elsewhere, that explains why the Giants have reportedly reached out to veteran defensive back Charles Woodson, a 36-year-old who was recently cut by the Packers and now plays safety. According to ESPN, the Giants are one of four teams that have called to express an interest in him – joining the Seahawks, Dolphins and Jets.

The Giants likely wouldn’t be interested in Woodson for much more than a minimum-salaried deal. He would add depth and experience to a defensive backfield that is young and struggled often last season.


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(nydailynews.com)
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Giants working on keeping Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillips
The Giants are "continuing to see" if they can work out a new contract with free agent FS Kenny Phillips.
Per reporter Jason La Canfora, Phillips is unlikely to be franchise tagged ahead of Monday's deadline. With Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown to fall back on at safety, the Giants will likely only bring Phillips back at their price.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Giants Have Made “Modest” Offer to Safety Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillipsGiants
The New York Giants very rarely let their free agents walk away without at least making them an offer, and safety Kenny Phillips will be no exception. Although it's essentially a foregone conclusion that he plays for a different team in 2013, the New York Post is reporting that the Giants have made their former first-round draft pick a "modest offer."

A "modest offer" is essentially a way of saying "we appreciate all you've meant to the team, we'd like you to stay, but we're not paying you big money." It's the same tactic taken with wide receiver Steve Smith, running back Brandon Jacobs and a number of other free agents that have been lost in recent years. However, it doesn't always result in the player walking away. Two years ago, the Giants made a "modest offer" to running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who went and tested the market. After drawing little interest, he returned to the Giants and accepted said "modest offer."

Unlike Bradshaw in 2011, Phillips is likely to receive a big offer here in 2013. Despite his injury concerns, he's an extremely talented and highly-rated safety when he's on the field, and someone out there will take an expensive flier on him. But, in the event that doesn't happen for whatever reason, the Giants will at least have an offer on the table waiting for him.


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To tag or not to tag: Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillipsGiants
So, I get this email this morning from Paul Kuharsky, who's got the Colts and Titans looking for help at safety and was working on this column about how the market could dry up quickly because the franchise-tag number for safeties is going to be so low. Something like $6.8 million, lower than any position but tight end and kicker/punter. Paul wanted to know what I thought the chances were of the New York Giants using their franchise player designation on safety Kenny Phillips.

I don't think they will, and I have a few reasons.

First of all, the Giants don't really use the franchise player designation very often. And when they do, they tend to employ it according to the original spirit of the rule -- as a means of buying themselves extra time to work out a long-term deal on which they're already at work but haven't had time to complete. This is what they did last year with punter Steve Weatherford, who got the franchise tag but soon thereafter had the long-term deal that was in progress at the time of the deadline. The Giants don't have a history of franchising guys just because the number is low, and keeping them around on one-year deals just because they can.

Secondly, as low as that safety number might be, it might not be low enough to make sense for the Giants. They need money to sign free-agent offensive linemen Will Beatty and Kevin Boothe. They are working on long-term deals with star wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, and they'll need money for that. If they franchise any of their free agents, it'll probably be Beatty, since it seems clear that they'll be interested in doing a long-term deal with him anyway. Left tackle is a position of significant importance in Jerry Reese's mind. Safety, likely less so.

In the salary-cap era, teams must establish priorities for places to spend their significant resources. The Giants do this almost religiously. They invest heavily at quarterback and pass-rushing defensive end, and I think the cornerback, left tackle and No. 1 wide receiver positions are also very important to them. They get by at other spots, such as running back and linebacker and safety and tight end (which is why I don't think they'll franchise or bid big to keep Martellus Bennett). At those spots, they decide on numbers they think are justified by the market, replacing players who think those numbers are too low with qualified guys who think they aren't.

In the case of Phillips, I think this could be a mistake. I think Phillips is a do-it-all safety who makes other players on the defense better, and I think the Giants' relative performance at cornerback, linebacker and even among their great defensive linemen the past couple of years was affected by whether Phillips was or was not on the field. I think Phillips is an important player for the Giants and that they should work to keep him.

However, they're not operating in a vacuum. They're paying Antrel Rolle a lot of money. They might have seen enough from Stevie Brown and Will Hill in 2012 to convince themselves they're deep enough (and spending enough) at safety to weather the loss of Phillips. And there is the matter of Phillips' knee, which has been a major problem for him and can't necessarily be counted on to improve in the future. All of these factors likely will lead the Giants to tell Phillips he's welcome back at their price, but that if he'd prefer to try and find more on the open market they will go in a different direction.

So no, I don't think the Giants will franchise Phillips, and I think there's a good chance he'll be available on the market. If he is, I am fairly certain some team will look past the knee issue at the quality of the player and pay him more than the Giants want to pay him. The Giants' best hope of keeping him is if he decides their offer is fair and that the injury problems he had in 2012 are going to keep him from cashing in big in free agency. Unless they feel as though they're closing in on a long-term deal with him when the franchise deadline arrives, I'd be surprised if they tagged him.


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Giants May Let Kenny Phillips Walk

KennyPhillipsGiants
One league observer feels the Giants could let SS Kenny Phillips walk in free agency this offseason because of Phillips’ wear and tear the past three seasons and the money he might be seeking. The Giants typically set a number, and if the player isn’t willing to work with it, the club just moves on.



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(profootballtalk.com)
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Kenny Phillips may not return

KennyPhillipsGiants
Around half of the Giants' 2012 roster has a realistic chance of moving on this offseason. General manager Jerry Reese was asked on Monday if he'd put the number around 23 players in total.

“It's a pretty big number, but nothing we can't handle,” Reese said.

The truth is, that number is a touch low.

But Reese and the Giants have been in this position before and by making some tough choices and getting a handful of players to renegotiate cap-friendly deals, the franchise has remained competitive.

This year could be different, though. The Giants have a wave of cheap, young talent (RB Andre Brown, WR Victor Cruz, S Stevie Brown, among others) that will likely enter restricted free agency, and then there's a group of veterans that include DE Osi Umenyiora and S Kenny Phillips who might be too expensive to retain.

“We evaluate everybody,” Reese said. “There's going to be changes. There's changes every year. It's part of the business.”

Phillips: Phillips battled knee problems again this year, but said he showed teams he was healthy by returning for the final game of the season. When asked if he'll be back, though, Phillips didn't seem confident.

“It's hard to say,” said Phillips, who had a brief conversation with Reese on Monday. “I don't know. After they move some people around and make some decisions, there's no telling. Maybe they want me back. Maybe not, but that's up to them.”


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(profootballweekly.com)
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Kenny Phillips calls 2012 a 'long, frustrating season'

KennyPhillipsGiants
Kenny Phillips hopes to play this Sunday against the Eagles. But he also hoped to play against the Ravens, too.

Just like this week, the Giants safety practiced each day leading up to the Ravens game and was listed as questionable with a right knee that has been ailing him since Week 4. But Phillips was inactive for the game.

"I was shocked. I had a great week of practice. The coaches were telling me how well I was doing," Phillips said. "I guess it just came down to, I guess, a numbers game, I’m not sure. Once again, they made the decision, and I just have to deal with it."

A "numbers game" must not have sat well with the former first-round pick and starter.

"Yeah, I was pretty (ticked) off," Phillips said. "But at the end of the day, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll just come to work and practice and work hard and let them make a decision."

Coach Tom Coughlin explained earlier in the week the decision to sit Phillips was based on if they thought he could play at a high enough level, and also filling the necessary roles on special teams -- the numbers Phillips referred to. It was the latest example of what Phillips described as a "long, frustrating year," since he injured his knee against the Eagles in September.

"Going into your last year (of your contract), you want to go out there, make a big splash, and just play as well as you can," Phillips said. "Especially coming off the Super Bowl. You feel good about your chances of repeating, get hurt early and then... Like I said, it’s been real frustrating. You’re on the field, and you’re off the field; you can play this week, you can’t play this week. It’s just been a long season, I’ll put it like that."

Phillips said he has been dealing with both an MCL sprain and a PCL injury. He was vague on the specifics other than to say, "I had some things, I’ll leave it like that." He said he won't need offseason surgery -- "that's one of the biggest things I was trying to avoid," he said -- but aspects of his rehab and return to the field have frustrated him.

Phillips wound up sitting out six games, through the bye, before re-injuring the knee in his return against the Packers. He played in a very limited role the following week against the Redskins but has not returned to the field since. Phillips repeated what he said earlier in the season, that he wished more rest was part of the initial rehab.

"There's a lot of things I would change, but like I said, a lot of it is out of my control," Phillips said. "I just have to listen to what the trainers say and the doctors say. Even though they’re not perfect, they’re humans also. So they’re capable of making mistakes, and I understand that. So, I'd definitely do a lot of things over, I think they’ll say the same thing. It is what it is now."

He added: "We had a few guys on the team with PCL injuries; it’s new for our team just trying to figure out how to handle them. And they're all different, none of them are the same. It’s hard to say sit out or rest or you're OK, or maybe run this week. It was just one of those processes with all of us. It probably hurt me the most, to be honest with you."

Stevie Brown stepped in ably as a starter in Phillips' absence, recording seven interceptions, and Will Hill has allowed the Giants to still be able to use their three-safety package. But Phillips' absence has been tangible.

"When you don’t have your playmakers on the field, it’s going to show," Phillips said. "I feel like I've played a big part on this defense. I don’t want to say it's a drop-off because Will Hill played great, Stevie played great. But you're just used to playing with a certain group, chemistry is built, morale. Your play feeds off each other. I think it’s a difference."

Phillips' five-year rookie contract is up after this season. He admits the possibility of this being his last game with the Giants has "crossed my mind" -- but his main focus is being able to play this week. Phillips hasn't asked his agent if there have been contract talks with the Giants yet, but he is confident in his NFL future, despite the frustration of injuries in a contract year.

"Whether it be with the Giants or someone else, I feel that what I've showed over my career, I feel like I will be able to play football somewhere," Phillips said.
Would he prefer to stay with the Giants? Phillips grinned and laughed.

"I'm just trying to get back on the field," he said.

When it was pointed out to him that's a different answer than players usually give, Phillips repeated, "I'm just trying to get back on the field."


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(nj.com)
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Are Giants looking past Kenny Phillips?

KennyPhillipsGiants
The Giants could get S Kenny Phillips (knee) back this weekend against the Eagles, and at this point they’ll take all the defensive help they can get. The Giants can go with Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown as their starters and work Phillips back into the rotation if they want to because Brown has emerged as a playmaker and Rolle is the most versatile defender in the secondary.

But the picture might be becoming clearer: Phillips, who once was viewed as a cornerstone of the defense, could be playing his final few games with the club.

His contract is up after the season, and though the Giants would be interested in bringing him back, it would be at their price — and not a dollar more or a year longer.

GM Jerry Reese is respected around the league for his hard-line decisions, such as allowing WR Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss go following the 2010 season — without clear replacements on the roster — when the money got too rich.

It’s that measured approach to the salary cap and roster management that could be applied to Phillips’ situation. He has been limited to six games this season, and though he’s coming off what was his finest regular season in 2011, some sources indicate the Giants might not think that Phillips’ arrow is still pointing up.

He’s still young, just turning 26 in late November, but the chronic knee problems have been a worry after he missed most of the 2009 season with what some people feared was a career-altering injury.

If a safety-needy team comes strong with a big-money offer in free agency, Phillips likely will move on. Think the Redskins — who certainly wouldn’t mind pillaging their division rivals and seldom have been shy in free agency — might dip a toe into that water? Perhaps.


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(profootballweekly.com)
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Kenny Phillips close to return

KennyPhillipsGiants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' secondary is getting healthier, as safety Kenny Phillips will practice Wednesday and is on track for returning Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Cornerback Prince Amukamara also will test his hamstring during Wednesday's practice, according to coach Tom Coughlin. The Giants lost 34-0 this past weekend to the Atlanta Falcons without Phillips and Amukamara. "They will both practice, but it will be limited to the point we will test Prince more than anything," Coughlin said. "With Kenny, we feel he is rested and ready to contribute." Phillips has missed the past two games with a knee injury, the same injury that kept him out of six games earlier in the season. Phillips said Tuesday on ESPN New York 98.7 that he definitely will be on the field in Baltimore. The Giants have not determined whether running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who did not play in Atlanta because of a knee injury, will play against Baltimore. He will not practice Wednesday but has said that he plans on playing against the Ravens. "We know we would all love to have him play, but it is going to be a medical decision," Coughlin said. "It is not going to be mine. Although he wants to play as badly as he can, I think if the doctors feel that he can play without hurting himself, that very well may be a case. But if his doctors don't feel that's possible, then they will make the decision."

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Kenny Phillips in a rush to bring energy back to team

KennyPhillipsGiants
On Monday, Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw declared himself ready to go this weekend against the Ravens without a practice to test his sprained left knee under his belt.

Tuesday, it was Kenny Phillips who proclaimed his sprained right knee healthy enough for him to return Sunday without a practice to draw upon.

The safety has missed the last two games after aggravating his sprained MCL against the Packers in Week 12. Like Bradshaw, he didn’t make the trip to Atlanta and watched the Giants’ 34-0 rout at the hands of the Falcons on television. And like Bradshaw, Phillips doesn’t want to be a spectator any longer as the Giants fight for their postseason lives.

"I’m 100 percent confident that I’ll be on the field this week," Phillips said in a radio interview on ESPN 98.7 yesterday afternoon. "Not sure which role that the coaches want to allow me to play, but whatever they allow me to do, I’m going to go out there and give 100 percent and try to be that spark for our defense these last few weeks."

Phillips first sprained his MCL against the Eagles in Week 4. He then missed the next six games and returned against the Packers, allowing defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to use the three-safety package he relied on last season with Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown as the other two components.

But Phillips aggravated the knee injury and couldn’t finish the game. He played a limited role the following week against the Redskins, but hasn’t practiced since.

Watching from afar, Phillips said he saw a Giants team that lacked the necessary energy on Sunday in Atlanta.

"That’s one thing I can’t explain," Phillips, the Giants’ first-round pick in 2008, said. "I think that’s why all of us at the organization are scratching our heads. We can’t figure out why one week we come out, we have that fire in our eyes and the next week not so much.

"It’s not that we’re not practicing hard. It’s not that. It’s not that guys (are) not buying into it, but for some reason, since I’ve been here the last over four or five years, that’s just how it’s been. Up and down, up and down. I hate to say it, (but) I think a lot of the guys have gotten used to it. And we win when we have to. When we don’t have to, we kind of just go out there flat."

The Giants’ loss Sunday, combined with the Redskins’ and Cowboys’ victories, left the Giants on the outside of the playoff picture looking in for the time being. They still control their own destiny: Consecutive wins to end the season clinch a postseason berth. But a loss in either game would force them to rely on outside help.

Phillips, as many of his teammates have echoed, said the Giants are at their best against the proverbial wall. They followed that pattern during the 2007 Super Bowl run — the season before Phillips was drafted — and again last season.

But then there was the 2010 season, when the Giants could’ve clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Packers in Week 16. Instead, they were blown out, 45-17. And despite a 10-6 record, the Giants didn’t make the playoffs that season.

"We just have to get back to being passionate about the game," Phillips said. "If a guy makes a play, no one’s congratulating, no one’s jumping around. It just seems like we don’t have no fire, no energy right now."

Phillips hopes his return, perhaps along with cornerback Prince Amukamara’s, will provide some sort of boost, both on the field and emotionally. Without Phillips over the last two games, the Giants have allowed 61 points.

"The situation that we in right now, I have no choice," Phillips said of playing Sunday. "It’s either now or never."


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(nj.com)
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Giants not sure how long Kenny Phillips will be out

KennyPhillipsGiants
Giants coach Tom Coughlin had the status of several injured players to update on Thursday and there wasn’t much good news for three of the team’s starters.

Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Coughlin said safety Kenny Phillips did suffer a setback in the Week 13 loss to the Redskins. That was Phillips’ second week back from a sprained MCL and he played a limited number of snaps in that game after being listed as doubtful on the team’s final injury report because of the knee. He missed last week’s win over the Saints and Coughlin now says the team has no timetable for his return.

Phillips didn’t practice and he was joined on the sideline by cornerback Prince Amukamara. Amukamara hurt his hamstring against the Saints and Coughlin didn’t offer any thoughts about his outlook for the week. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw missed practice for the second straight day after adding a sprained knee to the neck and foot injuries that have bothered him all season. Coughlin said Wednesday that he wouldn’t predict Bradshaw’s status. He didn’t waver from that Thursday, although the language he chose isn’t particularly optimistic.

“We’ll see. Whatever the medical people tell us we’ll live with,” Coughlin said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.


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Kenny Phillips doubtful vs. Redskins

KennyPhillipsGiants
The New York Giants' defense may be at less than full strength for its Monday night clash with Robert Griffin III.

Safety Kenny Phillips is listed as doubtful for the pivotal NFC East game with a knee injury.

Phillips aggravated an MCL injury that kept him out of six games earlier this season last Sunday night against Green Bay.

Phillips, who went through a limited practice on Saturday, sounded confident all week that he would play against the Redskins. A source said the safety has been moving tentatively in practice.

The Giants on Sunday boarded their charter Amtrak train for their trip to Washington, DC for Monday night’s game against the Redskins and safety Kenny Phillips went along for the ride with his teammates. By making the trip, the Giants are at least holding out hope that Phillips might improve enough to give it a shot.


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(espn.com)
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Kenny Phillips unhappy with how knee rehab went

KennyPhillipsGiants
It has been nine long weeks since Kenny Phillips first suffered an MCL injury and he never imagined his right knee would still be a problem. And it’s not just bad luck or chronic knee issues, either.

Phillips said he’s still hurting because “When we started our rehab we didn’t go about it the right way.”

The Giants’ safety wouldn’t get into specifics, nor did he place blame on any one person, but he seemed clearly unhappy about the way his injury has been handled since he first got hurt in a Week 4 game in Philadelphia. He missed the next six games plus the bye week before returning last Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers.

Then he hurt his knee again.

“Yeah, it sucks,” Phillips said. “It’s real frustrating. It seems like it’s always something. But I’ve been able to play through it. This is probably the most I’ve been able to play. I’m trying to bounce back from it. It felt OK. I’m getting better each day.”

Phillips, who was limited in practice on Friday, is pressing to play again on Monday night in Washington and hopes to remain in the lineup the rest of the season. But he’s clearly still hurting and said it’ll likely be that way until the offseason when he can rest.

He had plenty of time to rest before last Sunday night, though, so he definitely didn’t feel like he rushed back onto the field. But something about the way he went about his rehab just didn’t seem to work out.

“When we started our rehab we didn’t go about it the right way, and now here we are, we’re dealing with it right now,” Phillips said. “I don’t want to get into (specifics). It just didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.

Asked if he was angry, Phillips said “I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m mad about it. It is what it is. No one’s perfect. I just think we both felt that something needed to change. We needed to change up the rehab. We just felt like we weren’t doing the right things. 

“So we just switched up and it immediately starting feeling better. So I’m here now. I’m not worried about the games that I missed.”

Phillips said his current injury is “kind of pretty much the same thing” as his previous injury, it just “never was completely how it’s supposed to have been -- I’ll just say it like that. It’s obviously not as serious as the left knee injury he suffered in 2009 which led to career-threatening surgery. He insisted he won’t need any surgery this time.

What he needs is what he can’t have. “The biggest thing is going to be rest,” he said, “and I don’t have time for that right now.”

He added that team doctors have told him “it’s either ‘Don’t play’ or ‘You’ve got to play through some pain.’ I’m just dealing with that right now.”


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(nydailynews.com)
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Kenny Phillips Doesn't Practice

KennyPhillipsGiants
Kenny Phillips couldn't make it through his first game back from a sprained MCL injury he suffered in Week 4 unscathed and is now dealing with the lingering effects.

Phillips isn't practicing today after aggravating the right knee injury Sunday against the Packers in the second half and didn't return. After the game he said he thought it was a minor issue and couldn't returned to the game if the score was closer. Tom Coughlin said he expects Phillips to practice Friday.


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Kenny Phillips says he is good to go

KennyPhillipsGiants
Safety Kenny Phillips said he tweaked his knee but will be ready to play on Monday night against the Washington Redskins.

"I'm good, I'm good," Phillips said on the Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco show on ESPN New York 98.7 radio.

Phillips left little doubt that he will play against the Redskins after leaving Sunday night's game in the second half due to his knee. Tom Coughlin said Phillips aggravated the MCL injury that kept him out of six straight games prior to returning against Green Bay.

With Phillips back on the field, the Giants went primarily to their three-safety look again and had success keeping Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in check.

"What it does, it gives us better matchups," Phillips said. "It gives us a different look. You have Antrel Rolle playing nickel position and he can drop back and play safety or me coming into box or play safety or Stevie Brown, who has been big for us. You never know. You go into some games you know Antrel Rolle, he will be lined up on the left or Kenny Phillips will be lined up on right. But when you can't get a beat on it, it makes you think a little more."

When pressed by Smith on 98.7 to say whether the Giants will get the job done on Monday night against Robert Griffin III, Phillips said, "We're definitely going to go in there and handle our business. I think we are going to be fine."


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(espn.com)
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Kenny Phillips says knee 'feels pretty good'

KennyPhillipsGiants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Kenny Phillips wasn't back for a full four quarters in his return from a right MCL injury before trainers ran onto field to check his knee after a late play.

Phillips aggravated his right MCL knee injury that kept him out of six games during the Giants’ 38-10 win over Green Bay.

Although the Giants safety was concerned for a moment that he had reinjured the knee, he said it didn't take long for that concern to fade.

"I was like, 'Here we go again.' But I got to the sidelines and the doctors took a look at it," Phillips said. "It feels pretty good right now. I didn't want to take that chance to go back out there and miss the next week."

Phillips said keeping him out of the rest of Sunday night's game was just precautionary. The Giants routed the Packers 38-10, and Phillips had five tackles in his first game back after six weeks.

"I felt great, especially to come back with a game like this," Phillips said. "A lot of guys were playing full speed and having a lot of fun. It felt great to be back."

It was a good night for the defense. Phillips allowed the Giants to use some three-safety packages and mix up coverages in their first game after the bye.

"It put us back where we want to be," Phillips said. "We're two games in front of Dallas and I believe Washington, also. We've just got to continue to keep playing like we've been playing and the sky is the limit."


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(espn.com)
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Kenny Phillips doesn’t make it through first game back

KennyPhillipsGiants
The Giants won the battle in a big way.

But they just lost Kenny Phillips again.

The safety went down with a right knee injury, and was ruled out for the rest of the game. It’s the same knee that cost him six games earlier this season.

Leading 38-10 early in the fourth quarter, it was the only thing that hadn’t gone right for the Giants.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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Kenny Phillips Has $30,000 Fine Overturned by NFL

KennyPhillipsGiants
Week Two was a turning point of sorts for the New York Giants. Trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-16 in the third quarter, Big Blue was frantically searching for a momentum boost. In came Kenny Phillips' devastating hit on Bucs wideout Vincent Jackson, and all of the sudden the Giants seemed motivated enough to stage a comeback. Despite not being flagged on the play, Phillips was initially fined $30,000 by the NFL. However, that fine has since been overturned.

This is especially surprising because Phillips has a history of getting into hot water with the NFL over hitting defenseless receivers. He was fined on several occasions in 2011 for similar actions. On Friday, Phillips joked that his recent injury was the only thing that kept his paychecks in his bank account.

"I haven't hit anyone in forever," Phillips said. "It kept me from getting fined, which is a good thing, kept a little money in my pocket. But I'm looking forward to getting back out there and having some fun."

On the field, the Giants have missed Phillips as an over the top safety. Although Stevie Brown has been an incredible story thus far, Phillips is an experienced veteran with a thorough understanding of Perry Fewell's defensive schemes. For example, Brown blew a coverage in Week 10 that resulted in a 56 yard touchdown for Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green.


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(giants101)
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Kenny Phillips inching toward possible return

KennyPhillipsGiants
Giants S Kenny Phillips (knee) and LB Jacquian Williams (knee) both practiced on Wednesday, which means the defense could be getting a much-needed boost for the final six games of the season, beginning with Sunday's game against the Packers.

Both players were limited, but the fact that they were on the field was an encouraging sign.

Williams' declined interviews after practice, but Phillips said he did nearly everything, which means the Giants could potentially return to the three-safety formation, which was used for long stretches of last season.

“It allows us to put more packages in, it allows us to move a lot of guys around, allows us to show different looks that offenses haven't seen us with yet,” DE Justin Tuck said of Phillips' possible return. "As a D-lineman you know that guy can make the big play. There's a lot of things he can do back there on that back end that other guys can't. We get an opportunity to get back to some of our three-safety look, kind of what we did last year. It gives us a lot more options back there.''

If the Giants do use the three-safety look, Phillips would be joined by S Antrel Rolle and S Stevie Brown, who has five interceptions, most of which came since Phillips went down in Week 4 with a sprained MCL.

Brown did make a coverage mistake against the Bengals in Week 10 that led to a touchdown, but he has mostly played well in place of Phillips.
The Giants could also use S Will Hill in the three-safety formation.

Phillips said he had “good day” on Wednesday but still doesn't “feel 100 percent.” However, he thinks that he could be close if he can improve a little every day this week.


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(cbssports.com)
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Giants hope Kenny Phillips' return can stop bleeding

KennyPhillipsGiants
It’s not that the Giants haven’t appreciated everything Stevie Brown has done in Kenny Phillips’ absence. It’s just that the defense hasn’t been right without Phillips.

He’s expected to return to the lineup after the bye in Week 12, and the Giants believe having him on the field the final six games of the season could be exactly what their struggling defense needs. Plus, given the success the Giants have had previously with Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant on the field, there’s no reason to think the Giants’ “Big Nickel” package can’t be revived in a new form with Grant gone and Brown taking his place.

Where the Giants have missed Phillips, who has been out with an MCL sprain for six games, has been covering tight ends. Recently, Cowboys TE Jason Witten and Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham have done damage up the seam against the Giants, although defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Phillips’ absence has affected the defense in many ways.

"We miss him in more ways than one. Not only in the post or in the half but his athletic talent to cover a guy like Jason Witten or Gresham that we had to play or some of the tight ends we've had to face," Fewell said. "It's a big loss when you have a talented player like that."

Brown has shown a knack for making plays on the ball, although his blown coverage on the TD pass to Bengals WR A.J. Green last week shows he still can lack recognition at times. Phillips can help steady things, and Brown has played well enough to have earned a permanent role of some note.


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(profootballweekly.com)
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Coach applauds Safety Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillipsGiants
When Kenny Phillips misses six straight games with a knee injury like he has this season, the Giants don’t miss his gaudy numbers or individual accolades.

Because he doesn’t have them.

That’s just fine for safeties coach David Merritt, who knows his true value – consistency.

“We’ve missed Kenny tremendously, I know I have,” Merritt said earlier this week. “Because Kenny has been a solid football player for us. Nothing spectacular, not off-the-charts Pro Bowl numbers, but Kenny has been very solid for us. I mean you look at the last play, dating back to last year in the Super Bowl, the guy who knocked down that pass -- although they were all up in the air -- Kenny Phillips.”

That desperation jump ball fell just short of a lunging tight end named Rob Gronkowski in Lucas Oil Stadium. And it is against players like him that Merritt and the staff misses Phillips the most, especially with Jermichael Finley, Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez coming up in the next four weeks.

In Phillips’ absence, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten racked up 18 catches for 167 yards in Week 8, while Jermaine Gresham caught a touchdown last week against the Bengals. However, Gresham’s score came on one of just three catches for 15 yards, and Heath Miller managed a pedestrian four receptions for 48 yards the week before against Pittsburgh. So the numbers have varied.

“I would say that it didn’t necessarily hurt us, but it’s definitely noticeable without him there,” Merritt said. “I mean you look at what he did in the past when he played guys like Vernon Davis, Kenny Phillips was able to go out and play any tight end in this league man-to-man. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s tall, he’s fast, he’s fluid, and so not having him, it didn’t help.”

There was hope Phillips could have returned for the Steelers game, but he was shut down until after the bye. Now, if all goes according to plan, Phillips will return after the bye.

That means the Giants will have a good problem on their hands with the return of Will Hill, which could lead to three-safety looks. And that’s not even mentioning Stevie Brown, who filled in for Phillips and is currently second in the NFL with five interceptions.

“To be able to find out about Stevie Brown with these past five or six games, that has been a breath of fresh air,” Merritt said. “That’s one of the things when you let a veteran go off into his retirement, basically Deon (Grant), and then you get a guy like Stevie Brown that can come in here and make the plays that he’s making. It’s like “Wow, that’s pretty doggone good.’ Of course, we have Will Hill that’s coming back to us as well this past weekend. It helps to have multiple safeties that can do different things.”


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(giants.com)
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Giants plan to rest safety Kenny Phillips through bye week

KennyPhillipsGiants
Giants safety Kenny Phillips is not expected to return until after the Giants' Week 11 bye, coach Tom Coughlin said today.

Phillips has been sidelined since suffering a right knee sprain against the Eagles in Week 4. He practiced each day last week, twice in a limited capacity, and said he would play against the Steelers, but wound up being inactive.

"It's not a setback," Coughlin said. "I think what's going to happen is we're going to try to rest him this week and then through the bye, and hopefully we can get him back."

The Giants have their bye after this week's Bengals game. Their first game after the bye is against the Packers. Stevie Brown has filled in well in Phillips' absence.


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(nj.com)
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No setback for Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillipsGiants
Coach Tom Coughlin said Kenny Phillips did not suffer a setback over the weekend, but rather he was not ready to play against the Steelers, the reason he was not active for the game.

Phillips seemed confident his return would happen Sunday when he spoke to the media for the first time since spraining his MCL against the Eagles in Week 4.

"I don’t know if you would call it [a setback]," Coughlin said Monday. "Just didn’t feel like after a couple of days of practice that he could do the things he had to do to perform in the role that we wanted him to be in."

Stevie Brown started his fifth consecutive game in Phillips’ absence. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell stuck with a three-safety package in the game plan with Tyler Sash getting snaps as the third safety.

Former St. Peter’s Prep star Will Hill completed his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substances policy. The rookie safety was in the Giants’ locker room Monday and the team has until Monday to activate Hill from the suspended list and add him to the 53-man roster.

Hill must be added by 4 p.m. Saturday in order to be eligible to play at Cincinnati.


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(northjersey.com)
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Kenny Phillips ready to play against Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday

KennyPhillipsGiants
For four weeks, Kenny Phillips has been able to do nothing but watch.

The Giants safety has been sitting out with a sprained MCL in his knee, watching as backup Stevie Brown went from journeyman to star, making four interceptions in four games as opponents have tried to test him.

And now, Phillips is ready to join the party. On Thursday, the safety announced that he expects to play on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I’m going this week,” Phillips said. “I do feel confident in my knee. It’s been a long, long process, but I feel like it’s good enough for me to get back out there and make some plays.”

That means that for the first time since the start of the season, the Giants’ safety rotation is completely healthy.  Phillips practiced for the first time in nearly a month last week, and he’s continued to progress this week; he worked through his first full practice on Wednesday then went through a limited session on Thursday.

Safety Antrel Rolle also worked through a limited session Thursday, his first action since suffering a head injury on Sunday in Dallas.

Rolle said he didn’t know if he’d suffered a concussion, but he still needed to pass the league’s protocols for such an injury before returning to action.

“I went through the tests and everything, and I’m back out here to work,” Rolle said.

It all gives the Giants an overabundance of depth at safety. Phillips and Rolle began the season as undisputed starters, but Brown’s play has forced him into the Giants’ long-term plans.

The third-year safety began the season as a special teams demon, but he currently has five interceptions, second-most in the NFL. Brown made two interceptions and recovered a fumble in Sunday’s win over the Cowboys.

It’s no wonder Phillips said he’d take “whatever role they give me.”

He added that “there’s definitely a chance” that the Giants utilize a defensive package that includes all three safeties on Sunday, especially since they’ll face a Steelers offense that ranks ninth in the league in passing. But if that doesn’t happen, Phillips said, he’s content to be eased back into the action.

“If I have to back up my backup, I’ll do it,” he said.

Deep down, though, Phillips wishes he could be enjoying the season that Brown has had. He talked in the preseason of making more interceptions, but opponents, wary of his playmaking ability, have rarely tested him the last few seasons.

Teams have attacked Brown, though, so much so that Phillips wondered Thursday if maybe “they couldn’t see him.”

“Half the time, he’d be sitting in the middle of the field, and they’d just throw the ball,” Phillips said. “He’s making the play for it.”

“We’d all like to get interceptions,” he added, “but Stevie’s the guy right now.”

Phillips hopes his chance comes soon, though. Offenses must now account for Brown, he said, which could create chances for the Giants’ other two safeties.

“I hope so,” Phillips said. “That’s what I’m really hoping.”


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(nydailynews.com)
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Kenny Phillips Returns to Practice

KennyPhillipsGiants
While Ahmad Bradshaw sat on the stationary bike watching practice, there was actually some good news taking place on the field.

Kenny Phillips, who injured his knee early in the Week 3 game against the Eagles, returned to practice and was participating in individual drills for the first time since his injury. He did not appear to be physically limited in any way, back-peddling and running.


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(newsday.com)
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Kenny Phillips likely a week away from game action

KennyPhillipsGiants
New York Giants CB Kenny Phillips (knee) is likely a week away from returning to game action. Phillips will get the chance to return to practice this week. "I don't know how far we can go with him," head coach Tom Coughlin said.



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(kffl.com)
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Kenny Phillips to miss only 3-6 weeks

KennyPhillipsGiants
The Giants got the best bad news they could have hoped for in regard to Kenny Phillips' knee injury.

The safety sprained his right MCL, which likely will sideline him for several games while he is listed as "week-to-week." He should be able to return in three to six weeks. An MRI showed the sprain Monday morning after the Giants feared that the injury might have been to Phillips' ACL, which would have required season-ending surgery.

"It's still unfortunate, but we've got to keep his spirits high and let him know everything is going to be OK, we're going to hold it down until he gets back," fellow safety Antrel Rolle said.

Tackle David Diehl suffered a similar MCL injury in Week 2 and is expected back in practice this week. But, as Tom Coughlin pointed out, they play very different positions with far different stresses on their knees.


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(newsday.com)
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Kenny Phillips has sprained MCL

KennyPhillipsGiants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips has a sprained MCL in his right knee and is considered "week to week," coach Tom Coughlin said Monday.

Phillips likely will miss next Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns and may be sidelined a few weeks.

"Right now, it is an MCL and will end up being a week-to-week thing," Coughlin said.

New York can use Sash since Phillips and other secondary players are banged up, including cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring), safety Antrel Rolle (knee), cornerback Michael Coe (hamstring) and cornerback Corey Webster (broken bone in hand).

Phillips is a key component in the defense and had been playing well and looking more like the player he was prior to undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee in 2009.

"Naturally, (Phillips) is upset about it," Rolle said. "It's still unfortunate, but we've got to keep his spirits high and let him know everything is going to be OK. We're going to hold it down until he gets back.

"We know it's going to be a big loss for our defense. But we're going to do the best we can to keep things moving and try to get back on a positive track."


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(espn.com)
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Kenny Phillips sprains right knee

KennyPhillipsGiants
Giants SS Kenny Phillips was forced from Sunday's game against the Eagles with a sprained right knee, and is doubtful to return.

Phillips' knee buckled as he tried to make a play on a juking LeSean McCoy. It looked gruesome, but Phillips did walk off the field under his own power. The "doubtful" designation bodes poorly, however. Nickel CB Will Hill has been shifted to strong safety.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Kenny Phillips tops Week 2 fines

KennyPhillipsGiants
Safety Kenny Phillips has been fined $30,000 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness, one of four New York Giants disciplined for their conduct in last Sunday's win against Tampa Bay.

Phillips, a repeat offender who also was fined last season, drew this fine for striking defenseless Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson on a pass play. No penalty flag was thrown.

Other Giants disciplined were running back Andre Brown, $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle on Brandon McDonald during an interception return; and offensive linemen David Baas and Kevin Boothe, fined $7,875 for unnecessary roughness at the end of the game when the Buccaneers plowed into the line as QB Eli Manning was taking a knee.

Fined $21,000 were Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons for helmet-to-helmet contact with Jets QB Mark Sanchez; Patriots LB Jerod Mayo for hitting defenseless Arizona WR Early Doucet in the head and neck; and Bills safety Da'Norris Searcy for the same offense against Chiefs TE Kevin Boss.

Seattle receiver Golden Tate drew a $21,000 fine for an illegal blindside block on Dallas LB Sean Lee. Tampa Bay LB Mason Foster's hit on Domenik Hixon that resulted in a concussion for the Giants receiver -- he missed Thursday night's game at Carolina -- cost Foster $21,000 for striking a defenseless player in the neck and head area.

Jets safety LaRon Landry said he will appeal his fine by the NFL of $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle against Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown.

Landry has three personal foul penalties in two games, and says he needs to be more "strategic," especially on plays near the sideline.

"I'm not trying to injure a guy, and not trying to play dirty," Landry says. "I'm just trying to make a play."

Redskins WR Josh Morgan was hit for $7,875 for throwing the ball at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan. The resulting 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty forced Washington to try a 62-yard field goal in a three-point loss.

Also from that game, Washington LB Lorenzo Alexander was fined $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle of receiver Danny Amendola, and Rams rookie CB Janoris Jenkins got the same amount for unnecessary roughness against tight end Fred Davis.

Also fined $15,750 was Dolphins safety Jimmy Wilson for his late hit on Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer. New England safety Steve Gregory was docked $7,875 for a late hit on Cardinals TE Todd Heap.


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(espn.com)
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Safety Kenny Phillips hoping to avoid fines this season

KennyPhillipsGiants
The hit was violent to say the least.

With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leading 27-16 in the third quarter of Sunday's game, Giants S Kenny Phillips popped Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson with his shoulder pad just as QB Josh Freeman's pass was arriving. The ball was dislodged, Jackson slammed into the turf and Phillips popped right back up.
Did Phillips launch himself or not?

“I peaked around," Phillips said. "Whenever you see a big hit, the flag usually comes out no matter if it was a legal hit or an illegal hit. The flag is going to come."
The flag never came, and CB Corey Webster intercepted the next pass, which helped the Giants to a 41-34 comeback win.

That doesn't mean Phillips is out of the woods because nonpenalized offenses can still draw a fine. The University of Miami product doesn't remember how many times he was fined last season. All he remembers is that it was more than three.

“I got a lot more than that,” he said. “I was almost playing for free last year. I'm trying to avoid that again this year, but we'll see.”

Wednesday is usually the day when fines are handed out, and since the Giants will be traveling for Thursday's game in Carolina on Wednesday, there's a chance Phillips could get some bad news before the flight. Even if he tries to avoid the mail for a few days, Phillips knows that can't stop the NFL from fining him.

“A few times they tricked me,” he said. “Nothing would be here on Wednesday, but Thursday I'll have one. I got so used to it.”

Phillips believes the hit on Jackson was legal (“I didn't touch his head&rdquoWinking, but while he thinks he dragged a foot, there's still the chance it can be ruled that he launched himself.

“Whatever it is, I'll appeal it,” Phillips said. “Wrong or right, I'm going to appeal it.”


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(cbssports.com)
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VIDEO: proCane Kenny Phillips Unloads on Vincent Jackson




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Kenny Phillips: Once Cowboys made some plays, defense didn’t play like a team

KennyPhillipsGiants
Veteran Giants safety Kenny Phillips, who didn’t practice Monday because of a sore back, said the defense played like it did early last season when everyone wasn’t on the same page.

“Once the game started, I don’t want to say it got away, but once they started to make some plays, everyone wanted to be that guy, be that hero to make the play for the team,” Phillips said of the 24-17 loss to the Cowboys. “We got away from doing our job that way we were supposed to do it, like if you were a corner just being patient, or being a defensive end and staying outside. Everyone tried to win the game each play instead of playing as a team.”

Safety Antrel Rolle said the defense has to start trusting one another again, which was the key to their play late last season.

“I think that was a wake-up call, knowing this league will present new challenges and different threats each and every week,” Rolle said. “Just watching football this past weekend, I think teams are coming out to play. They are coming out fast and playing extremely tough. We definitely have to step up, and we have to step up now.”


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(ap.com)
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Kenny Phillips wants to be closer to action like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu

KennyPhillipsGiants
He is a masterful deep safety, easily the best center fielder in a Giants uniform. And because of that, Kenny Phillips never gets to show off his other gifts.

It’s an irony that’s not lost on the 25-year-old. Phillips, who is in the final year of his contract, is coming off a career season in which he picked off four passes, made 82 tackles and helped knock away that Hail Mary pass to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in the waning seconds of Super Bowl XLVI.

But he aspires for more, to move closer to the line of scrimmage like elite safeties Ed Reed of Baltimore and Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu do. He wants to influence the game more, even if his training-camp experience indicates he won’t get that chance.

“I had four interceptions last year,” Phillips said. “I feel like this year, if I’m more involved in the defense, that number can go up. That’s really my goal.

“For the most part, I’m usually always back deep; it looks like I’m catching punts. I would like for that to change, to be more involved in the defense, in the box, just around the ball more.”

This isn’t about the money, Phillips said, and he seems to mean it. If the Giants approach him about an extension, he said he’d tell them to “talk to the agent,” and he’s hardly concerned about job security.

“At the end of the day, I know I’ll be playing football somewhere (next year),” he said, “so I’m not really worried.”

Mostly, Phillips just doesn’t want to spend every Sunday as an on-field spectator. He wanted a bigger role last season, too, when defensive coordinator Perry Fewell opened camp by asking the safety to take a “quantum leap” forward, and Phillips talked excitedly of becoming a ball-hawking defensive back.

But then, a rash of cornerback injuries so bad that fellow safety Antrel Rolle wound up at nickelback forced Phillips to play “security blanket,” as he said, dissuading quarterbacks from going deep.

Phillips excelled at the role, and that’s just the problem. As safeties coach Dave Merritt put it, Phillips is “really good, we all know, back in that back end.”
“How many balls do you see thrown back there?” Merritt asked. “Because 21 is that good. At the same time, would you like to have Kenny down low? Yes, because he’s a big man, and he understands run fits. But you also like to have him in that post.”

However, Phillips found it “boring” and “tough.” At times, the safety was visibly frustrated in the locker room, desperately wanting more action.

“I mean, you never want to go through a game and (be) like ‘What happened?’ ” Phillips said. “Just hoping someone breaks, just so you can make a tackle. That’s pretty bad.”

Things were supposed to be different this time, but while Fewell said, “We definitely have plans for Kenny Phillips,” injuries once again short-circuited that creativity in camp. With expected starting corner Terrell Thomas battling a knee injury and 2011 first-rounder Prince Amukamara still learning, Phillips is willingly again in his old role. However, Phillips is also hopeful Amukamara can develop into a one-on-one cover man, which will allow Fewell to use his safeties more freely.

If it doesn’t happen, Phillips said, he’s content to play “hero” against deep passes once again.

But hey, a guy can dream.

“I’m a team guy,” he said. “But hopefully, it all works out.”


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(nydailynews.com)
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Kenny Phillips wants to roam more

KennyPhillipsGiants
ALBANY -- There were times last season when Kenny Phillips felt so far away from the action that he was bored.

"For the most part, I was back deep, I felt like I was catching punts," the safety said Monday at Giants training camp. "It was tough. I mean, you never want to go through a game and be like 'What happened?' To hope that someone breaks [through] just so you can make a tackle, that's pretty bad."

That was supposed to change this season. With Terrell Thomas back from injury and Prince Amukamara stepping up, Phillips and fellow safety Antrel Rolle were anticipating a return to their more traditional roles.

Of course, Thomas' knee injury has put everything on hold for a while. Thomas suffered a partial tear to his surgically repaired ACL on Sunday and his future -- both long and short term -- is in doubt as he awaits a final diagnosis. Thomas Tuesday flew to California to consult with Dr. Arthur Ting, the surgeon who performed his allograft reconstruction last September. The Giants tried to sort out how to adjust to the possibility of another season without Thomas.

"When [Thomas] went down [last preseason], it threw everything into a tizzy for a while," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said earlier this week. That tizzy might be back, especially after the Giants learned Tuesday that safety Tyler Sash will be suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's policy on performance- enhancing drugs.

(Sash, in a statement, said he took the prescription drug Adderall under a doctor's care and was unaware it was on the league's list of banned substances.)
It wasn't just the loss of Thomas that created the shift in responsibilities among the safeties last season. The Giants also had four other cornerbacks go on injured reserve and spent most of the year without Amukamara. Of the top six cornerbacks on the Giants' depth chart heading into this training camp, only Corey Webster played a full season for the 2011 team.

Many of those have returned healthy, though, so even if Thomas is lost for the year again, it won't necessarily mean a realignment for Phillips -- who is in the last year of his contract -- and Rolle. At least the Giants hope it doesn't.

"We're both, I believe, playmakers, especially with the ball in the air," Phillips said. "It's just that half the time we don't get that opportunity because of the positions we were playing in. But him coming back to safety and coach Perry wanting to draw some defenses to get us more involved, I think our interceptions will go up this year."

Phillips might not have been satisfied sitting back deep in centerfield for most of the season, but he was in the right place when he needed to be on the season's final play. He was one of the Giants jumping in the end zone to knock Tom Brady's potential Hail Mary pass away from Rob Gronkowski as the clock ran out on Super Bowl XLVI.

Even after that play, Phillips said he was looking forward to getting closer to the line to make some more plays. Asked what he and Rolle can accomplish if both are allowed to roam free in the secondary, Phillips shook his head.

"Oh man," he said. "The sky's the limit."

Now he just has to wait and see how the Giants adjust to Thomas' injury and Sash's suspension to learn if he can reach that limit.


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(newsday.com)
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Kenny Phillips campaigns for more aggressive role

KennyPhillipsGiants
He made 86 tackles, picked off four passes, and helped knock away that oh-so-critical Hail Mary game-ending Hail Mary pass to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in Super Bowl XLVI.

But fifth-year safety Kenny Phillips thinks he can do even better this season, if only the Giants would let him finally play a more aggressive role.

“I had four interceptions last year,” Phillips said Monday. “I feel like this year, if I’m more involved in the defense, that number can go up. That’s really my goal.
“For the most part, I’m usually always back deep, it looks like I’m catching punts. I would like for that to change, to be more involved in the defense, in the box, just around the ball more.”

No, this has nothing to do with the fact that Phillips is entering a contract year. He’s hardly worried about money, said “money’s not an issue to me right now.” If the Giants approached him about a new deal, he’d simply tell them to “talk to the agent.”

“I don’t want nothing to do with that,” he said. “I just want to play football.”

And he’s hoping to be more than the “security blanket” he says he felt like in 2011. Last year’s camp opened with defensive coordinator Perry Fewell asking Phillips to take a “quantum leap” forward and the safety talked excitedly of being a more ball-hawking presence.

But then preseason injuries to star corner Terrell Thomas and 2011 first-round pick Prince Amukamara decimated the cornerback pool. Suddenly, a less aggressive approach in the secondary called for Phillips to play deep centerfield, protecting against long passes.

Phillips played the role willingly, and his presence and good positioning deep routinely dissuaded quarterbacks from stretching the Giants ‘D’. But Phillips’ absence in the box hurt the run defense, and it bored the former first-round pick.

At times last season, Phillips was visibly frustrated in the locker room, desperately wanting to get closer to the action.

“It was tough,” he said. “I mean, you never want to go through a game and (be) like ‘What happened?’ Just hoping someone breaks, just so you can make a tackle. That’s pretty bad.”

Phillips stressed that he’s a team player, and by season’s end he had “just accepted the role” and “I just bought into it.” The Giants saw little reason to move him out of the slot, too, because, as safeties coach Dave Merritt said, Phillips is “really good, we all know, back in the back end.”

“How many balls do you see thrown back there?” Merritt asked. “Because 21 is that good. At the same time, would you like to have Kenny down low? Yes, because he’s a big man, and he understands run-fits. But you also like to have him in that post.”

Phillips could finally get his wish this season. The Giants are largely healthy in the secondary – although Thomas still seems to be working his way back from last year’s ACL injury – and fellow safety Antrel Rolle is no longer doubling as a nickel corner thanks to the added depth.

That’s allowing Fewell to give Phillips more freedom to roam. Phillips says that in defensive meetings, neither he nor Rolle has a “strong” or “free” safety designation; both players have the latitude to blitz or drop back at any time.

“We’re both, I believe, playmakers,” Phillips said of himself and Rolle. “Especially when the ball’s in the air. Just half the time, we don’t get that opportunity, just because of the position we’re playing in. I think him going back to safety, and coach Perry’s gonna draw some defenses to get us more involved. I think our interceptions will go up.”

“No doubt about that,” Fewell added. “Kenny’s a guy with excellent athletic ability.”

And Phillips can’t wait.

“The sky’s the limit,” he said. “Just having (Rolle), another playmaker, out there, it’s gonna put me in a better position to make plays and not always be the deep safety and try to play hero.”


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(nydailynews.com)
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Kenny Phillips Sits Out OTAs

KennyPhillipsGiants
The Giants went through a one-hour, 40-minute practice on Tuesday afternoon -- the first day of their mandatory three-day veterans minicamp.

Starting cornerback Corey Webster also sat out Tuesday's practice, as did starting safety Kenny Phillips. Webster is nursing a hamstring injury, while the Giants continue to be careful with Phillips because of his history of knee injuries.


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(espn.com)
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Jason Witten: Cowboys don't throw at Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillipsGiants
Jason Witten told Giants DBs coach Dave Merritt at the 2011 Pro Bowl that the Cowboys don't even try throwing deep when Kenny Phillips is at free safety.

"Witten said, when 21 (Phillips' number) is in the post, we don't even throw anything deep because we know he can go and get it," Merritt recalled. "(Witten) said, 'But if I see anybody else back there, Romo knows, we're going deep.'" It's probably no coincidence that Phillips played more free safety in 2011 than ever before. He finished with 82 tackles and a career-high four interceptions.


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(rotoworld.com)
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