Chargers LB Phillips honored for big game
Chargers outside linebacker Shaun Phillips was picked as AFC
Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday, and actually talked
Phillips was honored for his career-high four sacks and a
31-yard interception return for a touchdown in San Diego’s 41-10
win against the Arizona Cardinals. He was one sack shy of the tying
Leslie O’Neal’s team record set Nov. 16, 1986.
Phillips deferred all credit to his teammates.
”It ain’t about me, it’s about them,” he said in a rare
interview. ”They did a great job, which allowed me to do a great
Until Wednesday, Phillips had granted only one interview since
the Chargers’ 17-14 playoff loss to the New York Jets. He was
penalized 15 yards for head-butting a Jets player, one of three
personal fouls against the Chargers during a mistake-filled
NFL players are supposed to be available to the media once a
week and after games.
The normally chatty Phillips – who also happens to be one of the
team’s most prolific tweeters – bolted before reporters were
allowed in the locker room after the Jets game. He was nowhere to
be seen after Sunday’s big performance against the Cardinals.
”I wanted my teammates to have all the glory,” Phillips told
The Associated Press on Wednesday, perhaps after a nudge from the
team’s PR staff and the Professional Football Writers of America.
”They’re the ones that did everything, that allowed me to get to
what I did. It’s all them. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have
Phillips denied that criticism of his penalty against the Jets
had anything to do with his media boycott.
”Not at all,” he said. ”I just decided I wanted to focus more
on football and less on media. I’d just rather my teammates have
all the glory and I’m just going to go out and work for us.”
When asked about that penalty in an interview earlier this year
with radio station XX 1090, Phillips said: ”If someone could do
better, then they should try out for the team. If they can’t do
better, they should shut their mouth.”
Phillips wouldn’t discuss that play on Wednesday.
”I just focus on this year, so I don’t even remember,” he
With fellow outside linebacker Shawne Merriman battling
injuries, Phillips leads San Diego with six sacks. He’s second in
the NFL behind Green Bay’s Clay Matthews, who has seven.
”I’m going to continue to stay out of the limelight as much as
possible and let them have all the glory,” said Phillips, who
added that he would speak with the media once a week.
Staying out of the limelight could be hard if Phillips and his
teammates continue to play well. The Chargers (2-2) had nine sacks
and three takeaways on Sunday and have one of the most suffocating
defenses in the league. They visit the Oakland Raiders on Sunday,
seeking their 14th straight win against their biggest rivals.
When told that Phillips credited his teammates, defensive end
Luis Castillo was surprised.
”He talked to the media? Oh, I thought he had self-imposed
media blackout. Wow,” Castillo said.
”I don’t know what to say. That’s as spectacular a performance
as you can have,” Castillo said. ”As hard as it is to get
Castillo was interrupted by fellow end Jacques Cesaire.
”God was playing Madden upstairs and he happened to give Shaun
a 99 rating,” Cesaire said. ”He was in complete control and he
just put him in the perfect place at the perfect time.”
Safety Eric Weddle, who took out two Cardinals players with one
block to clear Phillips’ path to the end zone on the interception
”It was an unbelievable game,” Weddle said. ”He’s always been
a consistent player for us. Does a lot of things – drops, rushes
the quarterback, plays the run. It was just one of those games you
dream of. He just executed and did his job.”
NOTES: The Chargers signed SS Tyrone Carter and released DE
Alfonso Boone. … Merriman (calf) and G Louis Vasquez (knee) were
limited in practice while LB Brandon Siler (foot) and S Darrell
Stuckey (hamstring) didn’t practice.