Is Veteran Kenny Phillips the Giants Top Safety?

September 29, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD – Today via the New York Giants Twitter account, defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell said safety, Kenny Phillips ‘has been balling’. What exactly does that mean to you and I? Is Phillips the ‘top dog’ over Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant? I will break down Kenny Phillips’ career with you starting all the way back to his days playing college ball. Plus, I will share with you whether or not I agree with Perry Fewell’s comment made earlier today.

Before the NFL

After playing college ball at the University of Miami, safety Kenny Phillips was picked by the Giants in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. During his freshman year in college, Phillips was ranked third on his team, recording 93 tackles and one INT, after starting 11 games at free safety. Despite missing three games due to injury, Phillips continued his steller preformance the following year by starting ten games at strong safety and racking up 73 tackles and 4 INTs. He would set a career high in tackles his junior year with 95 total and he also picked off two passes. Phillips then decided it was time to take on the NFL.

Kenny’s NFL Career Begins

After the Giants lost safety Gibril Wilson to free-agency during the 2008 off-season, Phillips was most likely going to be competing for the vacant position at free safety. The Giants wasted no time, offering him a five-year contract worth $11 million dollars. Phillips did not obtain the sole starting job at free safety, he split duties at the position with Michael Johnson. He preformed rather well throughout his rookie year getting playing time in all 16 games and starting in 3 of those games. He recorded 67 tackles and grabbed one INT. Unfortunately, Phillips’s second year was shortened after he suffered a season ending knee injury. He got back on the field in time for the 2010 season opener against the Carolina Panthers as a starter. It was also the first time he would be playing alongside safety Antrel Rolle. Phillips started his season off with a bang by managing a few tackles and stealing one from Panther’s QB, at the time, Matt Moore.  He continued to be a top performer for the Giants defense, recording 77 tackles during the 10′ season.

Performance This Season

Has Phillips preformed well enough after three weeks for  defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell to say he “has been balling”? I would have to say DEFINITELY. Phillips has already wreaked havoc in the secondary by making 33 tackles in only three weeks, almost half of his career high of 77 tackles. He has shut down some key scoring plays by opposing offenses and has just flat out impressed me these past three weeks. I believe that having a safety with the ability to make tackles and kill potential scoring plays such as Phillips, is essential to winning games. On top of the 33 tackles, he has one INT. Of course many Giants fans would like to see more, but remember, we are only three weeks into the season. It is still a good start for him because he has only had one INT per season thus far.

With all of that being said, I would most definitely have to back up Perry Fewell’s comment and say that Phillips is the best safety on the team right now.

Spencer Conlin –

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