Ex-Charger Shaun Phillips has been released by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday. This was the 33-year-old veterans second team during the 2014 campaign. It is hard to imagine the once ferocious and electric pass-rushing linebacker now seemingly on his way out of the game.
I know there is a lot of bad blood between Charger fans and Shaun when in 2013 he decided to take less money and play for the arch-rival Denver Broncos. It did not cushion the blow when he made this statement, “That’s why I came here (Denver), to be in this situation, to be with a team that is right there in the mix,” Phillips said, via Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post. “I want a chance at the whole thing, and that means you’re with a team that believes it, and you’re with a team that will do the work. This team (Denver) will put in the work. A lot of teams say they’re good, but the ones that really go after it, that’s what you want to be around, that’s what you want to be about.” To most, he was dead to the fans of San Diego.
Regardless of how we feel about his departure from San Diego, Shaun had an incredible career in America’s finest city. From his arrival in 2004, through 2009 the Bolts made it to the postseason in every year but one; including a chance in the AFC Championship game of 2007. But then, back-to-back-to-back playoff-less seasons, finishing 2nd in all three, finished off his career in Bolt Nation.
Phillips recorded 69.5 sacks during those formidable years in San Diego. Adding to that 7.7 sack per season average, he also recorded 6 interceptions, 40 pass deflections, 20 forced fumbles and 355 tackles. That intimidation factor that we so desperately desire here now, was in full effect when Phillips was on the field.
A year removed from leading the AFC Champion Broncos in sacks, Philip found himself in Tennessee, Indy and now on an island of life changing decisions. I had to push aside that one brief transition; those hurtful and not-so-subtle words he spoke. Rather, my memories of him crushing quarterbacks, striking fear in the opposing offenses, and his fun and candid spirit, seems to uplift my spirits. I sit here typing and remembering in awed wonderment of what Shaun brought to San Diego right from the start. Perhaps, in watching this video, you too will be amazed at recalling what Shaun and the defense looked, and felt like during those years.
Whatever Shaun decides to do, I personally wish him the best and thank him for what he contributed and brought to San Diego. Think of him how you want, but he, and others of course, brought San Diego back into the national spotlight after 8 consecutive losing seasons.
(Thanks to kcchiefsblog.com and zimbio.com for the pictures)