Adam Schefter reported today that the Broncos are going to sign former San Diego pass rusher Shaun Phillips. We've been speculating for a while here that Phillips may be in the mix for the Broncos, even if quietly. The local media has been focused on Dwight Freeney and John Abraham, but they seem to have both priced themselves out of the market.
Phillips got a one-year deal for $1 million, with another $2 million available via incentives. As far as what kind of player he is, I think we all know that he's the kind of guy you hate until he's on your team. TJ had a great comparison of Phillips to Bill Romanowski.
Phillips had a 2009 dust-up with Josh McDaniels that was well-publicized, and generally, he's kind of typical and emblematic of the bully Chargers teams of the last 7-8 years. He's all bluster and bravado when things are going well, and he's had a tendency to curl up into a ball when they start to go badly, just like the rest of the team.
As for skill set, Phillips can get to the QB, and he provides an interesting profile for this team. I've been saying for a long time that this nominal 4-3 scheme plays a lot like a 3-4. Phillips is a standup 3-4 OLB type, who's been playing in that scheme for a number of years. I think Phillips can play with a hand on the ground, but what I could really see is him playing in sub packages as a standup OLB.
Consider a 3-3 nickel grouping, with Sylvester Williams, Robert Ayers, and Derek Wolfe down, and Von Miller, Wesley Woodyard, and Phillips standing up. Where is the rush coming from? Phillips allows the coaches to get creative, because he has comfort doing different things.
Really, I think this is a good move for the Broncos, and that it's in all of our best interests to quit hating Phillips. He can provide some good snaps as a rusher, and really, that's not all he can do. Look for him to be a useful part of a versatile and effective Broncos defense.
Updated 10:25pm ET