After weeks of reports and rumors and what-not, Phillip Daniels officially re-signed with the Redskins today, adding yet another veteran option at defensive end.
Daniels was fired up going into training camp last year after an offseason of powerlifting, but suffered a season-ending knee injury during the very first practice of the year. Now he’s back, rested and still enormous, and very ready to make up for lost time. I had a chance to sit down with him today, shortly before he departed Redskins Park, and ask how he feels about the upcoming season.
“I feel great man, coming back,” he said. “Getting with my old buddies and coaching staff. Being on the Redskins. A chance for us to go out there and do some good things this year and win us a Super Bowl.”
On working with Albert Haynesworth:
“I haven’t met him, but the guys say he’s a good guy. They’ve met him and they talk real good about him. I’ll get a chance to meet him. I’ll be back here for the camps and stuff and hopefully I’ll get a chance to be in the same room with him and on the field with him and see how he is.”
On what a tackle like Haynesworth can do to help the defense:
“Well from my experience just being around good tackles in the league, like Cortez Kennedy and Sam Adams in Seattle and of course Ted Washington and Keith Traylor in Chicago, and now you got Cornelius and Haynesworth and you got Montgomery and Golston that are coming up and doing some good things.
“To have good tackles makes everybody around him better, especially a guy like him that can take on triple teams and double teams and those kinda things. I kinda put him in the mold as Cortez Kennedy and Cortez made everybody around him better, including the other tackles. Definitely, I think he is a guy that can really help us make more plays and get more sacks and turnovers and everything.”
On how the tackle’s push up the middle affects the defensive end:
“Well, either the quarterback is going to scramble out and run right into you or he is going to push the pocket and you can’t step up. So now you can go around the edge and don’t have to cut the corner. I mean, you don’t have to be as physical, like bull rush and those things. You take that way, get on the corner and knowing that the quarterback can’t step up you’re gonna get more sacks that way too.
“It works in two different ways as far as not allowing the quarterback to step up for one and also get the quarterback, see him coming- if you get three in there he has to scramble out and definitely helps the guys make plays on the outside. Guys just got to be where they’re supposed to be in order to make plays though in order to make those plays.”
On if he has the same high expectations for this year that he had for last:
“More. More. The injury actually helped me, I think it helped me. I’m stronger this year. It gave me a year’s rest, which is good for me at my age. Also, I’m still in powerlifting. I’m stronger than I was at this point last year.
“So yeah, I’m even more excited about this year, coming back and especially coming back from an injury and showing people that I still can do it. Like I said, last year was the first year time I powerlifted and I expected to come in and do big things. Okay, people still haven’t seen me after I powerlift, so I’m still going to come in here and plan on doing big things this year.”
On the possibility of still entering a powerlifting competition:
“Right now I’m working out just to play football. I’m doing two workouts a day. One in the morning, which is the speed and running and conditioning and bag drills, sled work. The one in the afternoon is my powerlifting. I’m just working out to play football right now.
“Of course, me and the guys talked about doing one in June, but I’m not sure. I’m not sure if I’m gonna do one. Of course, I know if I did one I would squat 800. But at the same time, we’re just going to take a wait and see approach and see how I feel and if it’s worth doing it.
“Sometimes you have to not do things. I mean, I don’t want to put myself in jeopardy or get hurt when I need to be here, plus my knee, hurting my knee … I don’t want to put a lot of pounding on it, so I’m kind of taking it easy this year, even though I’m stronger than I was last year, I’m taking it easy, working my way up to where I need to be out on the field and play football.”
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