Linebacker Jason Phillips wasn't expecting to be among the select players to sign on the first day of free agency. After all, he wasn't commanding big money or a long-term deal. But when his agent told him the Eagles had called, the decision to come to Philadelphia pretty much made itself.
"As soon as we were allowed to start talking to teams, my agent called me and said Philly was interested, and I got a chance to talk to him about it and threw out a deal and was ready to roll," Phillips said. "In free agency, you're going to want to go to a team that's going to win some games. And Philadelphia's one of those teams that's going to win some games in the next few years, so I'm glad to be part of it."
Phillips was a force on special teams last season, leading the Panthers with 16 special teams tackles (as a comparison, linebacker Akeem Jordan led the Eagles with 15 last season). He also made his first two career starts in 2012, finishing the season with 10 combined tackles and a forced fumble. While he's here primarily to help improve the Eagles' special teams, Phillips echoed a sentiment that's been common among the Eagles' new signings – he's here to help the Eagles win by doing anything and everything he can.
"I'm definitely coming in to help – especially with the returners that they have here, one block and they're gone," Phillips said. "Special teams is a huge part of the game. It can completely change the outcome of what happens. To be able to come into an organization like this and contribute in any way possible, I'm more than happy to do that."
Phillips has only been in Philadelphia a short while. But in talking with a few of his new teammates, he can see what kind of program head coach Chip Kelly and the Eagles are building.
"Chip Kelly is obviously Chip Kelly. He's a great coach. He hired a great coaching staff. Just something about the Philadelphia Eagles. I feel like it's going to be a good couple of years for them," Phillips said. "From what I can tell, a lot of the guys they brought in are tough, smart, legit players. No egos, and they're here to make the Philadelphia team everything it can be. From what I can tell, the guys they've brought in are those type of guys. That is the type of team that Coach Kelly's trying to bring together."
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