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Two things you didn't know about new Tennessee Titan Shaun Phillips

Two aspects of the newest Tennessee Titans game that are very underrated.

Doug Pensinger

The Tennessee Titans recently made possibly their best move in free agency when they signed former San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos edge rusher Shaun Phillips. Many know him as the edge rusher that accumulated 79.5 career sacks, (11th among active players) but he is more than that. There are two very big aspects of Shaun Phillips that most people don't realize.

1. He is one of the most versatile defenders in the league.

In one game last year (Kansas City Week 11) Phillips played three different positions very well. Not only was he a stand up rusher from the 9-tech, but he also lined up as a 7-tech (outside shoulder of the offensive tackle) and as a nickel 5-tech. Now, having a player play multiple positions isn't a merit by itself, but it is the way that Phillips played the position. As a 5-tech he jolted Eric Fisher and ripped his outside shoulder for a sack. As a stand up rusher he dipped his way underneath contact to get pressure in the backfield. As a true 7-tech he set the edge and contributed to a big TFL.

In a (frankly) better system in Tennessee than what he ran in Denver, it will be hard to see him not being used in a variety of ways to get the best matchup he possible can.

2. He is an excellent run defender for his size.

Now keep in mind, I'm not saying that Phillips is a pure run-stuffer, but for his size Phillips is a lot more active in the running game than most would expect. Usually pass rushers who are known for getting to the quarterback don't focus on playing balanced football and often have to be compensated for by having better run defenders on the field. However, Phillips is very good at reading and dissecting ZBS runs and holding his gap, and against pulling guards, tackles and fullbacks he is much better at holding his ground than most of his age and size.

Overall this is a very high quality signing for the Titans and they are a better team with him.