One of the players I wanted to keep a close eye on this preseason was Kenny Phillips. After Perry Fewell said he expected the safety to make “quantum leaps” this year, his second after major knee surgery, I was REALLY curious to see him.
But there were not many times this summer that I came away from a game or practice thinking that Phillips had made any real jumps in his play from last year. Apparently Fewell felt that way too.
I asked him today if he saw any differences in Phillips this preseason and he said: “Not the leaps I wanted to see. I’m hoping that he’ll continue to grow for us, but I looked for more than what we saw in the preseason.”
Now, that wasn’t all about Phillips. And it could change a bit in the regular season.
“I didn’t always put him in those positions to see those things,” Fewell said. “Maybe I was a little bit reluctant and said ‘Well, he’ll just do this’ and ‘He’ll just do that.’ Sometimes you have to put that player in the position to see what you really want. That’s probably a little bit on him and a little bit on me.”
Now that the regular season is here, maybe Fewell will take the handcuffs off Phillips and we can see whether he can become the player we thought he would be before his knee surgery. Or not.