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Phillips pleads not guilty on Graham hit but expects fine

File photo of Giants safety Kenny Phillips during

File photo of Giants safety Kenny Phillips during the first day of mini camp in East Rutherford, N.J. (June 16, 2009) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Kenny Phillips hasn’t been fined by the league for his hit on Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. Yet.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to get one,” the safety said. “Some of my friends around the league have been texting me saying they’re going to help me out so I’m not worried about it. I’ll be alright.”

He’s also glad Graham was alright. The tight end had his legs wrapped up and was turning towards the goal line when Phillips blasted him and splattered him over backwards.

“I went to school with Jimmy,” Phillips said. “We came into (The University of Miami) together, we’re actually friends even though he played basketball. I was trying to make sure he was alright, which he was. We talked and laughed about it after the game.”

Not everyone was aware of their connection. When Phillips bent over to talk to Graham, some Saints probably thought he was jawing at him. A few pushes were exchanged between the Giants and the Saints before things settled down.

“I guess they thought I was trying to get at him when really I was just trying to make sure he was straight,” Phillips said. “They didn’t know we were friends and teammates … My teammates were right there to back me up when they were trying to push me out of the way. That was a good thing.”

Phillips was flagged for an illegal hit on the play, but does not think he did anything wrong.

“I don’t hit people illegally,” he said. “I think it was very legal. I didn’t hit with the helmet, I didn’t launch at him, it wasn’t helmet to helmet. I was just trying to separate him from the ball.”

New York Sports