When the lockout ended last July, Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels was prepared to return to Washington for his 16th season in the league. The 38-year-old strongman ultimately sat out the 2011 season, but not from a lack of desire on his part.
He’s just passionate about football. And lifting weights.
Throughout a difficult Redskins season, Daniels remained loyal to his teammates and fans, by continually offering his support for the Burgundy and Gold. Coincidentally, this made him the perfect candidate to step in as the new Redskins Director of Player Development for the 2012 season.
Here’s the nameplate to prove it:
Moving forward, Daniels will have to adjust to life on the sidelines as a liaison between the players and the coaching staff. He chatted with the folks over at ESPN 980 about his new role in the organization, and how it has been tailored to fit him:
I’m here to help players get what they need, and also help coaches with anything they may need…That’s on and off the field; football, as well as off the field.
Playing for 15 years, you see a lot and you learn a lot. If I can give that knowledge back to the young guys and the players on this team, hopefully we can reach all of our goals.
One such player that’s looking to learn from Daniels is rookie defensive end Jarvis Jenkins. Not only does he play the same position on the field, but he would like to learn a training regimen from Daniels that will allow him to dominate and prolong his career as well.
“I watched the Youtube videos of Phil after I was drafted last April,” Jenkins told me yesterday. “He’s ridiculously strong. I haven’t met with him yet, but I’m definitely going to pick his brain for training ideas once I get healthy.”
Having a recent NFL player in this position on a young team gives Daniels instant credibility. But in order to bolster his coaching credentials, Daniels said that he’s turned to the likes of Joe Gibbs, Gregg Williams, Greg Blatche and Chris Samuels for advice:
I’ve talked to a lotta people…and everybody that I talked to, told me I was perfect for this job. I wanna give it a try and see how it is.
I think I can help the Redskins out a lot. Not only will the players learn a lot from me, but I’ll learn a lot from them also.
An obvious personal note for Phillip, is that his son, DaVaris Daniels, just finished up his redshirt freshman year at Notre Dame. With the conflicts of NFL travel days on Saturday competing with NCAA gameday, Daniels had to weigh his options with his son in mind:
My goal is to get my feet wet, and maybe get into coaching down the road.
I spoke with him about it, and he knows that coaching is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. He actually told me to go ahead. ‘Get your feet wet and get in the door.’
I told him that I’ll see a couple games during the year. And the good thing about Notre Dame is that they’re on TV every week. Notre Dame does a good job of sending out the film too, so I’ll watch the film, I’ll DVR it, and I’ll be watching it on TV too.
I’ve raised him the right way to be strong and go out and do his job. He’ll be fine without me.
Any son of Phillip Daniels better be physically strong, but it’s good that the two have this worked out. Before his retirement as a player, Daniels expressed interest in playing until his son was in the league.
Now, he’ll never line up against his son, but he does get a chance to help shape his and many other future from the sidelines.