The Colts Front Office didn't take today off like I hope a lot of you got to do (and as I did), as they were busy getting help for a Colts pass rush that has been very inconsistent throughout the year. The Colts claimed OLB Shaun Phillips, most recently with the Titans, on Wednesday, hoping to see him return to his former Pro Bowl form. The move was announced by Colts Owner Jim Irsay.
Reasons were unclear on why he was released by the Titans, but he was their third option behind Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley, and presumably was unhappy to be getting so few snaps. ESPN's Paul Kuharsky says the Titans are just looking to go younger with their pass rush, which I don't blame them for seeing what they have before the end of the season.
Phillips led the Broncos in sacks a season ago with 10, so it isn't like he can't be productive still in the right situation. This is a really good signing for the Colts, getting a seasoned guy (and former Boilermaker) who you know can plug right in and get to the Quarterback. The fewer plays the Colts have to blitz to get pressure, the better for the back half of the Defense. Adding Phillips should help this.
In order to make room for Phillips, the Colts waived LB Victor Butler. I'm assuming he'll end up on the Practice Squad by Friday.
Stats from Colts.com release:
Phillips, 6-3, 255 pounds, has recorded 554 tackles (397 solo), 81.5 sacks, 22 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries and seven interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, in 163 career games (121 starts). He has also posted 48 tackles (32 solo), 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in 11 postseason contests (10 starts). Phillips has totaled at least 7.0 sacks in eight of his first 10 seasons and his current sack total ranks 12th in the NFL since 2004.