Scouting Report: Phillip Daniels

First it was Mark Brunell. Then came Clinton Portis. Now the Redskins have turned to another area of need, signing defensive end Phillip Daniels, who was cut by Chicago earlier this week. Here's an insiders look at what they got.

Why he was cut: Daniels was going to count $5 million toward the salary cap this season. He never panned out the way Chicago hoped when it signed him to a five-year, $24-million deal four years ago. Daniels finished with 23 sacks in four years, playing mostly right defensive end. The funny thing is, he sometimes blamed the scheme for his lack of production. Now he joins his old defensive coordinator, Greg Blache, in Washington.

The good: Daniels is a strong run-stopper, perhaps now better suited for the left side where Renaldo Wynn has started the past two seasons. Daniels' strength -- he does a lot of power lifting in the offseason -- makes him good against the run. Daniels is considered an excellentworker and good locker-room presence. He has been nominated as the Bears' Man of the Year.

The bad: Daniels lacks the speed and quickness to do much damage as a pass rusher, particularly on the right side. He had only 2.5 sacks this past season, spending more time at left end.

The verdict: Not a bad signing if they just want to plug him into the rotation. Do not expect huge numbers from him. Once upon a time Daniels was considered a rising young pass rusher. Not anymore. Now he's an experienced veteran who can help in a couple ways. Perhaps he'll be a better versioin of Renaldo Wynn. Daniels can move inside on pass-rush situations, but he hasn't been effective getting to the quarterback this way. Maybe paired with someone like Jevon Kearse, Daniels can have a Marco Coleman type year, when he was first paired with Bruce Smith. Like Coleman, Daniels is considered a good character guy. Joe Gibbs has won many games with such players.


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