The Broncos needed a pass rusher. The Broncos found a pass rusher. Eventually.
After weeks of speculation that the Broncos would sign former Colts defensive end/linebacker Dwight Freeney to replace Elvis Dumervil, the Broncos signed linebacker Shaun Phillips. They’ll make him a defensive end.
And he’s fine with that.
“I played [down] all the time in San Diego, so I was up and down most of the time, but I’ve played defensive end my whole career,” Phillips said, via comments distributed by the team. “In San Diego I was more like a hybrid — I had my hand down 55 percent of the time, and I was in a two-point stance the other 45 percent. It’s comfortable for me. I’m a natural defensive end that [the Chargers] moved to linebacker, and so for me it’s like going back home for me if I have to put my hand in the dirt.”
“It’s going to be fun because of his work ethic,” Phillips said of Manning. “He demands the best out of himself and the best out of the people around him. I’m looking forward to playing with Peyton. I’m just going to tuck my head and just go out there and do what I got to do. I know Peyton is going to go out there and give his all, so I would feel bad if I wasn’t giving my all for him as well.”
The Broncos need all they can get from Phillips. Dumervil’s shoes will be hard to fill. And he’ll be trying to put both shoes up the rear end of Peyton Manning on the first Thursday night of the regular season.