San Diego Chargers OLB Shaun Phillips will join the AFC Pro Bowl squad in Hawaii, replacing Pittsburgh Steelers OLB James Harrison.
“It’s huge just because of the fact that I know the work I put in,” Phillips said. “In my eyes, I try to play at a Pro Bowl level every year. It’s just good. It will give me additional motivation to keep working and never be satisfied.”
Phillips finished the season with a team-best 11 sacks and 19 pressures. Besides chasing opposing quarterbacks, he played stout against the run and in coverage, making 66 tackles and leading the linebackers with seven passes defensed. His 11 sacks are the second-most for his career and moved him into fourth in Chargers history with 56.5 for his career.
Phillips earned AFC defensive player of the week honors for his performance against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 3. He made four sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown in a 41-10 win.
It’s the first Pro Bowl invite for Phillips, who is the only representative from a defense that finished No. 1 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed. He’ll join QB Philip Rivers and G Kris Dielman as Chargers representatives. TE Antonio Gates also was selected but will not play because of a foot injury.
“One of the biggest things that kind of bothered me a little bit, I know it’s a team game, but we’ve got to have at least one player that can represent us because of the fact that we did finish No. 1 in total defense,” said Phillips, who credited his defensive teammates for making his job easier.
“This is a testament to all of the players and the coaches that we are a good defense and we will continue to be a good defense. We have to have at least one representative.”