"It's been my goal. It was my goal when I first came in here," Phillips said in the locker room after practice. "I knew it was going to take some time. I knew we got a schedule that we'd have to keep up with. … For them to already have me listed as a starter, I must be doing something right. I need to go out there and continue to get more reps and work on my technique."
Let's hope Phillips, who has yet to test his knee for a full game, picks up where he left off a year ago. He seemed headed for stardom, and let's hope it still happens for him.
Deon Grant has been supportive of Phillips, and says he will continue to be. That, however, does not mean the veteran is happy about stepping aside.
"My goal was to come into the league and play and to start, and to start, and start and get to a point where it as time that I clearly couldn't start any more. I've been doing that up to this point, so it's going to be hard if I'm not starting, especially when I know I'm not a backup. If I knew I was a backup, then I don't think it would be hard if I wasn't' starting."
If he's not starting, Grant said he's not sure how he'll react.
"I can't sit here and give you an answer because I've never been in that position so I can't give you an answer. I could sit here and lie to you, but I'm authentic. I'm going to support my man, and teach him everything I know and have seen, but as far as me personally, we'll see.
I can't feel sorry for Grant, even if he is a great guy and a terrific addition to the Giants. He knew the deal when he came to New York -- that Phillips would be the guy if he was able. So, this should not come as a shock to him.
By now, you have likely heard about Brandon Jacobs taking exception to some of the questions he received from media members Wednesday. Well, check out Mike Garafolo's report for the locker room video.
Defensive tackle Chris Canty is confident the Giants' defense, gashed last season by the high-powered Carolina running game, will be ready for the challenge this time.
"There's no doubt that we can stop those guys if we play our best," Canty said. "We've demonstrated in training camp and in preseason that we can stop the run. We can stop the run. Confidence comes from demonstrative performances, and so we've shown ourselves that we can do it. We're looking forward to the challenge of being able to do it on Sunday."
Canty said that the coaches have emphasized the importance of stopping the run and believes the players have taken the message to heart.
"One of the things we went into this offseason talking about was stopping the run, and I think guys have taken a little bit more ownership of it," Canty said. "The style we play defense around here and the emphasis on stopping the run, that's one of the things we want to do first and foremost. So I think just our attitude going into the situation, the approach that we're taking to it, the effort that we're putting in practice and in the field room and the weight room, hopefully that all adds up to success."