Phillips has to 'learn to hate" the Giants

March, 16, 2013
3/16/13
12:59
PM ET
Kenny Phillips admits "it's weird" being on the other side of a bitter NFC East rivalry.

And he is going to "have to learn to hate" the Giants. Phillips left the Giants for the Eagles on Thursday for a one-year deal.

"I just knew I didn't like the Eagles," Phillips said at his introductory news conference on Friday, according to CSNPhilly.com. "You're playing against them for so long, that's what you were taught as a Giant. Just like the Eagles were taught, you don't like the Giants. That's just how it goes.

"It's weird. It's definitely weird," he added. "But at this point I can't say I hate the Giants. When I was with the Giants I kind of disliked the Eagles. But I can't just say right now I hate the Giants. I guess I'll have to learn to hate them."

Phillips, 26, was drafted by the Giants in the first round in 2008. He underwent microfracture surgery on his knee in 2009 and has been trying to regain the explosive playmaking abilities he had prior to the surgery.

The Giants, who are limited by their salary cap, let Phillips walk in free agency with bigger priorities, like free agent left guard Kevin Boothe, still unsigned.

The Giants have Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown (a restricted free agent who was tendered a second-round RFA tender), Will Hill, newly signed Ryan Mundy and Tyler Sash at safety.

"Just basically a new start," Phillips said when asked why he left New York for Philadelphia. "I'm thankful that the Giants drafted me. I won a Super Bowl with the team, had some great friendships and they're a great organization.

"But it's just time for a new start," he continued. "I looked at the season (the Eagles} had last year, and I heard a lot of good things about (them) before I signed. And they're bringing in guys to make this team better, and I just want to be a part of it."

So now Phillips has the next several months to try to develop some hatred for his old team.

One thing he hopes to show this coming season is that his knee is healthy.

"It feels good," said Phillips, who also missed nine games last season with an MCL injury. "Since the season ended, I’ve been rehabbing five days a week and continue to get strong.

"I took my physical (Friday), and the doctors liked what they saw," he added. "If they didn't, I wouldn't be sitting here. I'm 100 percent right now, and I'm just ready to get back to work."

Connor visit: CSNPhilly.com also reported that linebacker Dan Connor will visit with the Giants.

Connor started eight games in 2012 for the Cowboys and had 56 tackles. He played in Carolina from 2008-11 and has a total of 212 tackles in five seasons.

The Giants are in the market for linebackers with middle linebacker Chase Blackburn a free agent.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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