Although they’d likely trade them all away for a chance to be playing the Chiefs this Sunday, safeties Derwin James and Adrian Phillips continue to rack up accolades for their performances during the 2018 campaign.
Earlier this week, James and Phillips were named to the Pro Football Writers of America’s (PFWA) All-AFC and All-NFL teams. The Chargers are also one of only six teams in the league to place multiple players on the All-NFL squad.
James burst onto the scene as a rookie from Florida State and, while many agreed he was one of the most talented players in the entire draft, the versatile defender somehow found himself slipping in the draft. So much so that he made it all the way to #17 for the Chargers who couldn’t have been more elated to draft him. Number 33 finished his first yer as a pro by leading the team in tackles with 109 while chipping in 3.5 sacks and a trio of interceptions.
To top it all off, James became the first Chargers rookie to record over 100+ tackles and the first to be named to the All-NFL squad. He joins the Colts’ Quenton Nelson and the Seahawks Michael Dickson as the only three rookies on the team.
Phillips finished third on the team with 94 total tackles while pitching in an interception, forced fumble, and fumble recovery. Ever since the special teams ace was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl, his play took a giant step forward. The increase in intensity was visual and his momentum only compounded once he was named a First-Team All-Pro at the special teams position. The former-Longhorn was a integral part of the team’s victory over the Ravens in the playoffs and will likely take on a much bigger role in the defense going forward into next season.