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With James Butler Gone, Kenny Phillips Will Emerge As The Star Safety

Vinny YeagerCorrespondent IMarch 11, 2009

With the St. Louis Rams signing free agent safety James Butler, who has started for the New York Giants the past two seasons, Kenny Phillips will emerge as that star safety the Giants envisioned him to be when they drafted him last season.

Phillips, who saw some action last year when the Giants brought in the nickel or dime package and on special teams, will now be the starting strong safety entering training camp, along side of Michael Johnson.

The Giants have high hopes for the safety, considering the fact that they did draft him with their first round draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. He will now be on the field full-time, instead of just having a minimum role and limited playing time.

In his rookie campaign, he did pick up valuable experience and did start one game against the Eagles in the middle of the season. You could tell from the first time you saw him in preseason to the playoffs, Phillips will be an outstanding defensive back for the Giants when he gets the chance.

His chance has now arrived and he should make every minute of it.

The Giants, in the history of their franchise, have never really had that "star" defensive back. The big stars usually came out of the front seven like Lawrence Taylor,  Carl Banks, Sam Huff, Michael Strahan, and Harry Carson.

Granted, the Giants did have some good players in the secondary like Everson Walls, Jason Sehorn, and Mark Collins, but not big time, superstar players.

Kenny Phillips can change that tradition and be a standout player on an already very good Giants defense.

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