With news breaking this week that weakside linebacker safety Jermaine Phillips will be switched back to his natural position in the secondary and second year outside linebacker Geno Hayes will now assume the starting duties at weakside linebacker both players spoke briefly to Stephen Holder, of the St. Pete Times.
“It’s a big opportunity for me,” Hayes said Wednesday. “They’re putting it in my hands, and they want to see if I can man up in this situation. That’s what I’m going to do.”
“I think learning two different positions (strongside and weakside) and playing them at a high tempo, limiting mistakes and showing a lot of good hustle on tape, I’ve shown I’ve improved from last year,” he said. “I think I’ve been showing the coaches some urgency on my assignments and being on top of the details.”
“Whatever is going to help us win,” Phillips said. “I’m putting what I want or what I think will be best for me aside. I think if we adopt that concept … we’ll be fine. We’ll be a good team this year.”
“Wherever I am, I want to play my best and make the decision (to move me) hard for them,” he said. Source: St. Pete Times.com
Anwar Richardson, of the Tampa Tribune also caught up with Phillips
“It is not disappointing,” Phillips said. “I still get to go out there and play football and make plays. That’s what I wanted to do. As long as I’m doing that, I’m a happy camper.”
“I think I’ve proven I was a safety, and I moved to linebacker to help the team out,” Phillips said. “Me being the competitor I am, if I’m at linebacker, I want to play the best so they don’t move me back. If I’m at safety, I want to play the best so they don’t move me back. Source: Tampa Tribune
While neither player is quite sure if the move is a temporary one or a permanent one, both players recognize, that it’s up to them on how long they will last and there play on the field will dictate it.