Warpath Exclusive: Q&A With: Phillip Daniels

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Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels suffered a season-ending knee injury on the first day of training camp. But he remains a constant presence at Redskins Park and attends all games, home and away.

Q: What stage are you at in your recovery?

A: I'm doing really good and I'm probably three weeks ahead of schedule. Right now in rehab I'm doing squats and a lot of lunges and strengthening right now. It's coming along pretty good. But it's been rough, man, especially when you want to be on the field and helping the team out. I'm traveling on my own to all the games, but other than that the guys are still in position to do things late in the season.

Q: Has being out gotten easier or harder as the season has gone along?

A: It's never easy being out, man. I think it gets harder. You're on the sidelines and especially late in games and you can feel you can make a difference and you can't be out there. It gets harder. For me I guess the only thing I can do is support the guys and help on the sidelines when they come out and tell them what I see. I watch the guys. Andre asks me to watch him a lot and I give him pointers. Other than that it's never easy being on IR. But I do think they need to change the rule so that if you get hurt as early as I did then you at least get a chance to come back for the postseason.

Q: Do you think that will ever happen?

A: They need to look at it. If a guy gets hurt in July and could be back in January and we're in the postseason, maybe they could come back and help the squad out. Maybe IR should just last to the end of the year and once the new year comes it's the new year. That's how it should be. Then teams have to make a decision on whether to keep you on IR or give you a fresh start.

Q: Is that something the players have talked about asking for?

A: They haven't. I just thought about it. I felt like I could easily be in that category. The way I'm going now, by the middle of January you never know how things are. I really feel like by that time you never know. They should give guys the opportunity to at least thing about it.

Q: What do you see as the reason for the lack of a pass rush?

A: We're the No. [3] defense in the league. We're reaching for some things that we're getting pressure on and getting batted balls. Those are just as good as a sack. When you're the No. [3] defense, you're doing good things. I wish people wouldn't overlook the good things. You wan the pass rush, you want sacks. There's not one guy on the team who's not trying to get them. But every year I've been here this team is based on stopping the run and getting them in third and long and then making them make bad decisions. Make a tackle and get off the field. And that's what we've been doing. A lot of teams don't get batted balls like we do and that's something they coach us to do. That's just as good as a sack. I was getting 10 a year; Demetric gets a bunch; Jason does.

Q: How much have you talked to Jason Taylor about what he's going through? Does he seem frustrated?

A: No, he doesn't. We know he can do it. He's been hurt and it's never easy when you have injuries. He wants to come out and get the sacks. His injuries won't allow him to do that. I hope by the end of the season he's back to where he needs to be. Once you're injured it's hard to come back and do the things you used to do. Jason is one of those guys we know what he can do. But to me I watch him on the left side and I don't know if he's comfortable on that side. But the thing is the injuries; that's the biggest factor.

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