How much longer can Phillip Daniels play?
He turns 38 years old on March 4. He has played in more than 200 NFL games in 15 seasons. He has 62 career sacks but he is relied on as more of a run-stuffing defensive end at this stage of his career.
And yes, he plans on playing in 2011 – preferably in Washington.
"I think I have another couple years in me," Daniels said after he was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 20. "But I just take it one year at a time."
Daniels enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent for the third consecutive year.
He said he has not had any contract negotiations with the Redskins thus far.
"I talked to [head coach Mike Shanahan] when he put me on injured reserve and he just told me to get ready for next year," Daniels said. "That's all I can go off of right me...If they call me back, I'll be ready to go."
Shanahan said in his season-ending press conference that he wanted a younger roster in 2011, but veterans such as Daniels may earn a role given their experience in the scheme.
Last season, Daniels played for the first time in a 3-4 scheme.
He played in 14 games, with one start, as part of a defensive line rotation. He posted 33 tackles and two sacks last season.
He suffered an abdominal injury in Week 15 at Dallas and was sidelined for the season.
"I feel like I had a good season, going in as a backup making plays," he said.
Daniels believes his off-season regimen – which includes power-lifting competitions – helps his body better adjust to the grind of the NFL season. This offseason he plans to add Pilates and yoga to his workouts so he can improve his flexibility.
"My goal is to come back stronger," Daniels said.
And Daniels has bought in to Shanahan's disciplined approach, saying the organization is set up for success.
"We only won two more games than we did last year, but we learned two new schemes," Daniels said. "We saw young guys step up at the end of the year – that's a positive. Those guys will come back and help us. Add a few [free agents] and we'll be fine."
"When you look at teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore, players there have been in those systems for a long time. Then when young guys come in, they don't develop any bad habits, they just come in and take over.
"The older guys here – we hadn't played in a 3-4 before so we tended to revert back to what we know. We had to learn new technique and new ways of doing things. That comes with time."