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A 12-Year Veteran, Daniels Faces the Future

Phillip Daniels is feeling a sense of urgency.

In the aftermath of the Redskins' losses to New York and Green Bay earlier this season, the veteran defensive end made sure to keep his focus--and his teammates' focus--on the Redskins' next opponent.

"I'm moving forward," he said. "We've got a new team this year. We've got new players on defense helping us out. I'm confident that we're going to get the job done this year."

Daniels is a different player in 2007. Now in his 12th NFL season, he lost about 10 pounds in the offseason and got down to 276 pounds. His diet in the offseason consisted of more fruits and vegetables and less sugar, fried foods and bread.

He said he feels years younger.

"I feel a lot lighter," he said. "I'm quicker, faster, everything, so I think I did the right thing by going on a strict diet and working out the way I did this offseason. That helped me out a lot."

Daniels' customary position is left defensive end, but he also sees time at tackle on third-down and passing situations.

He played tackle earlier in his career with the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears, and even in his first few years with the Redskins after signing as an unrestricted free agent in March 2004.

Daniels said that if Redskins coaches want to move him inside at times this season, and put faster players like Marcus Washington or Chris Wilson at left end, he's fine with it.

"I can push the pocket," he said. "It may benefit us more as a team for me to be inside."

Daniels has amassed 57 career sacks, including the half-sack of Brett Favre in the Oct. 14 game at Green Bay.

In 2005, he posted eight sacks, one below his career high. The total included four in a late-season victory on the Dallas Cowboys to tie the Redskins' all-time single game mark. (Diron Talbert and Dexter Manley also had four in one game.)

Then came his injury-riddled 2006 season in which he tallied only three sacks on a squad that recorded 19, a league-low and franchise-record low.

Given that this is his 12th NFL season, the career twilight for most NFL players, Daniels admits that he's feeling an urgency to play--and win--in the Super Bowl.

"That's the main thing," he said. "That's what I want. That's why I work so hard, and hopefully this is our year. It's tough to get it, and a lot of guys have left this league without getting one.

"I don't have one yet, and this is my 12th season, so I really stress getting it. We've got a lot of young guys here that can help us get there."

Falling short, like the Redskins did in tough losses to the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers earlier this season, only makes Daniels more determined.

"We just have to learn to finish," he said. "We're still a good team."

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