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VANCOUVER — The BC Lions announced this morning that defensive back Ryan Phillips has signed a contract extension through the 2016 season.
A veteran of nine standout seasons, Phillips was a 2013 West Division and CFL All-Star after notching 36 tackles and two interceptions over 18 regular season games. The league-wide recognition last season marked the fourth time the Eastern Washington grad has earned All-Canadian status (2007, 2010 and 2012).
“Ryan is one of the veteran players that we’re counting on to show our defence and our team the kind of commitment, teamwork and selflessness it’s going to take to be a champion,” said VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono.
“As a four-time CFL All-Star including last season, Ryan continues to play at a very high level and I believe his greatest season is yet to come.”
With 37 career interceptions to his credit, Ryan’s penchant for big plays has only been exceeded by his durability. The Seattle, Washington native has not missed a single regular season game since coming to the CFL in 2005 and has now logged an incredible 162 consecutive games-played, the longest active streak in the CFL.
“I cannot say enough about Ryan’s leadership and accomplishments during his time as a Lion,” said head coach Mike Benevides. “He’s been with us for the better part of a decade and we will be leaning on him not only as a key component of our defence, but also as part of our core leadership group.”
Phillips will enter his 10th CFL season this June and is currently tied with former Lions great Norm Fieldgate with 388 defensive tackles while sitting second behind Larry Crawford with 666 interception return yards. Ryan has appeared in 13 playoff games and enjoyed two successful trips to the Grey cup in 2006 and 2011.
“Signing this extension is very satisfying for me for a number of reasons,” said Phillips from his home in Seattle. “Having an opportunity to play in front of my friends and family is very important to me and I’m grateful to the Lions for making that happen for years to come. I’m also honoured to play alongside some of the best defensive players in the CFL such as Dante Marsh, Cord Parks, Adam Bighill and Solomon Elimimian. We have a great team here and more specifically we have great defensive players that are not concerned with personal recognition but instead, simply winning championships.”