Jordan Phillips quickly danced into the hearts of Bills fans with some big plays in his debut against the Titans.
He has a complicated background, both in the NFL and in his childhood.
The energy everyone saw Sunday? That’s just him. It’s his routine and something he uses for intimidation.
“That’s just how I get going,” Phillips said. “It’s not for anybody else but me. I just gotta get myself going and get myself into the game.”
On a defense with high energy guys already like Shaq Lawson and Jerry Hughes, Phillips fits in perfectly.
“He’s nasty about it. So, when I’m out on that field, I be feeling that energy,” Lawson said. “I got juice, but he make me more juiced.”
“Everybody has a different role on our defense and on our team. He brings that high energy,” safety Micah Hyde said. “I just told him, ‘keep that up. Do what you can do to keep the crowd in it. Keep the defense in it. Keep the players in it’.”
Phillips was slated to be a starter for the Dolphins in preseason. He has endured questions about his effort since college and that continued into his four year stint with the Dolphins.
During Miami’s blowout loss to the Patriots, Phillips only played 25% of snaps and got into a sideline argument with an assistant coach. The Dolphins released him the next day.
“I’m happy it’s done,” Phillips said. “Everybody needs a fresh start. I wish it would have went a little bit different. I’m happy to get out of there and happy to have a fresh start.”
Phillips got his start in life a few miles outside of Wichita in Towanda, Kansas. It wasn’t easy.
His father has been in prison for most of Phillips’ life and has never been in the picture. His mother was killed in a car accident when he was two years old.
Phillips was raised by his grandparents, but his grandmother had a stroke when he was in the sixth grade. She fell into a coma. His grandfather, already in his 70’s, found being a single parent to Phillips more than he could handle.
He was taken in by a friend’s family. Shelley and Kody Kinder (pronounced KIN-der) became his parents and his friend Kanyon became more like a brother.
The Kinders raised him and pushed him to do better in school. Phillips says he would not be in the NFL without their help.
And they weren’t alone.
“When they say it takes a village to raise a kid, that’s exactly what my story was,” Phillips said. “They were one of the many families that helped me and helped me get to where I need to be. Everything goes out to them and everybody that helped me.”
Phillips does still keep in touch with the Kinders, but he was recently officially adopted by a different family.
They serve as the grandparents to his 18 month old son Malik. He calls them his “backbone.”
“They take good care of me. They do a lot for me,” Phillips said.
Helping him to do his dances for the Bills on Sundays.