Phillips: "I don't know. Mo didn't come back in fall camp with the same of type fire he has had in the past. He kind of wobbled his way through. Once he saw himself on the bench, he kind of got down. Now he has started to battle back a little bit. This is a game that you have to come to work and punch the clock every day and he has not always punched the clock and brought his lunch pail."
Question: Didn't you have big hopes and expectations for him this year that he could be a big playmaker at tight end?
Phillips: "Yes we did because of the way he played in the middle of last season. He didn't finish well last year, either. We were really disappointed in the way he played in the bowl game. He stopped being physical and became a finesse player. When you are 240 or 250 pounds, you can't be a finesse player. We want Mo to be more physical and give us more effort."
Question: Can he still help this year or has he played himself out of contention to even get on the field regularly?
Phillips: "No, he can definitely help. He is so smart. You can move him around from tight end to fullback and do things with him. But he can't help if he is not playing physical. There is no way he can do that. I think the benching has got him out of that mode. He is coming to work and giving us a good day's work."
Question: Overall are you satisfied or disappointed with the tight end play?
Phillips: "I definitely am not satisfied with our whole offense because we have not done the things we would like to do. A lot of it has been the sloppy plays that have taken opportunities away from us. We have not been a turnover unit in the past. For us to turn the ball over, that is unheard of for us and we can't do that and be successful. So I am not any more pleased or upset with tight end than any other spot."
Question: Does it befuddle you that a senior like Grinter just disappeared on you the way he did?
Phillips: "Yes, he did disappear. I don't know why he would, but he did disappear. He disappeared late in the season last year and was not physical or didn't work hard. He still has time. We need him to be successful because of what he can do."
Question: Does his performance and lack of effort send a bad message to your younger players?
Phillips: "I think doing what we are doing (and benching him) sends a good message that if you don't come to work, then you don't play. I think some of the other guys have decided to step up. It has sent a message to the whole football team. It doesn't matter the status you have on this team or what you have done in the past, you have to do things in the present and he has not always done things right in the present. But he still has time to help this team and we need him to do that."