And on 28 of those occasions, Jason Peters was charged with blocking a defender one-on-one. No help from the tight end. No chip from the running back. Nothing.
That was one of the luxuries the Eagles had with Peters at left tackle. He could take on pass-rushers like Jason Pierre-Paul, DeMarcus Ware, and Brian Orakpo without much help.
But with Peters out, the focus is now on new left tackle Demetress Bell. When I asked offensive line coach Howard Mudd whether he planned on giving Bell some help, especially early in the season, he said he didn’t think that would be necessary.
“I think that we’re not going to have to do that,” Mudd said. “That’s the plan. That’s why we brought him here. We studied him, we liked him, we thought he had the characteristics that we could use with our techniques here, that he would really buy into those and embrace them, and it would help him.”
It was quite the vote of confidence. Mudd said Bell has been mentally sharp and asks to do things over until he gets them right.
“Because he’s athletic and he’s a tough guy, if he gets beat, he’s going to come back,” Mudd said. “I just don’t think we’re going to have a problem. Let’s just march and keep going. We don’t have to invent a new offense because Jason Peters isn’t here.”
The tests will come early for Mudd, Bell and the Eagles. The Birds have the Ravens in Week 2 and the Giants in Week 4 – two teams that finished tied for third last year with 48 sacks apiece.
You can follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.