Demetress Bell Likely In Line For First Start
Andy Reid said that it “will be a stretch” for King Dunlap to be ready for the Cardinals. Dunlap suffered a hamstring strain against the Ravens and will not practice Wednesday. Reid indicated he could be sidelined through Friday, opening the door for Bell to likely get his first start in an Eagles uniform.
Bell was the presumed replacement for Jason Peters at left tackle when the Eagles signed him to a five-year, $34.5 million contract in free agency. Struggling with Howard Mudd‘s blocking scheme, he lost the spot in training camp to the unheralded Dunlap and wasn’t even active in Week 1 against the Browns.
He jumped over rookie Dennis Kelly and was active in Week 2, and saw his first action as an Eagle when Dunlap went down.
“I think he’s got it,” said Todd Herremans of understanding Mudd’s system. “He just kind of got thrown out there and it was like, ‘Hey, we don’t have any other linemen. You’ve got to go out there and play tackle.’ It’s better than being able to fuss over something that didn’t go quite right or just linger on any negativity. We had a game to win, so he didn’t really have any chance to think about what happened or what was going to happen. Live games are the best way you can learn a position.”
Herremans has tried to help Bell along.
“He’ll ask some things here and there, and I don’t want to overload him or seem overbearing where I’m trying to tell him exactly how to play football, because he’s been in the league and knows how to play football, or else he wouldn’t be here,” said Herremans. “But there’s little nuances I try to feed him that are probably easier to understand from me than they are from Howard.”
According to the coaches, Bell graded out pretty well. He was given help about half of the time in his 20 snaps Sunday by Sheil’s count. There was some talk that the former Bill just relied on his old blocking technique. Reid disputed that.
“He did what he’s been taught to do, and he did a good job with that,” said Reid. “I feel like the last two, three weeks he’s really gotten a pretty good grasp of things. He looks like he feels more comfortable, and that’s an important part of it. This gives him an opportunity to get in and possibly play. We’ll see how it all works with King, and if he gets in I have full trust that he will do a great job. He’s going to take the practice snaps today, probably tomorrow and a pretty good chance on Friday, so we’ll see how it all works.”
Jeremy Maclin will not practice Wednesday as he continues to deal with a hip pointer injury.
“Jeremy actually had a good day yesterday and got treatment today; we’ll just see,” said Reid. “He is tender but he is improving.”
Maclin originally sustained his hip injury against the Browns, and was knocked out in the third quarter against the Ravens when he received another blow to the area.
Reid said that he doesn’t believe that there is risk of greater injury if Maclin plays.
The Eagles recently worked out wide receivers Brian Robiskie and DeMarco Sampson, per Adam Caplan, but neither were signed.