Had the 2012 season played out differently, Jason Peters says he could have returned to his usual spot at left tackle.
“I could have, but I didn’t want to risk it with a losing season,” Peters said. “The coaches kind of held me back a little bit.”
“Since January, end of December, I’ve been 100 [percent].”
With sweat dripping down his face after a Tuesday morning workout, Peters addressed the media for the first time since injuring and then re-injuring, his Achilles’ during the 2012 offseason. Last year was difficult for the 31-year-old. He was coming off his best season as a pro, but was forced to sit back and watch as the struggling offensive line played a major role in the team’s 4-12 season.
“It hurt,” Peters said. “I was in the meetings watching film with them and showing them the corrections and stuff, but any time your team is struggling, especially your group of guys, the O-Line, it was kind of hard.”
Asked what kind of difference he could have made, Peters said, “A big difference. I’m a starter. I’m the number one offensive lineman in the league. So me being out there carries everybody else and makes them play their best. It was a big part, me not being out there, so I’m back now.”
While the question was about last year, Peters’ response offered a glimpse into his confidence. He sounded eager to get back to where he was before the injury and said doctors told him that at worst, the Achilles’ would be 98 percent of what it once was.
As for scheme, Peters said he’s not sure what to expect under Chip Kelly and Jeff Stoutland.
“We haven’t gotten into it that far,” he said. “He put some plays in yesterday, and the scheme’s pretty much the same blocking-wise, so I really don’t know the details.”
Peters’ game flourished under Howard Mudd, but the veteran is not worried about moving on to his third different position coach since joining the Eagles back in 2009.
“I’m going to do what I’ve been doing,” Peters said. “Any time I get an offensive line coach, I don’t forget what I learned from the last one. I just take what he gives me and add it on to my game. So it’s not that I’m going to throw away Howard Mudd’s stuff. I’m just going to add on what Coach Stoutland’s going to give me.
“Any player will tell you… you wouldn’t see Tom Brady change his game if he got a new coach. He’s going to be Tom Brady. So same thing I’m going to bring to the table this year. I’m going to play hard. Whatever scheme they give me, I’m going to do it 100 miles an hour.”
Speed and tempo are obviously going to be part of Kelly’s program. Peters said he has not received any instruction from the coaches to get to a certain weight, but he’d like to be at 320 before training camp, meaning he’s got 25 pounds to shed in the next few months.
“I’ll be ready for whatever the coach throws at us,” Peters said. “Whether we’re running 100 plays a game or 60, I’ll be ready for that.”