Kelce, Lane Johnson Missing From First Team

The Eagles’ fourth overall pick toiled quietly in the background Monday, running with the second team while Dennis Kelly got the reps at right tackle with the ones.  Jason Kelce — wearing a large brace on his right leg — got some work in but sat out teams drills, giving way to Dallas Reynolds. Evan Mathis‘ only appearance during practice was on Twitter. 

The starting five up front that most envision looks something like this:

LT: Jason Peters
LG: Mathis
C: Kelce
RG: Todd Herremans
RT: Lane Johnson

But on Monday, the first unit looked like this:

LT: Peters
LG: Danny Watkins
C: Reynolds
RG: Herremans
RT:  Kelly

Big difference. Just how close are we to seeing this line in its (presumed) most potent form?

Kelce admitted Monday that his surgically-repaired knee is “not 100 percent by any means” but said he is making progress. The 25-year-old, who is coming off a torn MCL and partially torn ACL, expects to be more involved during the June minicamp, but will likely still be limited. The trainers want to avoid unnecessary risk as they work to get the knee stronger. He anticipates being cleared the day before training camp starts.

“At training camp we expect to hit the ground running, full go, just like everybody else out there,” he said.

Mathis (ankle surgery) is also expected to be ready for camp.

Johnson’s timeline for when he will join the first team is a little less defined. By his own admission he relied heavily on his athleticism at Oklahoma and needs to improve in the technical aspect of the game. Kelce said that the veterans are taking Johnson under their wing. They realize that this is someone who will be getting playing time before long, so it’s in their best interest to help coach him up.

“Obviously at some point he’s going to be thrown in there with the starters,” said Kelce.”I don’t know when that will be. But you don’t draft someone fourth overall without the anticipation of him starting some games for you. I think it will be an ongoing process. Once they think he feels comfortable enough. You don’t want to throw him in there right away where all of a sudden his head is spinning because he is thinking about too many things. You kind of want to ease him in there.”

Johnson isn’t sure when his promotion might come.

“I’m just kind of going with the flow right now,” he said. “I think right now they are trying to maximize my reps [so I can] get the feel of things.”

The fact that Herremans is already seeing time inside suggests that the Eagles are counting on Johnson grabbing the starting right tackle spot sooner rather than later.

Herremans (dislocated foot) said that he deals with “old man stiffness every once in a while” but otherwise isn’t feeling the effects of last year’s injury. Peters (Achilles rupture) believes his issues are in the past as well.

“Just come watch me play,” he said. “I know what I’m going to do when I’m out there.”

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  • TXEagle11

    Chip need to find a center. Quickly. Not confident Kelce will be ready or hold up for 2013 and the thought of Dallas Reynolds starting again – or even making the team – makes me queasy.

    • Richard Colton

      Kelce looked good as a rookie under Mudd, but yeah, I feel the same way. This is his season to prove that he wasn’t a one year wonder. I’m hoping he’s the real deal, because he’s a guy you can root for (not many of those guys on the “Dream Team”)

      • Token

        Hes a guy thats been vastly overrated by Eagles fans. Maybe its because he has a cool beard, dont really know. But even on his best day he never looked like a higher end center. I think he was just better than the slop we had at the position for awhile.

        • http://www.facebook.com/todd.orange.1 Todd Orange

          Any one of the places that keeps track of stats of relevant nature i.e. Pro Football Focus had Kelce as one of the top Centers in the league before his injury. Overrated is not the case he is solid, but smaller, we’ll have to wait and see if he can function in the new offense that much is understood.

          • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

            Kelce’s role in the “New Offense” doesn’t change. What set him apart was his ability to read the defense and work in tandem with either guard in the zone blocking scheme the Eagles adopted. This regime will use the same zone blocking scheme.

            The question is with his heeling knee will he still be effective rolling off of combo blocks to target linebackers.

          • HipDaDip

            Link please

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            There’s google for that

        • GEagle

          over rated? He is a young center still coming into his own, who contributed to a good line as a rookie…

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            Matt Kalil

          • Richard Colton

            what about him?

          • GEagle

            Are you seeing imaginary question marks? Lol

        • Mac

          Did you notice a difference between having Kelce and not having Kelce last year?

          If you did, I rest my case.

          If you didn’t, I also rest my case (but for a different reason).

          • illadelphia21

            Weak argument/straw man. I don’t think that Kelce is “vastly overrated” but I did notice a difference, that the best left tackle in the game wasn’t there more than noticing Kelce’s absence. Or maybe you were just noticing how badly Reynolds was and w/ a capable backup, there might have been less of a dramatic effect on what we noticed.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          There is a bit of truth in that statement, considering when Kelce won the position from Jamal Jackson, Eagles fans were calling for the return of Jackson who was the staple of an Offensive Line which surrendered 48 and 49 Sacks consecutively in the two seasons before Kelce.

          • illadelphia21

            Kelce never won anything over Jackson. Mudd handed him the starting role based on his want/need for a smaller athletic quicker line. That’s why a lot of fans had a problem w/ that change initially. To Kelce’s credit, he proved that he was or in fact could be a capable starter. However he’s always needed to get stronger and we would have seen whether he improved on the strength aspect of his game but due to the injury we have to wait until this year.
            And furthermore, yes Jackson was apart of the line that gave up “48 and 49 sacks consecutively”, yet he was hurt in at least one of those years and for a good part of the season(s) the team had to deal w/ Mike McGlynn at center who couldn’t pick up an A gap blitz if it was right in front of his face…which every time it was!!!
            But by your logic, I guess Peters should have been replaced at a LT and Todd should have been replaced at LG. Cause incase you didn’t know, they were part of those lines also.

          • xlGmanlx

            And Jackson’s injury was also the beginning of the end for 5 and Reid. He wasn’t exactly the worst guy we had and he was way bigger than Kelce. I feel like Kelce can get overrun at the point of attack.

      • CJ

        He’s young, athletic, should be a good scheme-fit, and not terrible. Well, put it this way, the line got worse when Reynolds started, lol. Kelce really only played one season as a late round rookie, it’s hardly time to write him off. That said, it’s not a ringing endorsement either, and you need a center you can trust to make the calls at the line and keep the QB alive. Dan Koppen is out there still, but that’s about it unless you think they’ll give Foles center in college, who is a UDFA with the team, a shot at the starting gig already.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          With Kelce recovering, it’s doubtful the Eagles will elect to keep a center, but rather a swing guy who can play multiple positions effectively on the line that is comfortable with their scheme.

          At this point there’s no credible swing guy in camp, or not one who’s stated his case for the position.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      I’m feeling the same way. Reynolds was a complete disaster at center in 2012 and is no better in calling protection and recognizing pre snap stunts and blitz then Watkins.

      I’d rather see Kelce shelved for 6 weeks then return less than 100%

  • yat

    Any word on how Peters looks? He made this oline go in ’11

    • GEagle

      Well, he was running hurdles in March, hasn’t missed any drills or activity..But I’m also dying to hear how he looks…the playlist took re event lol jk

      • Warhound

        “…the playlist took re event lol jk…” What?

    • illadelphia21

      He basically answered that in an interview yesterday. Well sorta…
      Reporter: ‘Jason do you think your back to 100%?’
      Peters: ‘ You seen me out there what do think!’
      This goes on for a few times until the reporter finally say that Peter’s looked good out there and then Peter’s like, ‘Well there you have it.’
      Sort of a awkward exchange!

  • GEagle

    Would anyone actually be happy with seeing Lane be given the Starting spot from day one? I expect him to be the starter in September, but give him nothing. make him work for it

    • Richard Colton

      good point. and anyway, we know that Lane will be the starting RT (barring injury) week one. What we don’t know is what Dennis Kelly can do. You like him, but he’s still a mystery to me.

      • xlGmanlx

        Some might think he could flourish under a new system and staff. I personally believe the old regime didn’t coach up players well. They selected some good/great talent, but I don’t see them taking projects and turning them into stars or plucking freakshow talent and exploiting every ounce of potential. Kelly’s staff might not either, but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

        I personally am interested at his potential over Kelce who I am not sold on so if this guy could provide assets to get an upgrade at center, i’m all ears.

      • GEagle

        I like him in terms of, being able to develope into something that can help us…whether its a capable backup or starter, we won’t know for another year or two

  • GEagle

    Hahahahaha Tebow was offered the BACKUP QB spot of the Philadelphia Soul….PRICELESS

  • jon h

    Peters and Herramans are on the field together – that’s the most important thing

  • xlGmanlx

    I love how Kelce tried to play it off like we were going to see him anytime before real camp starts? Is he behind schedule? What is the deal?

    • Jack Waggoner

      Easing in after a long layoff. He’s ready to do very light work, and that’s what he’s doing.

  • Traveler

    That’s an awesome looking motor home in West Chester for the price! Does everything work & does it run ok?

  • Byron C Mayes

    What’s the cheapest *new* motorhome? That would be a better comparison. After all, even the Palazzo won’t be worth full price once it rolls off the lot. :)

  • CalvinOliver

    Wow the elemment palazzo looks great, if they keep making caravans of this quality it won’t be surprising to see motorhome sales rise.