Eagles Wake-Up Call: Evan Mathis Back In the Mix

Well, this was supposed to be a positive blog post about the Eagles’ offensive line. Then word of Jason Peters‘ arrest for drag racing and  resisting came down last night, and suddenly that didn’t quite seem appropriate.

But if you’re looking for a reason to be optimistic, shift your focus away from the Pro Bowl tackle and toward Pro Bowl hopeful Evan Mathis.

The 31-year-old had minor surgery on his ankle this offseason and the expectation was that he wouldn’t be on the field again until training camp. But during last week’s minicamp, he was back in the mix.

“I would go real hard in rehab for a day, I would take a day off and come back, and all the drills I was doing I felt better at, and that kept happening,” said Mathis. “Then I got to the point where I was pushing everything full speed and I was like, ‘Well, there is no point in me waiting anymore. I want to practice. Let’s go.’

“It felt great. The best feeling was mentally, being able to get out there again, because it’s really annoying when you are over there rehabbing and everybody else is over here practicing.”

Two weeks ago at OTAs, the first-team offensive line looked like this:  Dennis Kelly, Allen Barbre, Dallas Reynolds, Todd Herremans, Lane Johnson. It was difficult not to flash back to 2012.

Amazing what a week can do. By the time the mandatory minicamp rolled around, Peters had returned from his absence  for personal reasons, Jason Kelce (knee) began participating in team drills and Mathis re-entered the fold. Suddenly, the line looked like this: Peters, Mathis, Kelce, Herremans, Johnson. Maybe Chip Kelly doesn’t make depth charts this time of year, but somewhere in his office he must have that starting five scribbled on a cocktail napkin.

“We had everybody, man,” said Mathis. “It was good having the whole gang out there.”

Despite all the issues along the offensive front last season, Mathis still performed at a very high level by all accounts. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the sixth best player in the entire league.

It’s easy to ignore guards, but when you’re looking at an ‘all players created equal’ list, then you simply have to have Mathis this high. The Eagles may have struggled, but the continued brilliance of Mathis was unavoidable. He might not have the same impact blocks as others, but his continued ability to create movement at the point of attack makes Mathis the best guard in the league.

He was the only member of last season’s original five to start all 16 games. With so many of his brethren coming off significant injuries, Kelly has to be encouraged to see his left guard back out there.

WHAT YOU MISSED

More details on Peters’ reported arrest.

Three things we’ve learned about the Eagles’ offense, from Mr. Kapadia.

There is opportunity for rookie safety Earl Wolff.  

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Speaking of Mathis: he chimed in on the whole quarterback topic. From the AP:

“I haven’t been evaluating our quarterbacks because I’m focused on the offensive line, but I really don’t see the point of Chip Kelly naming a starting QB before camp,” Mathis told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“This is an entirely new coaching staff with an entirely new offense, which isn’t even fully installed yet. It’s not rocket science; whoever the coaches feel will help the team the most will win the job after proving himself in training camp and preseason.”

Dan Graziano thinks the vets asking for a starting QB to be named need to chill out.

Unless they’re holding their team fantasy football draft on the first day of training camp, there’s no reason the Eagles players need to know by late July who’s going to be their starting quarterback. Are we really to believe that the effectiveness of the offense in September rests on the naming of a starter in June or July? Does it make any sense at all to think that the receivers and the backs and the linemen would connect with Vick to such an extent that they wouldn’t accept Nick Foles as the leader of their huddle if he showed up there in late August?

COMING UP

This is supposed to be the quietest time of the year, but the Eagles are keeping it interesting.

  • GEagle

    6th best player in the NFL? Geez, wonder where Peters would have been ranked had he played last year…I think we are OWED some injury good luck Karma after what we had to endure. The Oline is everything to us. If we have to have a significant injury, hopefully it doesnt occur on the Line

  • http://www.jhkayejr.com Joseph Kaye

    I’m taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to Jason Peters. Sometimes “flight/resisting arrest” in the south actually translates to “the guy took thirty seconds to find a safe place to pull over.” Not saying that’s the case here. Just saying “wait and see.”

    • knighn

      And sometimes it means, “I’m a black man in the south. I better get somewhere where there’s cameras so just in case the white cops want to give me a beatdown.”

    • MediaMike

      Close to 100% sure this is the “the guy took 30 seconds to pull over” version of fleeing. This didn’t turn into 40 mile chase with 42 cars and 3 helicopters trying to get him to pull over. The speeding charge is what it is and he’ll pay the fine, but the fleeing charge is BS.

    • Dutch

      Pretty good reasoning. What time of the day or night did this occur is relevant.

      In the Delta pulling over on a dark country road at night probably isn’t the best place to stop under any circumstance especially for a Big Black Buck in a new vehicle.

      The law in most states allows for drivers to continue driving until there is a well lighted location to pull over a vehicle.

      • Richard Colton

        Dutch, go back and edit your post. I know English isn’t your first language, but what you intended to be supportive comes off as obnoxious and flippant.

        • Dutch

          I intended to be blunt and factual minus political correctness. Did that escape you?

          Have you ever spent much time down in the Delta? Peters being, big, black rich and stopped down in the deep south on dark country roads isn’t unusual. At first glance our first thought is they’re drug smugglers not professional athletes.

          • Richard Colton

            Yeah dude, I lived in Columbus, Georgia and Phoenix, Alabama in the deep south, and spent plenty of time at Ft Polk, which counts as the “Delta” although nobody calls it that. If you can’t see why your post was inappropriate, then I can’t help you. Add “the South” and “law enforcement” to the list of topics you don’t understand.

            Here’s a hint – you capitalized the phrase for no reason.

          • Dutch

            Are you offended by the term Big Black Buck? Well that is how he’s characterized down there. Especially in a new muscle vehicle at 5 AM or at the break of dawn on a dark road running 100 MPH.

            How much different is his treatment there than young black males in new vehicles on the Jersey Turnpike?

          • Richard Colton

            I could explain it to you, but why? You’ll still be you.

          • Dutch

            No you couldn’t. Unless you expect me to believe when you ride around Phila and come near those projects where there is a higher degree of poverty and see young black males in new vehicles your first throughs are they are aspiring professionals?

          • theycallmerob

            But it does help explain some of the past posts

          • Dutch

            for instance?

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            You’d have to be the world dumbest drug smuggler to be driving around in souped up Camaro doing 100mp/h at 5 AM.

            Perhaps drug dealer was the term you were looking for. Either way, your subtle racism and racial profiling is duly noted.

          • Dutch

            No, Drug Smugglers, the Delta waterways off the Gulf of Mexico are a primary entry point for drugs coming from South America.

            It’s clear some of you haven’t much knowledge of what goes on down there. Louisiana is primarily swamps and asphalt and littered with massive poverty. The escape for most young black males to pocket coin is drug smuggling, and professional athletics.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            Yes Dutch, I understand where Louisiana is and I understand what a drug smuggler is. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist like yourself to realize that your best bet is keeping a low profile while you’re smuggling drugs. You know, not recklessly speeding in a car that’s basically a billboard asking a white racial profiling cop to pull you over.

          • theycallmerob

            To be fair to dutch, JP was pry distracted by the loud rap music and chickenbox…

          • Dutch

            Yea, God Forbid he gets stopped with Chicken Grease on the steering wheel or a open Box of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the front seat.

          • Dutch

            The policemen didn’t have to be white to stereotype a rich black guy in a new vehicle on a dark road in the delta. You’re adding your own flavor to the discussion. In America profiling exist and used daily to monitor criminal activity or the possibility of criminal activity.

            this incident is similar to the police stop that began the unraveling of Mike Vick in Virginia. Black guy in an expensive suv stopped and found to riding in a vehicle registered to Vick a search of the vehicle uncovered a small amount of marijuana which provided probably cause to search the residence where the vehicle was registered and there began the dismantling of Mike Vick.

            These stops happen to black professional athletes in the south more than you know. By comparison how many white athletes are found speeding and, or with marijuana? They’re stopped but rarely charged and those cases aren’t made public.

            It’s just how things are done in America.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            Dutch, they pulled him over because he was drag racing and reckless driving. They would have pulled over my translucently white grandmother in her ’99 rusted out Corolla if she was going that fast. I don’t need your Deep South American history lesson here.

          • nicksaenz1

            Don’t need it, but good Lord is it entertaining.

          • JofreyRice

            This guy is like the Michele Bachmann of Eagles 24/7

          • nicksaenz1

            I couldn’t have said it any better. I almost countered with Todd Akin, but he’s a one and done as far as awful comments with entertainment value go.

          • Dutch

            only to those of you with a unicorn tied up at the trough outside and, living in an altered reality.

          • JofreyRice

            No, you’re right. I fully believe that you’re a world class QB guru, NFL talent scout, skillmaster of crowd dynamics in the Phila area, crackerjack wordsmith, expert on drug smuggling in “the Delta”, and history buff.

          • nicksaenz1

            Just say it. He’s a renaissance man.

          • Johnny Domino

            My unicorn is free-range, thank you very much.

          • Richard Colton

            much healthier that way. and delicious.

          • bentheimmigrant
          • Guest

            more delicious that way

          • theycallmerob

            I sure hope she gets air time on some channel, somewhere. You can’t bottle up all that stupid.

          • Dutch

            Nothing against your grandmother but it’s easy to misjudge a speeding camaro as drag racing. I could see being 31 in a camaro and opening her up just a little. I know Peters and most Americans aren’t doing 55 on a dark road in the Delta driving a new Camaro. Peters was letting out that NASCAR in him.

          • Richard Colton

            I’m not sure he was being subtle

          • Dutch

            the New Camaros not only look good but they run brilliantly. I do a lot of driving up and down the East Coast. On some roads the legal speed limit is 65 which means people do 80 and 85 easy, I’ll admit I have a lead foot and when doing 70 I’ve had those new Camaros come by me and make me look like I’m backing up they are so fast. I asked my wife if we could purchase one, she was not having it and said no.

            They are pretty tempting. I could see driving one on a country road and pushing the pedal to the floor.

          • GEagle

            I litally do 100miles per hour every single day on I95, and in Rome? Forget it…I don’t drive less then 130mph in Rome(approximately because they measure it different…..I’m not about to crucify him for driving 100mph without seeing what type of road it is

          • Richard Colton

            Dutch will tell you all about. He’s seen a dozen episodes each of Designing Women, Dukes of Hazard, and Miami Vice.

            130km is suicidal in Rome GEagle. You’re a better man than me. And anyway, who’s getting up to 130km in a Smartcar or Vespa scooter?

          • cliff henny

            i’m picturing more ‘in the heat of the night’ or ‘cool hand luke’ south that dutch is describing. good ole boy white sharriff in his trusty pick-up with couple lieutenants standing up in cab holding shotguns. cruising the back roads just enjoying some fresh air

          • Warhound

            How about Buford T Justice “…in hot pursuit!”

          • GEagle

            don’t read what Dutch writes, lol but I’ll take your word for it

          • JofreyRice

            Now 130 handles and hour, I’d believe that.

            Face it Richard, you don’t know anything about the Delta:

          • Richard Colton

            in all fairness – I beat you to the designing woman comment already. I’m still blown away by Dutch as a sociology PhD, one day after the stunning revelation of his career as a professional NFL writer. Is there anything the man doesn’t know?

            and If you ever catch me cruising that Delta – you better believe I’m running from the cops.

          • theycallmerob

            I’m scouring the gluten-free blogs. After all, the man is ahead of the curve.

          • Warhound

            I can’t be critical; I routinely drive from Bensalem to Scranton in the middle of the night – no turnpike – 1hr 45min or less.

          • GEagle

            If I told you what I had access to in Rome, you wouldn’t even believe me lol…so let’s leave that one alone lol….the way people drive in Rome is literally insane….and I was estimating in miles
            ..
            As for the hundred miles per hour…depending on the context, roads, time of day, type of car it might not be that big of a deal. I mean every single one of you have done ATleast 80mph on the highway before, how much difference is 95mph-100mph really? Not as fast as some people think…I mean, I do 100mph on 95 in a friggin Honda CRV (small SVU) lol
            ..
            And my guess, is that JP just pulled off from the cops, buy himself some space to quickly throw a bag of weed or something out the window

          • Richard Colton

            Don’t get me wrong, I like to go fast. But in Rome? You’re nuts. All those hairpin turns and narrow side streets? The drivers are the worst – the passing and tailgating was worse than the Middle East (don’t get me started on those drivers). I don’t like driving in Philly anymore, let alone Europe.

          • GEagle

            Colt…I’m talking about like the highways..like “Il Raccordo anulare di Roma”…But even in the streets of Rome, people are doing like 45 MPH in a crowded Zone that we would do like 25mph in…Rome is basically like NY, only people have sense to drive Vespas, and smart cars there. Imagine how much better new York would be if you eliminated 30% of cars and switched to mopeds and smart cars

          • cliff henny

            try driving in charlotte right before and after a nascar race, it’s crazy, philly is a cake walk.

          • Richard Colton

            yeah – but how does that compare to the “Delta?”

          • cliff henny

            well, in myrtle, is that the Deep South? it’s 70 yr olds driving 55 in the passing lane with left blinker on.

          • nicksaenz1

            I almost had a coronary envisioning it. Few things piss me off more.

          • cliff henny

            then dont come here. it’s not 1 car, it’s like 8 lined up. in fairness they are turning left about 3 miles up the road to hit an early bird special. they dont want to miss the turn, only been there 75 times in past year.

          • theycallmerob

            Golden Corral on a sunday? forget it

          • cliff henny

            mostly mon-fri…weekends they plant themselves on the beach. then yell at the tourists and kids for playing. telling you, it’s the biggest collections of old angry white conservatives you’ll ever want to meet…all bored out of their minds, just looking for a fight.

          • GEagle

            Craziest place I ever drove was this Carribean Island called Dominica. the main road basically is the most narrow two way street you will ever find, and it wraps around like a mountain, and the side closest to the edge of the cliff has no guard rail, so if you mess up you will fall like 100 feet to your death lol, and the opposite side has like a huge storm drain drilled into it(because their is a rainforest on that Island..so on one side you can easily fall to our death, and on the other side your tire can fall into a rain drain and easily get stuck..(oh btw, the steering wheel is on the right instead of the left)….Scariest Road I have ever driven on

          • nicksaenz1

            I’d hate to see what traffic looks like on Bingo night. Or is every night bingo night, just a different location?

          • theycallmerob

            No, they are absolutely not worse. I have never been as terrified to cross a street as I was in Amman. And Jerusalem is a close 2nd

          • Richard Colton

            Can’t speak with authority on Israel – but you’re right about Jordanians. How about when traffic slows and they invent their own lanes? Like a four lane road turns into an 8 lane highway. unreal. and the way they use their blinkers? its like Mad Max.

          • GEagle

            Inventing Lanes is a problem in Rome as well lol. even crazier is how Often people will pass the car in front of them, on a two way street by going into the lane where traffic is coming from the opposite way…If a Roman tries to drive in Philly, he is getting arrested lol

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            You never closed your parenthesis

          • GEagle

            Breathe

    • Stuart Philp

      He didn’t pull over immediately, he exited the highway and found a parking lot. That counts as resisting pretty much everywhere, however not all cops will charge you with it.

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        Although resisting arrest can be charged as a felony, I can’t see it in this case as he didn’t flee on foot or get physical. We don’t know entirely what happened in 2011, he could have history with Louisiana police which is why he would want to get to a well lit parking lot, that most likely had cameras.

        • GEagle

          Maybe he needed to throw something out of his car before pulling over. You never know. But I’m not about to spend the next 3 days over analyzing this. he will get a slap on the wrist and be at camp

          • B-West

            Great point. Resisting is better (and easier to fight in court) than a drug or gun charge.

          • GEagle

            Yeah, I mean who hasn’t been pulled over, and didn’t stop for 30 seconds so they could throw something out the window or stash it in there sock or something stupid when they were young?

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    Mathis has come a long way since his days on Hard Knocks with Bengals. wish we had at least 1 FA pickup like Evan every year that works out and turns into a stud. way to go to one of the best at his position.

    • Richard Colton

      I’m calling a violation for talking about Evan Mathis after a story about Evan Mathis. How dare you stay on topic. But yeah, same here. Any chance that guy is Bradley Fletcher?

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        yeah I feel like I clicked on the wrong 24/7 story with all the Peters comments. Evan certainly deserves his props. I like that choice of Fletcher, im certainly not voting for Cary as the recipient. my best violation to date though I do admit.

        • wbramh

          Well, to be fair, the two stories are somewhat intertwined, aren’t they? Peter’s (repeating) stupidity has opened the door for Mathis.

          It seems Chip is looking for TEAM players who are smart and show leadership qualities. I suspect that recent loose and selfish comments by a few players coupled with no-shows and dumb off-the-field activities have eliminated at least one QB, one WR and one Offensive lineman from the long-term plans of the revival Philadelphia Eagles.

      • cliff henny

        if Benn’s knees hold up, he could be perfect for kelly. big, physical, really good after the catch and speed to catch a ball or 2 over the top. guy was a beast in college.

        • Brent E. Sulecki

          im with cliff. I like Benn on this team a lot. best blocker on the team at WR. could put another guy out of a job.

          • Richard Colton

            it’s June. Lets compromise and say both.

          • Brent E. Sulecki

            I def prefer Kelly’s grocery shopping to Andy’s

          • cliff henny

            let’s. better play nice now, cause if dixon is right and kelly isn’t naming starter till 9/9, it’s going to get really ugly in here

          • theycallmerob

            yea, I must throw my hat in with you and cliff…..I realize what Benn has (not) done to date in the NFL. But I remember him in college, and seeing him in OTAs….this offense should play to his strengths perfectly.

          • GEagle

            if Benn is healthy, We have a ManBeast on our hands!! His ceiling is crazy high

          • aub32

            You guys have it all wrong. Clearly the FA stud pickup is going to be Momah. Megatron who? Make way for Optimus Prime.

          • nicksaenz1

            God I’d love it if you were right. Then at the pro-bowl (let’s be serious, Megatron will be in every pro bowl so long as it isn’t cancelled because Detroit will never make the SB) Optimus Prime and Megatron have to fight it out. Optimus always wins. He’s the good guy, he has to.

          • wbramh

            WRs and TEs who can block don’t get the big press, but like smart clock usage, they sure do help win games.

  • Ron Hipple

    peters should be in jail

    • theycallmerob

      For driving fast? Please

      • GEagle

        why stop there? OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!!!! Lol…snobby prick! Lol not you Rob

        • wbramh

          Apparently Peters wasn’t born with a head to lop off.

  • Richard Colton

    The Eagles won’t comment, but I heard he was speeding at 4:45 AM to be first in line at the sconce warehouse. They open at 5AM in the South.

    Interesting leadership test for Kelly. How does he handle this situation? Personally, I’d like to see a happy medium between the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Cincinnati Bengals. Peters needs to understand that anything that keeps his body or mind off the field is selfish, but he also needs to start at Left Tackle.

    Damn, the guy made a mistake. Cut him? Bit of an over-reaction.

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      Cutting him is a complete over-reaction, but this will absolutely be in the back of the mind of the Eagles when they decide if they want to pick up the tab on Peters next year or move Lane over. Jason didn’t do himself any favors with a bonehead move like this.

      • wbramh

        I believe the ultimate arbiter of Peters’ future in Philadelphia lives in Louisiana and wears a black robe to work. Kelly should be seriously considering how to replace Peters no matter what he’s personally willing to forgive and forget. I wouldn’t try to guess the odds of Peters wearing jump-suit orange rather than green this season – and no, I’m not expecting him to play for the Broncos.

  • aub32

    I fifgured some fans would make this a bigger deal than it is due to news being slow, but I didn’t see this turning into a race debate in which everyone is pretty much arguing the same side but somehow are still against each other. You guys sure know how to keep it interesting.

  • Dutch

    Bottom line is what’s Kelly going to do in reigning in his team’s excessiveness? He gets his first opportunity to lay down discipline on a veteran, one that is by far not a marginal player on the Eagles.

    Do Kelly lay down the smack down on Peters to cease any challenges to his rule or does he look the other way? Is this a sign of Eagle veterans not buying in to Kelly’s supremely intrusive authority and sports science program?

    • wbramh

      Yes, how dare Kelly demand that his skillionaire players follow his directions?
      Who does he think he is telling a 4-12 team how he wants them to play and what off-field rules (like not getting arrested) he expects them to follow – Vince Lombardi?

  • nicksaenz1

    Why are people treating this incident like Peters did something on the scale of Ndamakong Suh? We don’t even know full details of the story! No one was hurt, there was no cover up of injury or anything of the sort. He was speeding alongside another car and didn’t pull over right away. That’s what we know thus far. Let’s see what he’s formally charged with and how it gets handled from a legal perspective before go asking questions of whether or not Kelly needs to make an example out of anyone or raising questions of “does this mean he’s not buying in?”. I know it’s a slow news cycle right now but let’s not make a mountain out of a mole hill, here.

    • Token

      Nothing is ever a issue with you guys. He evaded police going at high speeds. He is very lucky he didnt kill himself or a innocent bystander. But yea, no biggie, hes a Eagle after all.

      • nicksaenz1

        Did I say it wasn’t an issue? Moreover, did I say it wasn’t an issue because he’s an Eagle? No? I didn’t think so. What I did say, however, was that we don’t know enough yet, and that we need to wait and see before passing judgment or making bold claims like Kelly needs to lay the hammer, make an example, or that Peters should be cut. I also noted that this offense wasn’t nearly on the scale of Ndamakong Suh, which is the most recent incident involving traffic violations where speeding and/or wreckless driving was at the root that I could think of off the top of my head.

      • Warhound

        “He is very lucky he didn’t kill himself or a innocent bystander.” Evidence? ‘Cause I think it’s that it was a quality car with a skilled driver that prevented his death.

      • theycallmerob

        That’s in the bottom 1% of dumb things NFL players do when coming in contact with the law. Of course it is an issue, but Donte Stallworth actually DID kill someone. Vick killed animals. Haynesworth stomps on faces. Burress is trigger happy. Must we go on? Calling for his head is beyond absurd.

  • Honest_T

    Brandon Jacobs had a police escort while driving 100 mph on the Jersey
    Turnpike, perhaps JP just thought he was being extended the same
    courtesy.

  • nicksaenz1

    Arguably the best thread ever on 24/7.

    • Richard Colton

      We call them “word-bushes” in the “Delta”

      • nicksaenz1

        Am I the only one who envisions the slowest speaking human ever who goes out of his way to try to formulate coherent, logical-sounding, big-worded statements when reading a Dutch post? I don’t even know what’s better; the grammatical errors that 7th graders wouldn’t make or the fantastic combination of arrogance/ignorance that spews from each post. I couldn’t stand him for the longest time but now I get excited to see what’s going to come next. It’s like sitting on the side of the tracks waiting for a train-wreck, only the train wrecks daily, and Tim and Sheil put the penny on the tracks.

        • cliff henny

          Big Black Buck…that’s now the standard which all needs to be compared against.

  • Max Lightfoot

    I think Peters should checker-flag the wind sprints at training camp.

  • FMWarner

    Best lunch time reading ever! Thanks, everyone.

  • Guest

    This Peters 3rd arrest in Louisiana. He is facing 20 years with no chance of parole.

  • wbramh

    It appears that scheduling conflicts due to Peters’ second career as a drag-racer/cop runner have kept him out of the Eagles camp this summer. Either it pays really well or Jason simply prefers it to football.
    Looking forward to watching Mathis on the field. Seems his first love is football.