We went over the defense yesterday.
Here is the projected depth chart for the Eagles’ offense, based on what we saw during spring practices. Explanations below.
Jason Kelce, on the other hand, had been sitting out that portion of practice as he continued to recover from a torn ACL. But Tuesday, for the first time, Kelce lined up as the Eagles’ starting center, and he decided to go all out, mixing it up with Dixon on the very first snap.
“I think I was probably going a little bit harder than I should have in OTAs, and Antonio didn’t like it so we kind of got in a scuffle,” Kelce said with a laugh. “But it’s all good. We’ll be friends when we go back in there.”
The Eagles’ offensive line went from a strength in 2011 to a disaster in 2012. What’s in store going forward? Here’s the breakdown.
Kelce brings up an important point: a byproduct of the up-tempo attack is that you become vulnerable to the blitz in some cases. You’re rushing to get the play off. If the center is trying to switch protections while the quarterback is calling out the signals, chances are not everybody is going to get the message. So it’s best not to introduce that element of confusion.
“That’s the thing: if we’re going to be wrong, we have to all be wrong, 11 people on the same page, and then let the quarterback use his hot read on the blitz that we didn’t pick up,” said Kelce.
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.
Just how close are we to seeing this line in its (presumed) most potent form?
But next Thursday could affect the ninth-year pro. After moving to right tackle before the 2011 season, Herremans could be asked to slide back inside to guard, particularly if the Eagles use a first-round pick on someone like Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher or Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson.
So surely Herremans will be tuning in this year, right?
“I’m sure I’ll see it on Twitter,” he said.
The changes Chip Kelly is implementing extend well beyond the locker room shake-up.
One area where players are already noticing a difference is in the weight room.
“The weight conditioning is a little bit more up-tempo than it was under [previous strength and conditioning coach] Barry Rubin,” said center Jason Kelce. “I think that part of the reason why is because we’re going to run up-tempo. Instead of being able to relax and just kind of walk around the weight room and do your lifts, it’s more at a steady pace where you have a set amount of time rest period. I think the receivers and those guys might be doing a little bit more conditioning. They know they’re in for a lot of running in this offense.”
“I was known as a guy in college that you don’t really screw around with,” said Kelce. “I’m not trying to toot my own horn at all, but a lot of guys on the defensive side kind of feared that. They didn’t want to get into a scuffle with me. But I can remember vividly one play with Connor where I got into him and I started jawing off at him. I can’t repeat what he said, but it got to the point where he was like, ‘You don’t want to screw with me, Kelce! I’m crazy, too!’
“He is that kind of guy where he ain’t afraid of nothing.”
The health of the offensive line is obviously a major issue heading into the 2013 season. The Eagles lost Todd Herremans (dislocated foot), Jason Peters (ruptured Achilles) and Jason Kelce (torn MCL, partially torn ACL) to serious injuries in 2012. Their ability to rebound will be critical if Chip Kelly wants to experience some semblance of success in his first year at the helm.
With the offseason program set to begin on April 1 and the first minicamp a little over two weeks away, we checked in on the triumvirate’s status.
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