The problem? They don’t have a lot of options. We’ll see if they sign someone or even make a trade. But given the way the roster currently stands, let’s take a look at all five spots to see where things could be headed in the final 10 games.
Less than three months later, he’s in the driver’s seat to be the Eagles’ starting left tackle.
With the opener just about two weeks away, the offensive line has question marks.
On one of the first days of training camp, Mudd was talking about second-year guard Danny Watkins, and he brought up the “valley of darkness.”
On his fifth drop-back, Vick felt pressure from his front side, stepped up in the pocket, let go of the ball and slammed his thumb against Jason Kelce’s helmet.
A reasonable question to ask is: Why was Vick so close to Kelce when he released the football?
The Eagles were in the middle of a grueling practice in the Lehigh heat. They already had one live period, which involved tackling and hitting. There had been scraps, fights and activity after the whistle, often between the offensive and defensive lines.
Mudd buttered all the linemen up a little, telling them that they were the most competitive players on the field, but also reminding them that they’re working towards the same goals.
In the first meeting against the Giants last season, Eagles quarterbacks Michael Vick and Mike Kafka combined to drop back to pass 35 times.
And on 28 of those occasions, Jason Peters was charged with blocking a defender one-on-one. No help from the tight end. No chip from the running back. Nothing.
That was one of the luxuries the Eagles had with Peters at left tackle. He could take on pass-rushers like Jason Pierre-Paul, DeMarcus Ware, and Brian Orakpo without much help.
But with Peters out, the focus is now on new left tackle Demetress Bell. When I asked offensive line coach Howard Mudd whether he planned on giving Bell some help, especially early in the season, he said he didn’t think that would be necessary.
Howard Mudd has 37 years of NFL coaching experience, but he doesn’t want to have to do all the talking.
The Eagles’ offensive line coach encourages players to help each other out and critique themselves.
Which brings us to second-year guard Danny Watkins. The 2011 first-round pick had a shaky rookie season, filled with more downs than ups. Before the season, Watkins lost his starting job to Kyle DeVan, and when he eventually got on the field, he had his share of issues in pass protection.
So after the season, Mudd asked Watkins, and the team’s other offensive linemen, for a written self-evaluation. When he saw what Watkins had to say about his first year in the NFL, Mudd was impressed.