Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Next men up on Eagles' offensive line
By Dan Graziano
The Philadelphia Eagles announced Tuesday morning that starting center Jason Kelce would be placed on injured reserve and miss the remainder of the season due to the knee injury he suffered in Sunday's game. This is not a huge surprise, as it was raised as a possibility following Kelce's MRI on Monday. That leaves Dallas Reynolds as the Eagles' center starting with this Sunday's game in Arizona, and so this is a good time to look at Sheil Kapadia's offensive line review from Sunday's victory over Baltimore. On Reynolds in particular:
I didn't notice any missed blocks that resulted in a sack or a hit on Vick. On the 13-yard third-down completion to Damaris Johnson, he started out with Danny Watkins, double-teaming Haloti Ngata, recognized a delayed blitzer and switched to help Evan Mathis. Really nice job for someone seeing his first NFL action. In the third, Reynolds had some trouble with nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu, but overall, he might have been the Eagles’ unsung hero Sunday.
The Eagles also could be making a change at left tackle, as Demetress Bell took over for an injured King Dunlap during Sunday's game as well. Here's Sheil on Bell, who was supposed to be the starter after Jason Peters got hurt but didn't perform well enough in training camp to hold off Dunlap:
The question is: Has something clicked with Bell and Howard Mudd’s techniques? Or did he just block the way he used to with the vertical steps in Buffalo, trying to do whatever he could to keep Michael Vick clean? From my perspective, there was definitely a little bit of that, which seems fine, given the circumstances. Bell was not perfect, but he held up much better than expected.
That thing where something clicks with the lineman and Mudd's techniques is a real thing, and the Eagles have seen it happen with other players since Mudd arrived last year. I wouldn't be surprised if Bell became the starter going forward, and as I wrote yesterday, as much as I like Kelce, I wouldn't be surprised if Reynolds is a very adequate fill-in.