Monday, July 30, 2012
Eagles' Demetress Bell has the right tutor
By Dan Graziano
When Demetress Bell (whose first name was Demetrious back then) replaced Jason Peters in Buffalo, Peters was not there to help him. Now that Bell must replace the injured Peters as the starting left tackle with the Philadelphia Eagles, he has the benefit of rooming with Peters at training camp. This has resulted in somewhat perpetual education for Bell as he gets up to speed with the Eagles' offensive line schemes and prepares for a season as a very important part of the offense. Per Jeff McLane:
"I've got Jason Peters in my dorm room and Howard Mudd in the classroom," Bell said. "What else could you want?"
Peters, whose ruptured Achilles tendon led to the Eagles' acquiring Bell in early April, reported to Lehigh University just like the rest of his teammates, even though he is likely out for the season. The five-time Pro Bowl tackle is rehabilitating his injury here, but he also is assisting Bell, a friend and former Buffalo Bills teammate.
"I think it's a good situation being able to learn from that, to be around that guy and ask him what he did to be the best left tackle in football," guard Evan Mathis said. "He's in the same system with the same coach, and he can watch film and see exactly how those techniques apply and how Jason achieved his success."
Back when the Bills traded Peters to the Eagles, Buffalo coaches were excited about Bell as his replacement. He is viewed as a very athletic left tackle who should be able to do some of the things the Eagles had Peters do last season in terms of upfield blocking. Now, of course, you can be the second-most athletic left tackle in the world and still not be able to do those things as well as Peters did them in 2011. But the hope the Eagles have is that the step back they'll take from Peters to Bell will be a small one, and not a devastating one. The fact that he's spending his time at Lehigh with Peters is a good sign.