Todd Herremans was a fourth-round pick in the 2005 draft, so he just missed the best years of the Andy Reid era. His rookie year, Herremans watched the team get torn apart by the words and deeds of wide receiver Terrell Owens. Since then, Herremans has quietly played guard while all kinds of distractions and controversy swirled.
That brings us to 2014, as quiet an offseason as anything in recent memory. Aside from the release of another Pro Bowl wide receiver, DeSean Jackson, there has been scarcely a hint of controversy to distract this Eagles team.
“This is what it’s supposed to be like,” Herremans, 31, said. “This is what I imagined it was supposed to be like. This is fun. Obviously, there was a lot more drama (in years past). The team was pretty good before I got here.”
Herremans and linebacker Trent Cole, who was a fifth-round pick in that 2005 draft, have been with the team the longest. They saw Reid’s stewardship of the team go sour.
“I think a coach stays in a place for so long, things get a little stale,” Herremans said. “The system gets a little stale. They kind of get away from doing what they did to have the success that they had.”
It was fair to wonder whether Herremans would fit into the go-go new approach of Chip Kelly, but he started all 16 games at left guard in 2013. Indeed, all five offensive linemen started every game, which helps explain how LeSean McCoy led the NFL in rushing and Nick Foles led the league in passer rating.
Herremans said it’s “very realistic” to believe the line can repeat the success it had last season. “I know it only happened one other time since I’ve been here,” he said. “The way we take care of our bodies, we were very limited in guys being in the training room. I don’t think that was a coincidence.”
Kelly’s all-encompassing approach is the reason, and Herremans thinks it will pay dividends going forward.
“(Kelly) talks more about deliberately practicing -- coming out here with a purpose to get better, not just coming out and going through the motions because you’re in the NFL and you have to practice,” Herremans said. I think a lot of guys have bought into that. There’s a lot of backup to it. There’s a lot of things he shows you. Do this, and it affects you that way. He doesn’t just repeat the same clichés over and over again.”
Reid’s approach worked very well for the Eagles for years. Herremans experienced that. Now he is embracing the Kelly approach.
“We’ve got a locker room full of guys and an office full of coaches who all want the same thing, and are doing whatever each individual has to do to get there,” Herremans said.