The Philadelphia Eagles offensive line suffered a major blow during the offseason when left tackle Jason Peters suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during an offseason condition program. Peters actually re-ruptured the Achilles when his wheeling device broke, and he will undoubtedly miss the entire 2012 season.
In his place, the team signed Demetress Bell, the top free agent tackle on the market. He will join an offensive line that also include left guard Evan Mathis, who ranked as the best offensive linemen in the entire National Football League in 2011, according to Pro Football Focus; center Jason Kelce, who many experts said played at a Pro Bowl level last season; right guard Danny Watkins, who should continue to improve following a disappointing rookie season; and right tackle Todd Herremans, a borderline Pro Bowl veteran who can play four of the five positions on the line.
To fans, it appears that the line will be one of the team’s strengths in the 2012 season. Legendary offensive line coach Howard Mudd, in his second year with the Eagles, agrees.
“I’m really excited about how this group is going to fall into place,” Mudd said. “The group that we have, the 15 guys that we have is maybe the best I’ve ever had.”
That’s a pretty big compliment from a coach like Mudd, who has seen dozens of offensive lines during his coaching tenure.
The best news might be that the Eagles didn’t have to completely change their offense when Peters went down. Mudd expects Bell to step right in for Peters, who he also played with in Buffalo a few years ago.
If the offensive line can keep quarterback Michael Vick healthy in 2012, the Eagles have a real good chance to become one of the best teams in the entire league.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for Eagles Central and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.