It’s safe to say that the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line has been historically awful all season long.
Well, Eagles o-line coach Howard Mudd has seen quite enough in Philly, and has said that he will retire from the NFL at season’s end.
Mudd originally announced his retirement from football in 2009 following his brilliant run with QB Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
Mudd was with the Colts from 1998-2009, before being convinced to return to coaching by Eagles head coach Andy Reid last season, after Juan Castillo was promoted to defensive coordinator. And we all know how well that worked out, as Castillo was canned this year mid-season.
Initial concern surfaced for the Eagles’ o-line when starting All-Pro LT Jason Peters was ruled out for the season after suffering multiple Achilles injuries during training camp. Both of Peters’ backups were very obviously unimpressive from the get-go, with King Dunlap eventually edging out Demetress Bell for the starting job going into the regular season.
The Eagles’ o-line was certainly a concern following Peters’ injury, but when starting C Jason Kelce went down in Week 2 with a season-ending ACL tear and was spelled by undrafted backup C Dallas Reynolds, the flood gates opened. Literally.
From Week 2 on, Eagles QB Michael Vick was under duress on nearly every snap, and flat on his back following the majority of pass attempts. Rookie QB Nick Foles has also been mauled regularly, and the Eagles’ o-line has quickly become the laughing stock of the NFL.
Things only got worse for Mudd’s group as the season went on, while the Eagles lost their 8-year RT Todd Herremans for the year with a foot injury, and RG Danny Watkins (ankle) has missed multiple games. Eagles LG Evan Mathis is the only o-lineman on the squad that has played every game this season.
All of these injuries have caused Mudd and the Eagles to do the “o-line shuffle” all season long, including moving Dunlap and Bell each from left tackle, to right tackle, and to the bench multiple times.
The only bright spot on the Eagles’ o-line all year has been utility lineman Dennis Kelly, who originally filled in for Watkins, and has since remained in the starting line-up following his impressive play. Well, he has basically just not been a disgrace to his team, which is very positive for any Eagle this year.
Even though Mudd will be ending his NFL coaching career on a sour note, he has constructed a tremendous resume, which includes winning Super Bowl XLI with Manning and the Colts.
Mudd was an All-Pro offensive lineman himself with the San Francisco 49ers in the ‘60s, and has coached his position in the NFL ever since 1974.
Best of luck to you in your post-football life, Coach Mudd, and may the world forget your involvement in the Eagles’ forever embarrassing 2012 season.
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