The most noticeable void within the Philadelphia Eagles’ entire starting lineup last season was the left tackle spot on their ailing and miserable offensive line.
In a devastating twist of fate, Eagles perennial All-Pro LT Jason Peters ruptured his Achilles tendon, not once, but twice, prior to last year’s 2012 season. This left backup LTs Demetress Bell and King Dunlap trudging around the field aimlessly in a pathetic attempt to protect QBs Michael Vick and Nick Foles as they ran for their lives from unblocked and uninterrupted pass-rushers.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, the injury bug spread rapidly as starting center Jason Kelce was lost for the season during Week 2 and o-tackle Todd Herremans was placed on the Injured Reserve (IR) later in the year as well. Eagles LG Evan Mathis was actually the only starting offensive lineman who did not miss significant time, or the entire season, with injury.
So it’s safe to say that new head coach Chip Kelly and the entire Eagles’ coaching staff must be elated to hear that Peters is not only on track to be on the gridiron when Week 1 of the 2013 NFL Season kicks off, but he is also impressing his new o-line coach, Jeff Stoutland, immensely in his rehabilation.
“Honestly, you wouldn’t know Jason ever had an injury,” said Stoutland.
Stoutland went on to give Peters an incredibly flattering vote of confidence, stating that “out of all the players I’ve ever coached, he’s got the best balance and body control of anybody I’ve ever seen.”
Birds’ fans should certainly expect a huge improvement in 2013 following last year’s 4-12 embarrassment, and a lot of the credit will go to their revamped offensive line.
Now equipped with brand new RT Lane Johnson, their highly prized 2013 first-round, fourth-overall draft pick, and Peters, Kelce and Herremans (now shifted to guard) returning from the IR, the Eagles should be sporting one of the most dominant offensive lines in the NFL this season.
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