He lined up there at practice today. Evan Mathis filled his spot at LG.
The new look OL is this: Peters – Mathis – Kelce – Watkins – Herremans.
The initial thought is that this is the most athletic combination of linemen possible. Peters is the only true big guy at 340 (or more). Herremans lists at 321, but looks skinnier than that. I’d bet he’s more in the 300 range. Todd hasn’t played RT in a long time so this move isn’t without risk. You are shifting your best OG to a spot that he’s rusty at. You also now have Peters needing to get used to Evan Mathis being beside him.
The upside of the moves is that both Mathis and Herremans are veteran players. Mathis is a natural LG. He should fit in well there very quickly. Mathis has been solid this summer. Good pass blocker. Effort guy on run plays, but not as good a drive blocker as Todd. I think Herremans can be a good RT. He’s got an ideal frame for that spot. He has pretty good feet. Herremans isn’t a great interior pass blocker. That’s something to watch on the edge. There is a difference in blocking DTs and DEs. DTs can explode off the ball and stay low as they have a direct path to the QB. The DE has to factor in angles and distance. That gives the OT some help.
Todd has also wanted to play OT for a while. This is his chance to slide out there and show what he can do. Todd wants a new contract and this gives him a great chance to earn that. OTs make more than OGs. Adam Caplan reported on Twitter that Todd has a salary escalator if he plays OT this year. Reuben Frank followed that up with this nugget:
“I can confirm a $750,000 escalator for Pro Bowl, $1.5m esc. if Pro Bowl OT, $2.25m esc. if OT 11-13″
Remember the phrase “all in”? Howard Mudd is going all in. He’s putting the 5 guys on the field that best fit his system. Mudd was brought here to run the line his way. Now he’s doing that.
I’m interested in the ripple effects the moves have.
* Does Jamaal Jackson make the team as a backup OL? He’s got a Cap figure of $1.675M. That’s not unreasonable for a backup on a Super Bowl contender, but also isn’t chump change.
* Does this free up King Dunlap to be the primary backup OT on both sides? Austin Howard has failed to impress this year. He could be headed for the Practice Squad. Dunlap has been solid the last 2 weeks. He wasn’t so good you “wanted” him on the field, but he wasn’t a weak spot either.
* Will Winston Justice now stay on the PUP list and miss the first 6 games? Winston can be a good RT when healthy. Right now it is hard to say how much of a help he would be. Keeping him on the PUP list makes some sense. He would sit for 6 weeks and rehab. Then he would have a few weeks to practice and wouldn’t count against the roster. That would allow him to work his way back into things. Might be the best idea.
Right now we could have these OL on the roster:
Then you have the question marks:
The Jets game will be critical for some of these guys who are trying to win a roster spot.
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WRs Steve Smith and Jeremy Maclin practiced today. That means no PUP list for them this year. Andy Reid said that the receivers were used in a very limited way. They were in on specific plays. The coaches wanted to get them reps, but also be able to study them carefully. The guys will be worked in more aggressively if they handle things well. The team will talk to them tonight to see how they feel and that will affect if/how they practice tomorrow. Smith and Mac are not going to be rushed back. The players want to be on the field so the coaches have to be careful about how to use them.
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Enjoy your Saturday.