The Bodyguard is Back

Posted: July 15th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on The Bodyguard is Back

Brian Baldinger recently told us big news was coming for the Eagles. We thought big meant the level of excitement the move would bring, not the size of the player involved.

Consider me underwhelmed.

You read that correctly. G Jason Peters.

The legendary left tackle is going to move to guard, and right guard at that.

Peters never got the LT opportunity he wanted from another team. He and the Eagles had stayed in contact. There were no hard feelings between he and the team. At some point, the move to bring in him at RG made sense to both sides.

Peters gets to stay in Philly, his preference all along. He gets to keep playing, which he wanted to do. The Eagles had a hole at RG after the injury to Brandon Brooks. They felt it was worth taking a chance on Peters.

The transition from T to G isn’t easy. Going from left to right is probably even more difficult (ask Andre Dillard about that). This is far from a slam dunk.

At the same time, Peters knows the offense. He knows the blocking scheme. He’ll be playing between Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson, teammates since 2013. It should be easy for them to develop chemistry. Communication shouldn’t be an issue and they should see things the same way when teams throw blitzes and different looks at them.

Peters has the potential to be a dominant run blocker on the inside, even at 38. He is powerful, athletic and still has a nasty streak. Pulling, trapping and blocking on the move should come pretty naturally to Peters. Even at his age, he still moves well.

Pass blocking will be a bit more complicated. He is used to using space and angles when blocking an edge rusher. The battle inside involves leverage and getting your hands on the rusher as fast as possible. Instead of blocking 260-pound speed freaks  you now have to deal with 300-pound power freaks.

The Eagles spent all offseason talking about the need to get younger. I think the legitimately meant that, but Covid-19 has complicated plans. Without Peters, this was going to be the potential depth chart.

LT – Andre Dillard (4 starts) ….. Jordan Mailata (no NFL snaps)

LG – Isaac Seumalo (veteran) ….. Prince Tega Wanogho (rookie)

OC – Jason Kelce (veteran) ……… Nate Herbig (no NFL snaps)

RG – Matt Pryor (1 start) …………. Sua Opeta (no NFL snaps)

RT – Lane Johnson (veteran) …… Jack Driscoll (rookie)

That is young with a capital Y.

While the Eagles like the young talent they have on the OL, the pandemic created some issues. No minicamps. No passing camps. Limited or no preseason. Who knows what Training Camp will be like. This wasn’t the spring/summer to develop rookie blockers.

Peters is a project at RG, but he’s a proven NFL player with a ton of experience. I can see where they would rather take a chance on him than Pryor due to the practice restrictions.

There is the x-factor of Dillard at LT. The Eagles believe in their second-year blocker, but they also know he’s unproven. If things do go wrong or he gets injured, Peters now gives then a Plan B.

Had the Eagles gotten to spend the spring working with Mailata or Wanogho, they might have felt those guys were ready to backup at LT. That didn’t happen so the team has now found a creative way to get better at G and T.

The move does make a lot of sense when you really think about it.

I’m not overly excited because I really wanted to see the youth movement. The Eagles need to develop young blockers. You have to take some chances in doing that. You aren’t always going to have a stud ready to plug into a position. I do understand the pandemic totally threw the offseason into chaos. The flip side is that we don’t know what will happen this season. If there ever was a year to take chances, this is it.

Peters is an all-time Eagles great and I’m sure he’ll have some moments that will be fun to watch. His run blocking can be something else. He can just move guys and create serious holes.

The downside to his return could be the effect it has on the young players. Will his presence both Dillard at all? You don’t want Dillard looking over his shoulder after every series or game. He needs to know he has room to grow this year. Ups and downs are okay. It is important that the Eagles develop Dillard into the LT of the future.

I’m sure Pryor is disappointed. No one wants the guy in front of them to get hurt, but when it happens, you seize the opportunity to show what you can do. I’m sure Peters will miss some snaps and Pryor will get on the field here and there.

Some have speculated that this move really isn’t about RG at all and is purely to have Peters ready to take over at LT. That is possible, but I tend to take them at their word on this. They went out of their way to say he was going to play RG. I don’t think you do that unless you mean it. If anything does happen to Dillard, there is no question that Peters will slide over and reclaim his old spot.

At the very least, I am thankful we actually had some football news. More of that and less social drama please.


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