Looking Ahead at LT

Posted: May 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 24 Comments »

Jason Peters is done for 2012 with his ruptured/re-ruptured Achilles tendon.  The hope is that he’ll be back for 2013 and regain his form as an elite LT.  Hope is the key word.

Peters will turn 31 next January.  He is in the 330-340 pound range, when in top shape.  With an Achilles injury, you have to wonder how his conditioning will be over the next 6 months.  If Peters can’t work out and still keeps one hand in the Cheetos bag too often, he’s going to be heavy when the next offseason rolls around.

Jason reported to Lehigh heavy last summer, but was able to work his way into shape.  You have to wonder how next summer would go if he was heavy and dealing with a bad wheel.  That’s not an ideal situation.

All of this is just talk about conditioning.  We haven’t even gotten to the subject of his level of play.  Peters is a great LT because of his athleticism.  He’s not the guy who is the most technically sound blocker in the league.  Some OTs have been stars in HS, college, and the NFL. They’ve gotten great coaching and perfected technique over the years.  Peters was a TE until he hit the NFL.  He’s played in multiple systems and had coaches teaching him different ways to play.

Peters is skilled, but can he be a top flight LT at 85 percent?  At 90 percent?  Does the Achilles injury affect him in a more permanent way due to his age?  You can bet the Eagles will monitor his rehab closely so they can have some kind of idea where Peters is and what he should look like when he hits the field next April/May.

If the Eagles have serious concerns about Peters future, they have options.

First up is Demetress Bell.  Howard Mudd loves what he has seen so far, even though we’re just talking about some simple stuff in positional drills.  Bell isn’t the same kind of athlete or raw talent that Peters is, but it is hard to say what Bell’s ceiling is.  Mudd is a great coach and his system can be a terrific fit for certain players.  Could Bell have an Evan Mathis-like jump this year?

There are also some key LTs that are scheduled to hit free agency next year.

Jake Long – MIA
Ryan Clady – DEN
Duane Brown – HOU
Branden Albert – KC

I would think most would be re-signed or tagged, but Albert is an interesting name.  KC hasn’t seemed to love the guy.  The Eagles really wanted him back in the draft and tried to trade up for him, but the Chiefs were a better trade partner (original team didn’t have to move back as far).  Juan Castillo was the OL coach when Albert was a priority target and I don’t know how Mudd will feel.  Just throwing this out there as something to keep track of.

The best option is still Peters coming all the way back.  Beyond that, we’ll just have to see what happens.  I am curious to see what kind of a year Bell has for us.

* * * * *

Les Bowen has a good piece titled Whatever Happened to Joe Banner?.  Surprisingly, it is the story of a young girl who is possessed by a demon and must have an exorcism.  Oh wait…that’s The Exorcist.

Les is talking about something that a few readers have brought up…is Banner being pushed aside?  Has his role changed?  As I wrote the other day, I think part of this is due to the fact that Howie Roseman has a good relationship with Drew Rosenhaus.  The 3 big deals this year involved Drew.

For me, the most interesting point in the column was this:

You used to hear disappointed departing stars and their agents complain privately that they felt Banner made the dispute personal, that in pushing his perspective, he disrespected and devalued the player. I’m not hearing that complaint about Roseman.

Banner is a cold, calculated negotiator who is all business.  He doesn’t mean to offend people.  He’s playing hardball because that is just how business is done.  That’s fine when dealing with companies, but when players egos are involved…it can lead to some issues.  I think you definitely want someone like Banner in your front office.  The Eagles always have a good sense of what a player’s value should be.  Compare that with a team like the Raiders that consistently overpaid stars for years.  That kept them in cap trouble.

I do think limiting Banner’s exposure can be a good thing.  He can be his own worst enemy.  He occasionally will say something that fans and the media will just eat for lunch.  I liked hearing Banner talk because he would offer some insight into how/why things happen, but I’m probably in the minority on that.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama put up a post exploring which Eagles would be worst to lose to injury.  I’m not touching this topic.  This is like talking about a no-hitter in the middle of the game.  Bad karma.  I know some people love this kind of post so definitely check out Jimmy’s write-up if that’s your thing.

24 Comments on “Looking Ahead at LT”

  1. 1 Randy Jobst said at 6:08 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    This season should provide us with a good idea of the potential of Demetress Bell in Mudd’s blocking scheme. If he isn’t really good, he will be gone. Dennis Kelly won’t be a starting left tackle in year two. If Bell doesn’t impress this season I would expect the Eagles to draft a LT in one of the first 2 rounds next year. Even if Peters gets back to where he was, you want a LT for the future with his big contract and the fear of yet another Achilles injury.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 6:16 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    I avoided talking about the draft because there are so many unknowns with that angle. I have no idea if there are going to be good LTs to go after, or if we’ll be picking at 16 or 32.

  3. 3 pjxii said at 6:51 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    32, please.

  4. 4 Randy Jobst said at 9:00 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    I agree. It’s fun to read mock drafts that will happen 11 months from now, but they mean absolutley nothing. I just pointed some things out we need to watch out for. If Bell doesn’t pan out, we probably draft a LT next April. Or we go after the Bills LT.

  5. 5 HazletonEagle said at 9:30 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    Could be Cordy Glenn .

  6. 6 HazletonEagle said at 7:57 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    Brandon Albert is a pretty athletic lineman isnt he?

  7. 7 Kirk Belmont said at 12:16 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    Didn’t he play guard in college and then get switched to tackle with the Chiefs? I think there were some questions about his athleticism and being able to move to LT. I think im right on this..

  8. 8 TommyLawlor said at 1:41 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    He was a G that had good enough footwork that most teams wanted him as an OT. Didn’t have good Combine showing, but was okay athlete on the field.

  9. 9 D3Keith said at 10:33 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    Banner didn’t bug me like be bugged some fans, but Howie’s got the knack for the right thing to say, and when to say nothing but not sound as contrived as McNabb or dry as Reid. That’s a good thing.

  10. 10 Mac said at 10:00 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    One time on the Eagles message board I referred to Banner as Joe “Nickles” Banner and Spuds flipped out on me… I was like Whoa buddy… I meant that as a compliment. I love the fact that Banner has nickle and dime’d the shit out of players. Keeps our books squeaky clean and paved the road for Howie to make some of the great deals we’ve seen the last two years.

    I totally agree with you on Roseman. The dude is just a straight up media darling. He’s got the right mojo for this job, and is definitely the best face this F.O. has had.

  11. 11 NoDecaf said at 11:10 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    Every time Joe Banner smiles, someone, somewhere gets a root canal.

    (with not enough novocain )

  12. 12 Jack Waggoner said at 11:20 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    Banner trusts Roseman to handle this sort of thing, to not mess it up, and to not be a loose cannon. Banner is not an egomaniac, he doesn’t need to be the guy out front taking credit in public for everything, but I think he still calls most of the major shots (in terms of allocating money, that is), and is the guy that deals directly with Lurie. Roseman, on the other hand, has more of a knack for strong “people skills” and represents the franchise well.

  13. 13 austinfan said at 11:26 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    I think Joe knows he has some issues relating to the media and agents, and wisely didn’t let his ego get in the way of promoting someone better to be the “face” of the team.

    And Howie is just sharper than Heckert, you can see him learning on the job, and learning all the aspects of being a GM, not just the draft, or personnel, or negotiating, but how they all fit together. Too many “football guys” don’t understand that a team is a billion dollar corporation, just doing that one thing well you’ve been doing for a couple decades doesn’t prepare you for the next level of management.

    Joe is Lurie’s right hand man, and I doubt that changes, he’ll just spend more time in the owner’s office and box and less interacting in the organization or be exposed in the media.

  14. 14 Mac said at 10:10 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    A wise man has wise counsel. I think Lurie is a good owner for this team. He seems to have put together a good front office and seems to know who he can trust.

  15. 15 austinfan said at 11:28 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    As far as Peters, he’d be a heck of a RG/RT at 85%.

    I think the team will play it by ear, Bell, Peters, Kelly, Herremans and the draft.
    They’re covered in a lot of directions, Peters can return, Bell is signed long-term if they want to keep him, Herremans can move over to LT if needed and Kelly might be the next RT.

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 1:42 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    Moving him is possible. Depends on price.

  17. 17 deshawnbentley said at 11:40 PM on May 20th, 2012:

    Off Topic, but T-LAW

    I’m going to start a blog with a few others and start writing about the Dodgers.
    You’re one of the most influential bloggers to me so I really just wanted to ask for some advice and tips. How to keep ideas fresh, writing new material daily, how to structure posts and such. Any information would help, thank you in advance.

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 1:43 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    Send me an email: igglesblitz-at-gmail-dot-com (spelled out to avoid spam)

  19. 19 Flyin said at 1:14 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    LT really confuses me…will Tiger allow his kids to exchange claret jugs at the local pawn shop ?

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 1:44 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    I’d bid on Claret Jug or Wannamaker Trophy. Wonder if the Green Jackets come in Kelly Green?

  21. 21 Brian Winings said at 1:52 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    Off topic but has anyone else thought that Shady looks sort of out-of-shape in this ridiculous music video that he is in where he talks for a while at the end? He talks from 4:30-5:20.

  22. 22 Tyler Phillips said at 8:50 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    It was early in the offseason and conditioning has never been an issue with him.I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

  23. 23 Håkan Sandström said at 9:00 AM on May 21st, 2012:

    looking “out-of-shape” during a build-up period is a good thing. you dont want the body optimized for performance at this point in time.

  24. 24 OFFICIAL EAGLES NEWS: What Eagles Fans Are Talking About | Eagles Nest Online | Philadelphia Eagles Blog said at 11:21 AM on May 21st, 2012:

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