Eagles Confident in Right Guard Candidates
The Eagles offensive line is pretty much settled with the exception of the competition at right guard. On Sunday, after a preseason opener, Eagles coach Chip Kelly failed to give any of the competitors a leg up even though it was Andrew Gardner who appeared in the lead.
"He just rotated. It wasn't a separation," Kelly explained. "I think it was just who we had in there the last day or so. It could be a new ‑‑ we are going to give all those guys an opportunity before we make a decision on what's going to go on there."
The rest of the offensive line seems set with Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson almost assured of starting spots. However the battle between Gardner., Matt Tobin, Julian Vandervelde and John Moffitt is one to watch over the next three games.
“We have a lot of depth at the offensive line position," Eagles center Jason Kelce said.
"We have good players here, we have a coach who is dedicated to really making sure the guys are blocking the right way, to developing the younger guys and the second-tier players because you know there’s a chance they could play. That’s not always the case in the NFL. [Offensive line coach] Jeff Stoutland does a great job making sure everybody is ready to go, if need be.”
It was expected that while Gardner was working with the starters on Sunday everyone will be getting equal reps and getting an opportunity to show they belong. While Gardner didn't do anything to separate himself from the pact, he does have a fan in Kelce.
“I’ve played next to Gardner, both last year and a lot this offseason, so he really didn’t do anything surprising [to me] out there," Kelce said. "Every time he’s been put in the mix, and every time he’s played right guard, he’s done a solid job for us. We had a really good double-team block on one play. As far as I know, in pass protection he held up pretty darn well."
While Kelce didn't necessarily endorse Gardner, he does seem to be confident in him and anyone else who might win the job playing right next to him this season.
"I think I speak for the entire team when I say we’re confident in Andrew Gardner and we’re confident in a couple other guys who have been rotating in that spot," explained Kelce. "I think one of the good things about whoever is going to play that right guard spot is most of those guys have seen action in games and they’re guys that I think our offensive line and coaches are comfortable with.”