The Great Wall of Philadelphia
In 2008 the Eagles finished 9th in overall offense, 6th in passing, and 22nd in rushing. The best offensive lineman on the team, Shawn Andrews, got hurt the 2nd game of the season and never returned. Max jean-Gilles stepped in and played at a high level until he got injured in the post season. Nick Cole then replaced Max and played well. At the end of the season the eagles had a 35 year old Tra Thomas playing left tackle, a 3rd stringer at right guard, and a one legged Jon Runyan at right tackle. Todd Herremans had the best year of any Eagle lineman by far playing at left guard. With this old banged up line the eagles still had great success on the offensive side of the ball.
Now Herremans, along with center Jamal Jackson, welcomes back a healthy Shawn Andrews and 2 other new Eagles. One is Shawn Andrews brother Stacy, who was picked up by the Eagles through free agency. The other new Eagle is two time probowl left tackle Jason Peters. The Eagles acquired Peters through one of the biggest trades of the offseason. To get Peters from Buffalo they gave up the 28th overall pick, and a fourth round pick in the 2009 draft and a 2010 6th round pick.
At left tackle Jason Peters will replace Tra Thomas who signed a 3 year deal with Jacksonville. Thomas was a great player for 10 years, but hes getting old and the Eagles decided to let him go. Peters is a major upgrade at this position, and should dominate whoever is put in front of him.
At left guard Todd Herremans retains his spot on the line. He had a great year in 2008. He is a very good young player and he can only get better. Don't be suprised if you see him in the probowl in 2010.
Holding down the center spot will be Jamal Jackson who has been there since taking over in 2006. Jackson is a great player but is somewhat of an underachiever. With Jackson in the middle not much is getting through.
At right guard will be Stacy Andrews playing where his brother Shawn has earned 2 probowl appearances. A 6 foot 7, 342 pound Stacy Andrews is a major upgrade over 6 foot 300 pound 3rd stringer Nick cole. Stacy is the key to this line. If he can get healthy soon, He will be a very good right guard.
Shawn Andrews, the 2 time probowl right guard, will be moving out to right tackle. Shawn has all the tools to make a successful transition. He is a great run blocker and is big and athletic enough to play out in space. This is a great upgrade over an old banged up Jon Runyan. Shawn will probably make a couple more trips to Hawaii over the next few years.
With potential probowlers at every spot, good depth, and one of the best offensive line coaches in the business, Juan Castillo, pushing them; you can expect big things from this unit in 2009 and many years to come.
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