For anyone able to catch the Eagles' pre-season games, you were treated to a healthy serving of left tackle Austin Howard.
Howard was an undrafted free agent from Northern Iowa and was signed after the 2010 draft. In the pre-season game against the Jaguars, "Flapjack" Howard was pancaking guys left and right. For those of you who don't know what a pancake block is, it is a block in which the defender becomes firmly planted on their backside.
Many analysts took notice of how well Howard was playing. Although this was only pre-season, Howard was blocking and sealing edges like a Pro Bowler. Oh and guess what? He didn't have seven false-start penalties called on him. We have become accustomed to five-yard losses because a certain Pro Bowl left tackle always decides to pounce on that last cheeseburger before the rest of the fellas.
Since going down with a torn meniscus, starting left tackle Jason Peters is being replaced by King "Queen" Dunlap. Dunlap is a 6'9", 330-pound Build-A-Bear. He even speaks!
All kidding aside, Dunlap is more suited to be a club bouncer than a professional athlete. He is slow and is constantly getting beat by even the most mediocre defensive ends. We have dealt with this man for two years and have cringed at the thought of him being on the field.
Yet, Andy Reid's ego is too large to admit that one of his offensive linemen sucks. Perhaps Dunlap threatened to beat the heck out of Big Red if he didn't start him.
My request? Start Austin Howard!
Yes, Austin Howard is a rookie. No, Austin Howard does not have tons of experience. No, Austin Howard is not 6'9" and 330 pounds. Austin Howard is, however, a football player and when I say football player, I mean football player. The man holds his and own and destroys people at the line of scrimmage. He is good on his feet and is capable of sealing the edge so that the lovely Michael Vick can flash his wheels. What more can you ask for from an offensive tackle?
I say again—Start Austin Howard!