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Backup C Molk Ready For Key Role

Posted Sep 2, 2015

If you never hear from David Molk, and if you don't see him on the field in 2015, he's not going to complain. His role is to back up Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce, and Molk understands his job very well ...

If you never hear from David Molk, and if you don't see him on the field in 2015, he's not going to complain. His role is to back up Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce, and Molk understands his job very well.

"I have to be ready to play if something happens to Jason. If nothing happens to him, and nobody wants him to go down, then I know how my role changes," Molk said. "I've played 60 or so snaps in every preseason game. That's like a normal regular season game. From a conditioning standpoint, I'm ready to go. The rust is knocked off."

Molk emerged as a key player for the Eagles in 2014 when Kelce suffered a sports hernia injury that required surgery. Molk started four games, the first of his brief NFL career, and he held his own. The Eagles went 2-2 in those games against San Francisco, St. Louis, the Giants and Arizona. 

Molk was drafted by the Chargers in 2012 and he played in 12 games that year before ending the season on Injured Reserve with a thumb injury. He was cut by the Chargers the following August and then sat out the 2013 regular season before the Eagles signed him in January, 2014.

He isn't the biggest guy and he isn't the fastest guy, but Molk has improved at center, has added guard to his repertoire, and has emerged as a huge, key, instrumental piece along the offensive line.

"Dave's been great since he's been here, honestly," Kelce said. "He's a very smart guy, undersized like myself at the center position a little bit, but he's a smart guy who understands the game. He's confident in his own game and he's continued to learn since he's been here -- from coach Jeff Stoutland and assistant coach Greg (Austin).

"He's really come into his own. Even last year, he was ready to start when I went down. That was important."

Molk isn't necessarily "comfortable" in his role, because the nature of the business always says that teams are looking to upgrade. Molk is a 290-pounder and at 6-1, he's always going to have to battle to keep his anchor against bigger defensive linemen.

As the Eagles prepare for the 2015 preseason finale against the Jets (7 p.m., NBC10 in Philadelphia, NFL Network nationally), Molk is in line to make the 53-man roster again. There are no definites here, but Molk showed his mettle last season.

And that experience changes the way he is viewed in this preseason. He is likely to play on Thursday, but it's not necessarily for a roster spot.

"When I was a rookie, it was pure life or death," Molk said of the fourth preseason game, as he knows it. "I was out there fighting for every snap. It meant everything. Honestly, it's still really that way in some sorts, but it's just not as dire. It's not life or death.

"By the end of the preseason you're used to the situation. You know you're going in to play against twos and threes (reserve players, not starters) so you know it's not going to be anything freaky. At the same time, it's one of four job interviews you have for your job in the NFL.

"This is a chance to kind of solidify who I am in the minds of the coaches, a chance to have them build some trust in me. All of that. It's always fun to play. I look forward to each chance out there."

Maybe Molk will play the majority of the snaps of game against the Jets. Maybe he will then retreat to the sidelines and watch the season, keep working with Kelce, and see an offense take flight. That's the goal for Molk.

"My job is to be ready to play when the coaches call on me, no matter where they want me to play," Molk said. "I've been around here for a year and I know how it works. This is the preseason. I know there are a lot of young guys who are going to be feeling it. I'm here to help. We just want to go out and play well and put our performances on tape for the league to see. This is a job interview. It is every time you step out on the field. I like that feeling."

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