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OT Bamiro Strives For Big Jump

Posted Jun 10, 2014

The world has slowed down for Michael Bamiro in the 11 months since he's been an Eagle. Signed last July as a rookie free agent, Bamiro began the long process of making a quantum leap to the NFL ...

The world has slowed down for Michael Bamiro in the 11 months since he's been an Eagles offensive lineman. Signed last July as a rookie free agent, Bamiro began the long process of making a quantum leap to the NFL.

He impressed at a post-draft workout in front of NFL scouts and signed with the Eagles, who were intrigued with his 6-foot-8 frame and his athletic feet and his long arms and the potential oozing from the Stony Brook game tapes featuring Bamiro.

Bamiro, then, signed on July 17. Think about it. A couple of weeks later he was at Training Camp being exposed to a practice tempo and a level of athlete that he just didn't encounter in games against Coastal Carolina and VMI and Liberty.

It was fast, baby. Blazing fast. And all Bamiro could do was to absorb as much as he could, work hard and measure improvement in thimblefuls. The Eagles knew the enormous leap Bamiro was taking and they understood to temper the initial expectations.

"It was tough, but it was a great learning experience at the same time, transitioning from college to the NFL like that," said Bamiro. "I had to learn a lot on the fly, and I felt that I was helped here a lot along the way. I'm here today in a different place. The game has slowed down for me. I understand what we're trying to do.

"Of course I watched what I did in the preseason and I saw that I made a lot of mistakes and I also saw that I made a lot of good plays. I saw improvement. I know that to really make it in the NFL, I've got to be a lot more consistent in what I'm doing and continue to study the playbook and then go out and play well when it's my time."

If Chip Kelly believes that "big people beat up little people" on the football field, and he does, then he's got one of the biggest people of them all in the 6-8, 340-pound Bamiro. But being a large guy isn't enough to win the battle on the edge at the line of scrimmage. There is a ton of technique involved and Bamiro has focused so much on the dance-step of his feet and his hand placement and the punch he needs to ward off defensive linemen in the running game and in the passing game.

"It's everything put together that I need to improve. Speed, strength and understanding where I need to be," he said. "I feel like I've gotten better and that I still have a long way to go. I'm working hard, getting good feedback from the coaches and I'm confident that I'm going to get there."

Bamiro spent last year on the practice squad working on his game in practice and on his strength in the weight room. He's added strength and durability as he looks to earn a spot on the 53-man roster behind the starting tackles, Jason Peters and Lane Johnson.

There is some competition here. The Eagles have third-year man Dennis Kelly and second-year man Matt Tobin as well, and they added Andrew Gardner from the Texans in the offseason, along with USC's Kevin Graf after the May NFL draft. Allen Barbre, who can play both guard and tackle, signed a contract extension last week.

So the road to the 53-man roster is not paved for Bamiro. He knows he needs to continue to make progress and play very well in the preseason games to gain a job here.

"There are so many great players here, but my focus is on what I'm doing," said Bamiro. "That's my job, to work hard and do what I can do to improve my game and help this team. So I'm out here every day working hard."

The Eagles need some of these young players to step up and provide depth for the offensive line, so why not Bamiro? He has taken a lot of steps since last July, with a test ahead that he is much more equipped to pass after a year of preparation.

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