First, Demetress Bell was the starting left tackle. Then he lost the job to King Dunlap. Then he replaced an injured Dunlap and started two games. But after two missed games, Dunlap is healthy again. Now what?
According to head coach Andy Reid, the decision as to who will be the starting left tackle this week and for the foreseeable future has not yet been made. First, Reid wants to see how fit Dunlap really is.
"The one positive is that Bell really played well in our game," Reid said. "That bides me a little time to see how King is doing."
So at Wednesday's practice, Bell returned to the position that he's occupied for a couple weeks now, working with the first-team offense at left tackle.
"For right now," Bell said. "We'll have to see tomorrow."
Uncertainty aside, Bell has seemed to become more comfortable in the Eagles offense than he was in the preseason. As Reid noted, the offensive line improved steadily throughout the game against the Giants. Bell was primarily lined up opposite Pro Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul and though Pierre-Paul got some pressure on Michael Vick, he was held without a sack.
"I've just settled down," Bell said. "Settled myself down. Don't be trying to prove anything, just play my game.
"It helps a lot once you've been there, been there with that group. You're thrown in there, you've got to keep it ticking without anything falling off. I guess it's added pressure but that's your job as a football player to fit right in."
Bell does have some experience playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, including one regular season game and one preseason game. In 2010, Bell did not allow a sack in a 19-16 loss to Pittsburgh.
"I don't remember the stats or anything like that," Bell said. "The two games that I did play them, I think it was pretty good. Nothing to brag about or anything like that. I did my job but there are things I can improve on."
So if he is indeed called upon, Bell knows what to expect.
"Tough, hard-nosed football every down," he said. "It's going to be knock-down drag-out just like Baltimore, just like the Giants, so we have to be ready for it."
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