Philadelphia Eagles News

Camp Countdown: Guard


At the guard position for the Eagles, there's two big guys: the Big Kid and the Big Quiz.

On the right side of center Jamaal Jackson, the sure thing lines up. Arguably the best guard in the game, the former first-round pick is fresh off of a Pro Bowl season. On the left, we find the question mark. Fighting for his job, the former fourth-round pick is trying to recover from a season plagued with nagging injuries.

Not surprisingly, Shawn Andrews will be back as the right guard after a stellar 2007 season in which he, among other things, helped running back Brian Westbrook to an NFL-leading 2,104 yards from scrimmage. But Todd Herremans, just a season or two removed from establishing himself as Andrews' partner in crime in a top young guard tandem, adds another story arc to the training camp saga.

After fighting off injuries for an entire season, Herremans must now fight off competition, most notably from Max Jean-Gilles. After all, an offensive line is only as strong as its weakest link, and head coach Andy Reid will make sure the best five players are on the field.

"If you can't do the job then you shouldn't be out there," Herremans said. "I wasn't happy with the way I played last year. Obviously (the coaches) weren't as well, they shouldn't have been. Coming into (spring) camp, I wanted to show them that I am the guy."

An offensive line is at its best when all five starters can maximize their playing time together, so the lineup could be determined relatively early on in camp. Behind Andrews and Herremans, the position remains deep with a lot of potential solutions should something go awry.

Jean-Gilles has shown flashes, but hasn't put together a full body of work just yet. Scott Young has seen the field on numerous occasions, but missing the voluntary spring workouts leaves his status somewhat in limbo. Veteran Stefan Rodgers will be providing some of the push, back after spending the last two seasons on Injured Reserve.

Then, there are the rookies. Always one to value versatility in his linemen, Reid used a fourth-round selection on Pittsburgh's Mike McGlynn, who played both tackle and guard in college, and could even play center in the NFL. Sixth-rounder Mike Gibson from Cal played tackle and will make the move inside.

Still, all that youth raises some valid questions, should Andrews or Herremans suffer setbacks.


Herremans battled a knee injury and Andrews missed a game, as well. Keeping the veterans healthy is paramount to the team's success, especially with the lack of experience behind them.

BATTLE TO WATCH: Herremans vs. Jean-Gilles

Herremans definitely has the inside track, and the knee might have slowed him down in 2007. But all competition is good, and if Jean-Gilles continues to improve he will be impossible to ignore.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content