Philadelphia Eagles News

Consistency Key For Andrew Gardner

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Locked in the heat of a highly contested Training Camp position battle, Andrew Gardner is striving for just one thing – consistency.

Starting right guard is the one place along the offensive line that remains up in the air amongst the likes of Gardner, John Moffitt, Julian Vandervelde and Matt Tobin. Gardner started at that spot on Sunday, and while he only played 11 snaps, he showed his head coach exactly what he was looking for.

"You know what you're getting," Chip Kelly said of Gardner. "He's extremely intelligent, he knows how to run angles and knows where everyone is supposed to be on every play. He does what you ask him to do.

"He's not a flashy guy who is going to drive a guy back 15 yards and put him on his back and pancake him, but he always seems to be in the right spot and I think he's worked really hard at it."

He may not be flashy, but Gardner most certainly put his best foot forward during Sunday's 36-10 win over Indianapolis. He received some praise from his coaches after looking at the film, but Gardner knows there's always more work to be done.

After a day of rest, the #Eagles began preparing for their second preseason game against the Ravens. View the full gallery here...

"I felt pretty good about the game on Sunday," Gardner said. "(The coaches) were pretty positive about it. It was only 11 snaps, but there was a positive response."

After taking those first 11 offensive snaps for the Eagles on Sunday, Gardner was once again working with the first-team offensive line on Tuesday. That being said, Kelly has said all along that the rotation will continue until someone wins the job, and Gardner knows that he'll have to prove himself every time that he takes the field.

"I don't feel like there's ever much separation at all in this league," Gardner said. "(Coach Kelly) could come out here today and say that Andrew Gardner is the starter and two days from now be like 'never mind.' In games one, two and three, nobody ever has anything locked up in this league. I'll play right guard until they tell me I'm not doing that.

"The more work you get with (the first-team offensive line), the better. If I end up being the guy, the more work I can get with them, the better we feel, so all reps are good."

While his versatility and hard-working attitude will go a long way in his battle for the starting spot, Gardner also has a year of experience in the Eagles' system. After short stints with the Dolphins, Ravens, Vikings, Bengals and Texans, Gardner landed with the Eagles as a free agent signing last offseason. His versatility played a key role in his first season in Philadelphia, as the Georgia Tech product started eight games for the Eagles in 2014 - six at right guard and two at right tackle.

With that experience in his back pocket, Gardner feels as comfortable as ever in the Eagles' offense.

"I feel like it's a good system fit," Gardner said. "Last summer, there was obviously an adjustment period where you learn the offense and everything, but in this offseason program, there was none of that. I knew everything so I was just really focusing on technique and less on making sure I was doing the right thing on every play."

There are 27 days between now and the Eagles' Monday night opener in Atlanta. There is still a lot of football to be played between now and then, and while getting the start in Atlanta would surely be special for a player who played there collegiately, Gardner is still just taking things one day at time in order to stay - you guessed it - consistent.

"Everybody tries to be consistent," Gardner said. "I really just go out there every game and try to do the best I can, and if that's consistent, then good."

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