Philadelphia Eagles News

Dunlap Ready For LT Throne?

With Jason Peters still recovering from a quad spasm, the starting offensive line will have a different, more regal look to it against the Colts on Thursday night. King Dunlap, a second-year Eagle, will step in as the starting left tackle, according to head coach Andy Reid.

A seventh-round pick who spent all of 2008 on injured reserve, Dunlap has been working at both tackle positions this preseason, but left tackle is his natural position.

"I feel more comfortable on the left side," Dunlap said, "Because I'm left-handed and I've been playing left side my whole life."

The starting offense is penciled in to play the entire first half against the Colts, and Reid said he feels comfortable with Dunlap protecting Donovan McNabb's blind side.

"(Dunlap)'s really done a nice job," Reid said. "He's getting better every day.

"I think the last couple of days here, he's done well. Now, he's got a pretty good player he's playing against, that will be a good test for him. I think he's excited about that."

Indeed, Dunlap will be lined up against one of the NFL's premier pass rushers, Dwight Freeney, known for his lethal spin move.

"I'm excited to go out there and go against one of the best guys in the league," Dunlap said. "It will let me know where I'm at right now."

But Dunlap's not going in unprepared. In addition to all the film he's watched this week on Freeney, he's done some outside scouting on his own.

"I texted my friend (San Diego Chargers left tackle) Marcus McNeill," said Dunlap, who played with McNeill at Auburn. "He gave me a couple of pointers on things to look out for."

But the most important key to stopping Freeney is playing fundamental football.

"Anticipating the snap count," Dunlap said on what he'll be focused on, "Getting in our set and getting off the ball, especially against a speed guy like Freeney."

From afar, Dunlap is perhaps the most recognizable Eagle. Standing at 6-8, and perhaps more than that, Dunlap towers over his teammates. In fact, he's so tall that even though he weighs about 305 pounds, he's considered skinny. Dunlap agrees that he needs to add a few pounds, a result of what he called "working too hard" in the offseason.

While he spent the entire season on IR, Dunlap said he gained too much weight, stretching all the way up to 337 pounds. So he focused on losing weight all offseason and ended up getting down to around 300. His target is to be somewhere between 310 and 315 lbs.

As for his royal name, Dunlap is actually King Dunlap V. And he already has an heir to the throne, his son King Dunlap VI.

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