For backups, injuries to those in front of them on the depth chart lead to increased opportunities. That's how it is for Mike McGlynn, a third-year lineman eager to prove that he can start in the NFL.
With head coach Andy Reid indicating last week that starting center Jamaal Jackson will miss the spring camps and even training camp, McGlynn figures to get a chance to prove himself.
"Sometimes things like that happen. It's tough," McGlynn said. "My goal is to be a starter in this league and if it's my opportunity it's my opportunity. We'll see how it works out."
Jackson tore his ACL in late December in the second-to-last game of the season. Nick Cole stepped in for Jackson and is likely to be the No. 1 center on the depth chart entering the spring camps, although he is a restricted free agent who has yet to sign his contract tender.
Then there's McGlynn, who has seen action in four games over his first two seasons. His ability to play both guard and center make him a valued commodity up front.
"It's good sitting back and learning the schemes and learning the offense, but my goal is to be a starter in the league," he said. "Hopefully I compete for it this year."
McGlynn knows the work he puts in now is integral to achieving his goal, as is the new program instituted by strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin. With an emphasis on power cleans, squats and bench press, the workout is especially popular with the linemen.
"As a lineman, this is important for us," McGlynn said. "It's more of a strength-building program. It works on everything - explosiveness, going from stop to a start, things like that. More than anything, this program is about building on our overall strength. It's been a good change."
So while Jackson is relegated to working on his recovery every day, McGlynn is preparing to showcase his talents.
"Opportunity rises for everybody," McGlynn said. "We'll see how it pans out."
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 7:00 a.m., March 29