The Eagles face the Titans in their last 2014 matchup against an AFC South opponent...
Andrew Gardner is in his fifth NFL season and until the week prior to the 43-24 win over Tennessee on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field had never practiced for a full week dedicated to the guard position.
But with Matt Tobin dinged up with a concussion from the loss in Green Bay and the competition for the starting job mounting, Gardner had an entire week of reps at right guard all to himself. It made a difference.
"I felt comfortable there, with a player on either side of me," said Gardner, who started two games at right tackle for the Eagles this season. "It's a little different every spot you go to. Every angle is a little bit different. Having a week to work exclusively at right guard, and since I ended up starting at right guard, was a big benefit."
Gardner doesn't know if he will remain the starting right guard, but his play was at least solid on Sunday. Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey beat Gardner for a sack, but otherwise Gardner helped the Eagles move the football up and down the field.
"I think Andrew had a great game," center Jason Kelce said. "We still have to go back and watch film, but for the most part he was solid. Jurrell Casey, who is probably their best defensive player, I heard him come up after the game and say that he played really well. He was kind of surprised how well he played as a backup coming in. Andrew's a solid player. He's a really smart guy. He understands technique. He understands body position, leverage. He's been solid for us all year. He was a really good offseason pickup.
"It was good performance for the offense. We're always going to look at the points we left out there, but we scored 43 points as a team in an NFL game and that's good," Gardner added. "I had a lot of help and I had fun and we won. That's all that matters."
The Eagles, of course, have had a lot of change up front along the offensive line this season. This was the seventh different starting alignment in 2014. It's been a rotating group with all of the injuries and the four-game suspension for right tackle Lane Johnson. Having some kind of continuity sure would be a plus in the final month of the season.
"We're going to make do with whoever we have out there," Gardner said. "We're all ready to play. That's what we do for a living. Anything we can do to help the offense go and for us to win, we're going to do that."