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Herremans: The Elder Statesman On The Line

On his left is tackle Jason Peters, who joined the team just last year. To his right could be a new center to start the 2010 season. If it's Nick Cole, he originally made the team as a rookie free agent in 2006.

Even as Todd Herremans looks down the remainder of the offensive line, the truth remains that he is now the elder statesman among the current starters along the offensive line. For a decade, the Eagles offensive line was defined by the play of the bookend tackles Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan.

Looked at as one of the team's strengths entering 2009, the offensive line never came together as expected. Herremans began the season on the sideline with a stress fracture and missed the first five games. This year, the challenge will begin at center. Jamaal Jackson, the true elder statesman, is rehabbing from reconstructive knee surgery and will not be ready until mid-August at the earliest. In the meantime, head coach Andy Reid said Cole would start and Mike McGlynn is working in there as well.

"Nick and Mike are both doing a real good job. They're holding their weight," Herremans said. "They know the offense just like Jamaal does pretty much. As far as them rotating through, whether that's going to affect anything, no, because the offensive line of a 10-man group than a five-man group. The biggest thing about being in the middle is having control and be able to make out the calls and not panic."

What's also going to be different is the man who is taking the snaps from the center. The recent post-draft mini-camp provided a bit of a surprise for Herremans in regards to the development of the offense with Kevin Kolb as the quarterback.

"We're coming along a little quicker than I thought we would," Herremans said. "Kevin's doing a great job. He's got command of the huddle."

Herremans believes that by the Eagles not drafting an offensive lineman the Eagles have who they want in place. The key now is backing up the team's faith in the protectors up front.

"It's just our job to get it right and prove that he's right," Herremans said.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:55 p.m., May 7

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