On what is projected to be a very good offensive line, Todd Herremans stands out for a number of reasons. There is his unique haircut. He has also proven to be an incredibly versatile player, lining up as both a guard and a tackle. Although he is often in a light-hearted mood and carries himself in a very laid-back manner, the Eagles' longest-tenured player is all business when it comes to football.
After starting 71 regular season games at guard from 2006-10, Herremans shifted over to right tackle for the past two seasons. Now playing back on the inside, Herremans admitted that getting re-acclimated to the position has been a somewhat of a challenge.
"It's a little bit of an adjustment," Herremans said following the Eagles' 14-9 victory over Carolina on Thursday. "I'm still working on it. My pass (protection) isn't where I want it to be right now, but I've been getting some extra work at that. I'm just trying to get better, and we've got another week or two to iron things out before we get it fully started."
With all of the questions that have been asked about how Chip Kelly's offensive system would work at the NFL level, Herremans has had a close-up view of exactly how good the offense can be. It has certainly generated "a buzz" among the players in the locker room.
"We're excited about the way things have been going, but I think even back in the OTA's we had a feeling like, 'Wow, this could really turn out well,'" he said. "But we still have a lot of things that we need to cover and get better at and we have a couple of weeks to do that."
The number one question surrounding the Eagles remains squarely focused on who will be the team's starting quarterback. Herremans said that it doesn't matter to him who he is blocking for and that both Michael Vick and Nick Foles have adjusted quickly to the new offense.
"I think both of the quarterbacks are very comfortable because of the knowledge of the offense that they have," Herremans explained. "It was kind of put in from the ground up so they have to understand the whole thing and a lot of it rides on their shoulders. I think Mike kind of thrives in that and I think Nick likes it too. It's a lot of decision-making in the quarterbacks' hands and I think both of them are into that."
Both Vick and Foles have been impressive in their first two preseason games. They both seem to fit the offensive scheme, even though they possess very different skill sets. Herremans says that is a credit to the offensive philosophy.
"I think that kind of kills the myth that Chip needs to have a running quarterback," Herremans said. "I think you just have to be a smart play-caller and a great decision-maker to run this offense, and I think that both of them are working really hard on that and it's showing."
Why is it about the offense that makes it so adaptable? According to Herremans, one of the reasons why both quarterbacks have taken so quickly to Kelly's offense is because of the freedom that they possess in it.
"There's a play that we want to run and then there are a bunch of different options that we can run off of it depending on what the defense gives us," the guard explained. "I figure that from a quarterback's view you kind of sit there and say 'Okay, what are you going to give us?' and then that kind of makes the decision-making a little bit easier for them."
Although the team has played just two preseason games, Herremans is pleased with how the offense has looked as a unit. He knows that building the system will take some time.
"It's coming along," he said. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun in this offense, and I think it can be pretty deadly."
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