Throughout a preseason that saw a lot of shuffling along the offensive line, one position remained unchanged and in tact throughout - center.
Jamaal Jackson has started every game in the middle of the Eagles' offensive line since he was first inserted for an injured Hank Fraley during the 2005 season, and he was his usual dependable self this preseason, not missing a single practice.
Although neither the projected starting offensive line (including an injured Todd Herremans) nor the opening day starting offensive line has played together in a preseason game, Jackson still feels confident that his unit can get the job done come Sunday.
"We have to be (ready to go)," Jackson said. "It's not if, or do I think we're ready to go. I'm very confident in this lineup. (The Eagles) did a lot (this off-season) and went out and upgraded. It was what we needed and now it's time to go out and put it to the test."
Jackson says he believes the team is well-equipped to take the final step this season.
"We were one game away (last year), one play away from going to the Super Bowl," he said, "so we'll try to rectify that situation this year."
The first opponent on the road to the top is the Carolina Panthers.
"They're a young, aggressive defense," Jackson said of the team he'll be lined up against on Sunday. "We all know they got Julius Peppers. (Jon) Beason at linebacker, he led the team in tackles last year and he was a pro bowl player. We're going to have our hands full."
But Jackson is confident in his linemates' ability to clear space for Brian Westbrook to run through and to prevent on-rushing defenders from reaching Donovan McNabb. Jackson believes that if they can provide McNabb enough time, the Eagles' offense will be explosive.
"Shoot, (McNabb) has a lot to choose from," Jackson said of the players surrounding McNabb. "This is probably one of the best teams, as far as weapons-wise for him, that he has to work with. So we're just waiting to see. He's going to have guys open all over the field."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 3:37 p.m., September 8