Center Jamaal Jackson plans to suit up and run out of the tunnel with his teammates on September 12 when the Eagles open the 2010 season against the Green Bay Packers.
In fact, Jackson takes umbrage with the notion that he'll be out for a prolonged absence this year after he suffered an ACL injury in Week 16 of the 2009 season.
"I feel good about it. (Head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) and his staff have done a great job preparing me rehab-wise and getting my knee right," said Jackson, who is now running and doing pass protection drills. "I've been progressing ever since. Right now, I'm being positive about it."
The starter at center since the middle of the 2005 season, Jackson had started in 76 consecutive games (including playoffs) before the injury. It was one of the longest ironman streaks in the entire league at his position. His absence was noticeable as the offense struggled against the Dallas pass rush and was unable to get on track in Week 17 and in the wild card playoff game.
Nick Cole has been the first-team center throughout the offseason. Jackson isn't concerned about the chemistry with new starting quarterback Kevin Kolb. The two worked together in the 2009 season when Kolb started two games and they have been studying film together throughout this offseason.
"I think this offense is built for Kevin to thrive in. As long as he's got the protection, I think he'll be able to get the ball out and get it to all of the weapons on offense," Jackson said. "I think (the offensive will) be better than in years past just because we have a lot more talent on the offensive side of the ball and these guys are young and hungry."
Jackson said that it's not out of the question for Kolb to throw for more than 30 touchdown passes this season.
"If the guys up front protect, then good things happen," Jackson said. "Kevin's a very smart guy. His biggest strength is his accuracy and just playing within the offense. I think the biggest thing is just letting the game come to him and not trying to push things so much."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:50 a.m., July 23