A look into the first two weeks of #EaglesCamp with an emphasis on Midnight Green. View the full gallery here...
A seven-time Pro Bowl selection, five times as an Eagle, Jason Peters is undeniably one of the best offensive tackles in the game of football. However, Peters has far more to offer than an impressive career. He is a veteran who isn't threatened by sharing his knowledge of the game with younger teammates, which is exactly why he does just that on a daily basis, acting as a mentor to a number of first-year Eagles.
After almost every practice, Peters remains on the field to teach. He wants to ensure that all young players understand the way the game is played in the NFL, but he is especially aware of rookies Malcolm Bunche and Brett Boyko. Both signed with the Eagles as undrafted rookie free agents, a position Peters was once in with the Buffalo Bills.
It remains to be seen if the two first-year players will secure spots on the 53-man roster, but the veteran is certainly giving them both the tools needed for success.
"I just think it's important to show the young guys and pass the knowledge off," Peters said. "Working with them, they really don't know how the game is played right now. I just want to help them out. I had a couple mentors, Jonas Jennings, Mike Williams and a couple more guys when I first got to Buffalo that just took me in and showed me little things and stayed with me after practice like that too."
For Boyko and Bunche, learning from Peters has been a tremendous opportunity. Not only does the tackle lead by example, but he also shares invaluable tips. They both know their mentor has seen years of practice, hundreds of opponents and thousands of plays. If and when Peters wants to help, they are all ears.
"He's a great guy, super helpful," Boyko said. "I was really shocked that someone of his caliber in the league would want to work with me, an undrafted rookie. It would be easy for him to just kind of shush me away, but he's been helpful to me and all the other offensive linemen. He's a really good guy and a good teammate. I'm glad I have him around for sure."
"I consider JP like a big brother," Bunche added. "He's always there helping me, giving me tips about little things when it comes to run blocking and pass blocking, especially pass blocking. He's All-Pro everything. He's awesome when it comes to teaching the technical difficulties of each thing, and I look up to him."
Bunche, however, doesn't only learn from Peters after practice. He constantly watches film featuring the veteran and then asks questions. He wants to understand how and why certain plays happen, as well as the way Peters has continually improved his game throughout the years. Boyko does the same, observing the minute details in the tackle's style of play.
Both offensive linemen feel that learning from the best will assist them in their mission to play in this league. Neither will ever forget the lessons Peters continues to teach them. They have already begun putting the knowledge to good use, making life easier for offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.
Stoutland also feels incredibly thankful to have Peters on his team. He couldn't ask for a better player or for a better person to coach and to know.
"This guy is unbelievable. He's unbelievable," Stoutland said with a look of pride in his face and excitement in his voice. "Look, in our three years of being here, this year, and he's been a great player in all his years, but from a physical standpoint, from being in great shape, from understanding and having a plan as to how we're going to block, he's so focused and so on his game right now, more so than ever before.
"And as good as he is as a player, I say this. He's out here with the young kids, the rookies, and he's out here spending time. How many elite players, be it baseball, hockey, how many of the top, top level guys actually take time out of their day to stay with a young player? On his own, he says to the guy, 'Hey, come here.' 'Hey Bunche, come here.' 'Hey Boyko, come here.' How many guys do that? So, as good of a player as this guy is, he's even a better person. I can't say enough about him. I'm so blessed to have a chance to coach a guy like Jason Peters. Trust me."
For Peters, the recognition is not something he looks for. He merely wants to help the Eagles be the best team they can be, while also creating a strong foundation for the future of football in these rookies.
"I'm on the right path," Peters said. "I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing. When there are things that I know, I'm going to pass it on to the younger guys. I'll always do that."