New Eagles offensive lineman Nate Menkin has been a big fan of the team for many years. Much to Menkin's surprise, the team is a fan of Menkin as well.
However, Menkin did not learn that until after he was released Friday by the Houston Texans and subsequently claimed off waivers by the Eagles.
"I was really excited," Menkin said after his first Eagles practice Monday. "Any chance to come right away and impact a roster and try to fight for a starting job is a great opportunity for a rookie."
Menkin played both right and left tackle last year for Division III powerhouse Mary Hardin-Baylor. An All-America selection, Menkin spent a good amount of time Monday explaining how it's not the Baylor where Danny Watkins played. Menkin is just the second MHB player (joining Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman) to sign with an NFL team. The 6-4, 296-pound Menkin went undrafted and signed with the Texans as a rookie free agent. Menkin said the Eagles showed no apparent interest before the draft.
MHB utilized a run-heavy attack, so Menkin had to adjust to the pass protection schemes of the more pass-oriented NFL. He will have to tinker with his technique even more now that Howard Mudd is his offensive line coach.
"At Houston, it was a lot of vertical kicks. Here, I'm going to be learning a little bit different style of pass pro," said Menkin, who played left tackle with the Texans. "I'm excited to change. I haven't had an opportunity to play guard. I'm excited to have that opportunity. I'm really honored to learn under such a prestigious O-line coach.
The Texans were hoping to get Menkin on the practice squad, but the Eagles wasted no time getting someone who can bolster the team's offensive line depth now and challenge to be a starter down the line.
"I'm surprised, but excited," Menkin said. "I'm excited to learn new tricks."
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