David Molk is an entertaining man. He laughs a lot. He gives reporters long, sprawling, well-thought-out answers, and he brings his personality with him wherever he goes, including the locker room.
Tuesday, Molk was as animated as ever as he discussed his situation before this weekend's showdown with the San Francisco 49ers. For the first time this season, rather than being thrown into the mix midway through a game, Molk will be starting in place of injured center Jason Kelce.
"It's awesome," Molk explained after Tuesday's training session. "It's so much nicer when you're declared what your job is. It's so much better. Because when you're sitting on the sideline you don't know what's going to happen. You don't know what you should prepare for, you don't know where you're going to be, you don't know what you're going to do on that day. But now, going to a game, I know exactly who I'm playing, exactly what we're doing, exactly what my job is declared as at the start of that game."
He clenched his fists and exclaimed, with a smile, "Thank you!"
In the wake of the team's third serious injury to an offensive lineman, with Kelce slated to undergo sports hernia surgery and be sidelined for the foreseeable future, the Eagles are once again forced to shake up the offensive line in advance of Sunday's matchup against the 49ers.
In Tuesday's training session, the team's first since Sunday's win over Washington, the offensive line had yet another brand new look. Jason Peters was at left tackle, lined up next to Matt Tobin at left guard, with Molk at center, Dennis Kelly at right guard and Todd Herremans at right tackle.
Tobin was inactive for the first three games of the season, despite participating in training sessions last week. After taking first-team reps in Tuesday's training session, Tobin said he feels good about potentially getting the start this weekend. He likes the fact that he, Molk, and Kelly are in the same places that they were as second-team offensive linemen in the preseason, and now he's ready for a shot at playing time.
"I think I'm ready to go," Tobin said. "I've been trying to stay on top of it. [I was limited] early on, but the last couple of weeks I've been getting after it."
The second-year guard said he didn't really expect this opportunity to arise so soon, at least after the team avoided any offensive line injuries last season.
"I didn't see [the injuries] happening when I got hurt in the Jets game," Tobin explained, "but the way the first game went, I knew once I got back I'd probably have a chance."
The two potential new additions to this week's offensive line will bring yet another set of questions about cohesiveness and communication along the offensive line. Since the center is the one who calls out shifts and directs the offensive line, and by extension the offense, a lot of pressure will be on Molk in San Francisco Sunday.
He said he's more than ready to handle the responsibility, mainly because of the experience he gets from training sessions each day, even as the backup.
"We get tons of reps here, which is great," Molk said, "and all it's going to turn into and translate to this week is now me putting more time in, studying everything that [the offensive line is] going to do so I'm extremely comfortable with everything they do.
"Just like any business in the entire world, when you've got a new guy, he's got to step up at some point in time, and if he doesn't, you're not going to trust him. If it's any of you guys and anyone you guys work with, that's how it works. So this is the test. If I succeed, everybody's going to trust me and everything will be great."