It's tough to find a proven offensive lineman in today's NFL. You can sign one in the off-season, but it will cost you. You could try drafting one, but there's plenty of risk with that too. Or you could do what the Eagles did with Reggie Wells, work the trade market.
Acquiring Wells from Arizona brought the Eagles a 90-game starter on the offensive line, and provides the team with tremendous depth at virtually every position up front.
Wells was a productive player in Arizona, serving as the team's starting left guard, left tackle and right tackle at different points during his seven year tenure on the team. He started 70 straight games for the Cardinals from 2006 until the pre-cutdown day trade that brought him to Philadelphia.
However, the transition to a new blocking scheme can take some time. Wells has been in Philadelphia for almost two weeks now, and thinks he's starting to get the hang of things.
"Wherever you go, the o-line coach is going to have his own way of teaching things and how they want things done," Wells said on Thursday. "So it is different, but at the same time, I think it's good and I think it helps our guys in pass protection."
The Eagles know that adding Wells to the mix gives them depth at almost every position along the offensive line. Wells said he's even starting to learn the center position, the only spot along the line he's not familiar with. His main focus, however, is continuing to familiarize himself with the Eagles playbook.
"At this point it's really just learning the plays," Wells said. "Whether it be guard, or now that we're down a center … that (could be) the case down the road, I could look at that. I think my versatility is something that helped me and they're aware of that. I think they're going to use me wherever they see fit."
And Wells' time could come at any point. As evidenced by last Sunday's war of attrition, injuries can happen at any time in the NFL, so Wells has to be ready. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told reporters on Thursday that Wells is a fast learner, and he's fitting in just fine.
"He's been here a short period of time," Mornhinweg said. "He's another real smart guy. His preparation has been excellent. Sort of a natural player, so things come easy to him that way. He's done well."
Exactly when Reggie Wells will see the field, and in what capacity, is undetermined. But the Eagles coaching staff seems confident that when he does, he'll be ready.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 2:25 p.m., September 16