What an offseason of adjustments it has been for Dan Klecko. The fifth-year journeyman returned to the city of Philadelphia, converted from defensive tackle to fullback and then back again.
His seamless transition not only shows that he has the physical attributes to be used in such a variety of ways, but the intelligence and unselfish character traits that make him a valuable teammate.
With Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley and Trevor Laws, the Eagles have a rotation of players, all of whom were high draft picks, at the defensive tackle position. Since veteran tackle Montae Reagor is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, Klecko looks to be the fourth man to fill in behind the trio of former top draft picks. But he cannot let anything cloud his focus as no spot is guaranteed.
"With Montae, I don't really know what the situation is there, I don't know what it is with me even," Klecko said. "Right now, I'm just keeping my head down, trying to get better and see where things fall at the end of camp."
Klecko has been a part of the defense his whole career either as a linebacker or defensive tackle, so it's not surprising to hear him say that playing on that side of the ball is easier for him.
"It's just because I've known it my whole life," he said. "If I played fullback my whole life and then moved in to D-tackle; I might be singing a different tune."
A tune that the former Temple Owl has never had to endure is that of a losing season. A fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2003 and a two-year member of the Colts, Klecko's overall record is 41-10 in games he appeared in. His teams are a combined 65-15 in his five-year career with three Super Bowl rings.
Granted, being with the right team at the right time and having two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL can help those numbers. Think of him as the Robert Horry of the NFL - although he still has to win a few more rings before one can make that comparison.
Is this a sign that with Klecko's presence comes victories?
From what the 5-11, 275-pound defensive tackle has seen so far, the Eagles are a team with the ability of keeping his streak of double-digit win seasons alive.
"You've got to get through the preseason and you have to get into the regular season to really see how your team is going to shape up," Klecko said. "Right now I feel like this is a good team and I hope I am around to play with them."
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