Injuries are a part of life in the NFL. And the Eagles sure had their share last Sunday against Green Bay. But as the old mantra says, when one guy goes down, the team expects the next guy to step up and be ready to go. Such is the case with Eagles center Mike McGlynn. The third-year veteran out of Pittsburgh will likely start his first NFL game on Sunday in place of injured center Jamaal Jackson, and his teammates expect nothing but a smooth transition.
"Mike's going to have to step up and be the starter," offensive tackle Winston Justice said Tuesday. "He was there in preseason and I think he's ready to be the guy. I don't think there will be any changes other than Mike actually being in there."
The center position is one of the most difficult to master on the football team. The center serves as the captain of the offensive line, and is responsible for adjusting protection based on what he sees at the line of scrimmage.
Jamaal Jackson has been the starter for the Eagles at center since the middle of the 2005 season, and has experienced everything you can at that position. He's not an easy man to replace. But Justice thinks McGlynn is very capable of picking up where Jackson left off, and directing the rest of the big guys up front.
"They're coached by the same people, he does the same things and he's going to make the same calls," Justice said while comparing McGlynn to the injured Jackson. "The only difference is experience. Jack has six years of experience, and Mike doesn't really have any yet. But he's going to get some coming up pretty soon."
Running back Eldra Buckley echoed those sentiments on Tuesday. He watched Sunday as four starters were lost to injury in the second quarter, but wasn't surprised that the team was able to rally back in the second half. The way he sees it, players will ultimately do what they have to for the team, whether they're starters or not. And when he looks at McGlynn, Buckley thinks he'll follow suit.
"Jamaal is a great player but I think McGlynn will step in and do a good job," Buckley said. "I think he'll step up and do whatever it takes to win."
McGlynn has a long week ahead of him as he prepares for his first NFL start, but he has the confidence of his teammates. And as McGlynn acknowledged on Sunday after the game, this is his opportunity and he knows that he must make the most of it.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 1:50 p.m., September 14