Philadelphia Eagles News

Reid: Strength Along Lines A Priority

The Eagles have made three trades involving the offensive and defensive lines since Friday and kept 10 players on each side of the line of scrimmage.

A bit much? Not for head coach Andy Reid.

"It's a lot of linemen," Reid said on Sunday. "We've done that in the past. I think we're strong at the other spots as well."

Reid praised general manager Howie Roseman for his diligent and aggressive work the past few days as the Eagles had some tough decisions to get the roster down to the 53-man limit. Both Reid and Roseman believe that the lines of scrimmage are key to winning in the NFL and that's why fortifying those areas was a top priority over the last few days.

On Friday, the Eagles sent a 2011 draft pick to Arizona for veteran starting guard Reggie Wells. Even with Wells in the mix, Reid said that Nick Cole will be the starter at right guard with Jamaal Jackson set to return at center. Reid indicated that Cole was going to have a chance to win the starting job at right guard over Stacy Andrews. That, along with the addition of Wells, is why Andrews was shipped to Seattle for a seventh-round pick in 2011 on Saturday evening.

Reid said that the only scenario where Jackson would not start would be if he suffers a setback this week. Jackson and the entire team took part in Sunday's practice. Reid added that the team would take every precaution regarding Jackson and should he need to rest, Mike McGlynn would be able to come in and play.

On defense, the Eagles acquired edge rusher Antwan Barnes from the Ravens on Saturday for a 2011 undisclosed pick. Barnes has the ability to play the Joker position, as a stand-up end.

At this point, Reid said that the team feels "very confident" with the players who are here, but that they are keeping their eyes open for players who have been released over the last few days.

Reid was also confident with the positions where the team went with fewer players. There are only two tight ends on the roster, but Hank Baskett, Riley Cooper and Jason Avant could handle the responsibilities if needed. McGlynn is also versed in the blocking responsibilities of the tight end in short-yardage packages.

At safety, Quintin Mikell is the only one on the roster who has played in an NFL game. Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman are the other safeties and both are rookies. Reid was "OK" with that. Dimitri Patterson will be the swingman playing both corner and safety, should an emergency arise.

The Eagles began to game plan on Sunday for the Green Bay Packers. The team is off the next two days before returning to practice on Wednesday.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 4:46 p.m., September 5

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