As the Eagles enjoy their bye week and begin preparations for the second half of the 2010 season, here's a quick take on the status of the interior offensive line.
What They've Accomplished: After missing much of training camp and the preseason so as to rest his surgically-repaired left foot, Todd Herremans has played every game at left guard this season for the Eagles, providing solid pass protection and very good run blocking. Herremans is perhaps the best pulling offensive lineman on the Eagles and he's helped spring LeSean McCoy several times. The versatile Herremans also played some snaps at left tackle against the Tennessee Titans when King Dunlap left for a few plays with a hyperextended knee.
While Herremans was slated to be the left guard from the beginning of the season, the other two positions in the interior have been far less settled. Jamaal Jackson, the opening day center who rehabbed so ferociously from his torn ACL, was lost for the season after less than a half of football with a torn tricep. The only silver lining to the Jackson injury was that Mike McGlynn spent a lot of time with the first-team offense during training camp while Jackson was rehabbing. McGlynn has stepped in and proven to be a solid player for the Eagles, and he's looked to have improved steadily as the season has gone on and he get more comfortable with the speed of the game. He's also the only member of the starting offensive line not to have been called for a holding penalty thus far.
At right guard, Nick Cole was expected to be the guy, but nagging knee inflammation has kept him from staying on the field consistently. Cole has now settled into what may be the role he's best-suited for, the swing backup offensive lineman. With Cole out against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Reggie Wells got a chance to claim the position. But Wells, who was acquired prior to the season from the Arizona Cardinals, wasn't comfortable enough in either the new offense or the new position (he played primarily right tackle with the Cardinals) to snag the job. That meant the job fell to Max Jean-Gilles, who was briefly released during final cutdowns then re-signed the following day, who has proven to be one of the team's pleasant surprises. Jean-Gilles, slimmer after offseason lap-band surgery, is playing the best football of his career, according to team
What Lies Ahead: With a difficult second-half schedule that includes five division games, the interior offensive line will need to pave the way for what has been an impressive running game thus far. In the passing game, with Michael Vick back under center, holding blocks as long as possible becomes an added focus so that Vick can use his electric legs to make something happen. Herremans, McGlynn and Jean-Gilles are the starters at this point, but don't be surprised if Cole reemerges some point down the line.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 1:20 p.m., October 28