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Changing of the guard? Tyler Steen relishes chance to win starting job 

Tyler Steen
Tyler Steen

Everything is different in a better way for Tyler Steen in Year 2. He understands the way of life as a Philadelphia Eagle. He played enough as a rookie – 71 offensive snaps, one start – to adjust to the tempo of an NFL regular season. And he's been around Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland every day, so he knows what the guru of the trenches demands.

And with an opportunity to earn a starting spot at right guard in front of him, Steen is doing everything he can to take advantage.

"I'm a lot further mentally and physically," Steen said. "Coming in, you really don't know what's going on. Everything is pretty fast. I've been in the system for a year and I think that has helped me out a lot. Last year, playing guard was new to me so spending that year at guard has given me that experience and has allowed me to adapt. I think it's been pretty good.

"I know I've got to earn it every day. I know nothing is going to be given to me. I have to prove that I should be able to play so that's how I'm looking at it."

A starting offensive tackle at Vanderbilt and Alabama in college, the 6-6, 321-pound Steen was moved to guard after the Eagles selected him in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft (65th overall) and had to see the game from a new angle. Literally. And, he said, that was the most difficult part of the transition, something that is smoothed out now.

"You're inside and it's a different view than when you play at tackle," Steen said. "Different angles of the way they are attacking and how you can adjust."

With Jason Kelce retired and Cam Jurgens moved from right guard to center, the starting job is there to win at right guard. The Eagles have had their share of outstanding ones there – Brandon Brooks earned three Pro Bowls in his six Eagles seasons and Isaac Seumalo was strong helping the Eagles to the Super Bowl in the 2022 season – and now they have an opening.

Steen hopes to fill it. But it's a day-by-day process because the Eagles have competition and understand they have a long way to go before the regular season begins.

"At guard you've got to be a bigger, wider dude," Steen said. "You're going against bigger bodies (interior defensive linemen rather than edge pass rushers at offensive tackle). Focusing on training for that helps you be more prepared. At the end of the day, it's still O-line play. But, if you compartmentalize how you need to play at guard vs. tackle, then I think it's OK."

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