For the first time since his college days at Penn State, Stefen Wisniewski is excited to be back playing in his home state. This season will mark the first he's spent on the eastern side of Pennsylvania, but the Pittsburgh native is proud to be an Eagle and ready to compete for a starting position along the offensive line.
"I think it was the best opportunity for me," Wisniewski said. "There's a lot of talent on this roster. I like the new coaching staff. I've gotten to know them here a little bit and it's a very winnable division, very competitive division last year. I'm really excited about the opportunity."
Wisniewski brings versatility to the table, with experience as a starting center and guard. He played as a guard in college and during his rookie season with the Raiders before switching to center for the last few years.
Now, he is preparing himself to play whichever position is needed. The 6-3, 305-pound lineman is going to take the necessary reps to readjust his footwork toward the guard spot and is looking forward to perfecting his craft further under offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.
"I really like (Coach) Stoutland from getting to know him a little bit," Wisniewski said. "I've heard some good things from some players who had played for him before. It seems like he's a very technically sound coach, very smart when it comes to details and getting blocks done. That's what I look for in an O-line coach.
"There are a lot of guys that are big picture guys, but at the end of the day what makes a play work or not work is putting your foot in the right spot, putting your hand in the right spot. That's something that not everyone can tell the difference in, but the really smart coaches and players can. I'm definitely excited to be working with him."
The veteran is also looking forward to joining an offensive line group that features Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce and Jason Peters. It was his goal to be present for the first day of offseason workouts in order to meet his new teammates and start preparing for 2016.
"I knew of their reputations before coming here," Wisniewski explained. "Kelce is a heck of a player at center. Jason Peters is one of the best in the business at left tackle and I've heard good things about Lane Johnson as well. I do think there is a lot of talent on this offensive line now. Hopefully we can get five guys out there that'll play well together and do a great job."
With free agency behind him and his first two days as an Eagle under his belt, Wisniewski is now focused on making an impact for this team.
And, although this is his first experience in Philadelphia, Wisniewski is no stranger to this city's fans. He knows what will be expected of him and is ready for the challenge ahead.
"I know it's a great sports town," he said. "I know Eagles fans, Flyers fans, Phillies fans, they're passionate fans. I know that from being at Penn State. You kind of have Pittsburgh people and Philly people, and they go back and forth. I know they're passionate about their (sports) and I know that if we start winning, they'll have our back."