The interior of the Eagles offensive line has been a major topic of discussion throughout training camp. With left guard Todd Herremans and center Jamaal Jackson still on the physically unable to perform list, the inside of the line was struggling in camp. Nick Cole was filling in at center until he got banged up, leaving Mike McGlynn the starting center and Max Jean-Gilles handling left guard responsibilities.
Perhaps Cole’s minor injury was a blessing in disguise, as McGlynn seized the opportunity and played well as the pivot. “It looked like he did pretty well. I was trying to focus on him a little bit. It was a little tough, but I tried to take a peak at him. It looked like he did a decent job,” said head coach Andy Reid.
McGlynn was equally satisfied with his performance. “I think I played really well. I think I did some good things and we ran the ball pretty well,” said McGlynn. “We protected Kevin pretty well, so overall, personally I think I played pretty well. We will see what happened on the tape, but I feel pretty good about it.”
It wasn’t just McGlynn who performed well on the line, the Eagles top unit did an admirable job of protecting Kevin Kolb. “They did, and there were lanes where he was able to step up and take off and run when he chose to. He had nice lanes, because [the offensive line] was able to extend the pocket.”
The line did struggle to open holes in the running game early on, but they got that figured out later in the first quarter. LeSean McCoy gained just seven yards on his first four carries (1.75 yards per carry). On his last four, McCoy picked up 23 yards (5.75 per attempt).
That’s not to say the line performed perfectly, with both guards making a couple of mistakes. Stacy Andrews and Max Jean-Gilles each missed two blocks in the first quarter, while Mike McGlynn missed a chance to seal off a linebacker for a potential big gain on a running play.
Overall though, the big fellows up front did a good job reassuring observers that they’ll be alright this year. In fact, if they’re able to get Herremans and Jackson back on the field, their line could go from being a perceived weakness to a strength, in part due to the experience the backups are getting through this preseason.
Check back later today for an analysis of Kevin Kolb’s first quarter play. Tomorrow we’ll break down the first play of the game and show you how the whole play was set up before the ball was even snapped.
Training Camp Coverage
Visit InsideTheIggles.com for training camp coverage, including practice recaps and scouting reports from Lehigh Valley. Ryan will be back in camp again when it resumes tomorrow. Twitter feeds will be available during both practices Sunday (8:15 AM and 2:45 PM). Check back often for updates and follow along at www.twitter.com/Ryan_Messick andwww.twitter.com/InsideTheIggles.