With the departure of Stacy Andrews, Nick Cole is the Eagles starting right guard, but the fifth year Eagle may not have much room for error. The newly acquired Reggie Wells is a guard who wants a starting spot. Wells had a choice to stay in Arizona as a backup, or take his chances in Philadelphia.
“I’m not coming out here, you know, just to be a full time backup or anything,” said Wells. “I still feel that I can play in this league, and that’s why I’m coming out here. We’ll take all the rest from there, but they’re interested enough so that’s where we’re going.”
Wells started 90 regular season games in Arizona from 2003 to 2009, mostly at left guard. The veteran amassed 78 starts there, 10 at right tackle and two at left tackle. Wells said he’s working as a guard in Philadelphia, for now, but he’ll play wherever the coaches want him to.
One of the biggest assets Wells brings is his health. The 29-year-old has started 70 straight games dating back to 2003, 64 in the regular season and six in the postseason. His history with the Cardinals, though, might not count for much now.
“Whenever I heard what teams were interested, I was very excited and couldn’t wait to come out here and just get a fresh start and just start over and go from there,” said Wells. He’s currently listed as the backup right guard to Cole.
Head coach Andy Reid believes he can count on Wells if needed, “Reggie has started a tremendous amount of games at really both guard positions. He’d been playing right guard position here during the preseason, he had been a left guard before that, playing on a championship-caliber football team,” Reid said. “So he’s somebody that we can add into the mix with our offensive line.”
That said, though, Reid did give Cole the nod as the starter. “Nick is the starting right guard and Todd [Herremans] is the starting left guard, and Jamaal [Jackson] is starting at center, so Reggie’s going to have some time here to learn the offense, and be in a position, if something were to happen at those positions, to step in and allow us to stay as strong as what we’ve been in the past,” said Reid.
Cole knows that having Wells right behind him is just the nature of the league, “NFL, baby, always competing, fight to keep a job,” Cole said. He’ll do just that, as Reggie Wells learns the Eagles’ blocking schemes and waits for his opportunity to showcase his skills.