One of the more interesting stories surrounding Philadelphia Eagles OTAs has been the return of former All-Pro guard Brandon Brooks, but as the 2021 season nears, things are different. When he joined the Birds, Doug Pederson was his head coach. He’s gone now. The Eagles had just drafted this red-headed signal-caller too. He’s also gone.
Now, the head coach is Nick Sirianni, and the quarterback is Jalen Hurts. There’s also this to consider. Three season-ending injuries since January of 2019 have begun a few conversations. One, has he had enough time to recover? Second, can he get back to the form that made him a three-time Pro Bowl nod?
The most important question is probably this. After inking a $54.2 million contract extension that was supposed to keep him in the City of Brotherly Love through the 2024 season on November 11th of 2019, will Brooks play that deal out or will he become Alshon Jeffery, a guy that makes a bunch of money but is never healthy? 79 doesn’t seem to believe that one’s of any concern.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ right guard speaks with the media.
Have you thought about this one yet? If this Eagles offensive line can stay vertical, they’re going to be nasty.
Brooks occupies that right guard spot between Jason Kelce, the center, and Lane Johnson, Philly’s right tackle, who’s always a Pro Bowl candidate if healthy. One might imagine that Isaac Seumalo is the left guard, and the left tackle position will come down to a battle between Jordan Mailata and Andre Dillard.
Philly also has some nice reserves in the form of guys like Jack Driscoll. Recently, Mr. Brooks sat with members of the Philly media, and while he dismissed the trade rumors as “a business” and that he will “never lose sight of that”, he had an interesting answer when asked about how long he can continue to play at an elite level.
"As long as I decide to… That’s how I feel. Each year, I’ve only gotten better. Even after the injury, I got better. As long as I decide to play, I think I can maintain this level if not be better. That’s always been my model. I’ve never been satisfied with people calling me good (or) people calling me great… It’s the bad plays that I’ve had that have always stood out to me, way more than any success I’ve ever had… I feel as long as I decide to be out there, I’ll do what I need to do…"
Sandwiched between an Achilles tear in January of 2019 and another on June 15th of 2020 is a shoulder dislocation that he suffered on December 29th of 2019. All systems seem to be fixated on go as of right now, but if Brooks is fully healthy, that can go a long way in ensuring that Hurts won’t be victimized by the nightmarish performances that Philly’s signal-callers had to deal with on a week-in and week-out basis from their O-line in 2020.
Brooks is one of the best at his position when healthy. He states that, if Philly had made the postseason last year, he would have been available. Now, with more time to heal, Philly fans can smile a tad wider. Johnson’s back. Kelce’s back. Brooks is back. That’s a weight off of the minds of Philadelphia Eagles fans and off of the minds of players and coaches as we head into a year of transition.