You have to watch what Andy Reid and the Eagles do rather what they say, if you want to find out how they feel about their players.¬† Reid says Nick Cole is the starting center until Jamaal Jackson returns to action, but his actions did coincide with this words.
Despite proclaiming Cole the starter, Reid had everybody and their brother working out at the center position during mini camp other than Cole.
The veteran center and guard played in place of injured starting center Jamaal Jackson in the two Dallas Cowboys games which ended the season year ago.¬† He didn’t play particularly well physically or mentally.¬† He seems to be better suited for the guard position.
Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff got the best of him and he could have been better in making the blocking calls to the line.
The Eagles don’t want new starting quarterback Kevin Kolb to be forced to deal with these problems at the center position.
They don’t want him dropping back into the pocket and having a pass rusher in his face, so they’re trying find someone who is better than Cole to put at the center position.¬† Reid telling us Cole is the starter means nothing.
You can’t run your offense if you can’t block the other team’s defensive tackles.¬† If they get penetration on the snap, they will disrupt a run or a pass.
This disruption and mistakes by the center in making blocking calls to the defensive line would also mean trouble for Kolb.
Veteran backup Mike McGlynn got most of the reps with the first team offense during the mini camp. ¬† He’s going to get a good shot at the starting job. He’s got good size, long arms and some knowledge of the Eagles offense.
The big question with him will be his foot quickness, strength and body control.¬† He will have to be sharp in making his line calls, then he’ll have to prove he can keep the likes of Ratliff and the Redskins Albert Haynesworth off of Kolb.
Eagles offensive cooridinator Marty Mornhinweg had this say about McGlynn and their problems at the center position.
“That is the one (position), right here, right now, that we would like to solidify at some point,” Mornhinweg said. “I think McGlynn’s got a great opportunity here.”
Free agent signee A.Q. Shipley, who was drafted by the Steelers last year, will get a look but he’s got to learn the system.¬† Shipley is also very short and has short arms which could make him vulnerable to pass rushers.
Reid said that McGlynn did a good during the minicamp, but we’ll really find out how he did by whether they give him more reps at the center position at the next mini camp and during training camp.
“I’m looking at it as an opportunity. All of those reps I get against the ones is an opportunity to show my talent and I’m taking it as an opportunity to play,” McGlynn said. “I take it as getting as many reps as I can with those guys is always a plus. It’s an opportunity for me to show my talent. These opportunities don’t come by very often so you want to take advantage of them when they do.