A few years ago after Winston Justice had allowed Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora to get six sacks in one game, if somebody had told you that the Eagles were going to start Justice at right tackle for an entire season, you wouldn’t have believed it.
You would have figured the Eagles were enduring an awful season if they had to start Justice for every game.
What a difference a year or two makes.¬† Justice started 16 games for the Birds last season and did a very, good job.¬† Most of the time Justice had his man under control and the Eagles had time to throw the football.¬† He’s come a long way from that awful Sunday night at the Meadowlands and he’s not satisfied with where he’s at, wants to get better.
The former USC offensive tackle wants to get better at every aspect of the game, so that he can dominate at his position and be recognized as one of the best offensive tackles in the business.
“My goal is to be an extraordinary offensive tackle, not just to be good, not just to be solid. I need to improve on everything from the run game to the pass game”, Justice told me and a group of reporters during the OTA’s.¬† Amazingly Justice has become a team leader and spokesperson.
Justice and his linemate offensive tackle Jason Peters will play a huge role in the upcoming season.¬† They’ve got to keep pass rushers off of new young starting quarterback Kevin Kolb.¬† If they’re consistent it will aid Kolb and allow him to have plenty of time to decipher what coverage the defense is in and which receiver is open.
Justice will battle Anthony Spencer of the Dallas Cowboys, Pro Bowl DE Robert Mathis of the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings DE Ray Edwards, and New York Giants Pro Bowl DE Justin Tuck to name a few.¬† If he doesn’t play well against one of these guys, they’re all capable of taking over the game.
He’ll also occassionally get the chance to open up some holes for running back LeSean McCoy.¬† Justice has been spending a lot of time in the weight room in an effort to be a more dominant run blocker.
The Eagles can’t afford for Justice to have any problems outside because they’re going to be trying to keep the situation at guard and center from becoming a problem.¬† He’s got to have a big year and build on what he started last year.