After watching the Pre-Season game on Friday it seems obvious that the right guard position needs to be reassessed. Stacy Andrews needs to take another pay cut, while Max Jean Gilles seems to have lost his talent along with his weight. Our other options at right guard, Nick Cole and Mike McGlynn, have been battling for the privilege to keep the seat warm at center until Jamaal Jackson returns from his ACL tear.
It baffles me that Andy Reid, a former offensive line coach, has not made a bigger play to address the need for a change in the position. It just seems all too similar to the story we heard last year. When once again the offensive line was depleted by injury: ‘When the offensive line gets healthy, they will be a force.’ So here we are, one year later, with the same problems, and the same company line.
The Eagles did look into options earlier in the off-season. They had Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis and Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati in for a visit leading up to the draft. They also made a bid for Seattle Seahawks guard Rob Sims. However none of the three wound up in midnight green.
As much as this team is lauded for their youth movement, the time is now to infuse a veteran presence.
There are costly options, like a trade for disgruntled Patriots Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins. The talented 28 year old mauler would cost at least a second round pick, as well as a new contract, as he feels he has out performed his rookie agreement. Putting Mankins at RG with a healthy Jackson and Todd Herremans would make for an imposing inside trio, presumably helping Shady McCoy to a stellar sophomore campaign.
There are creative moves as well. For instance, picking up a veteran center like Kevin Mawae, until Jackson returns. I understand that Jackson says he is ready, but this would also provide further insurance if he falters early. This move would also free up Nick Cole to move back to his natural position at RG.
From a purely speculative standpoint, Mawae, who is very involved in the NFLPA, would have to be talked into coming in for a few weeks, very similar to how Jeff Garcia joined the team when Donovan McNabb went down Week One of last year with broken ribs. It is doubtful that Mawae, age 39, would be able to last an entire season, however his veteran presence would be a strong asset to a team whose median age is 25 years old.
There are numerous ways to make sure Kevin Kolb keeps his green throwback jersey clean come week one against the Packers. The Eagles front office could swing a trade. They could sign a veteran via free agency. Or, they could rely on the components they already have, and hope they are ready Week One. It worked out so well last year.