Eagles' Interior Line Must Improve In December

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, November 29, 2009

The line must be better for the Eagles to go anywhere.

Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, and Nick Cole all have starting experience in this offense and with this team. They were all guys hand-picked by Andy Reid and have all had to overcome challenges from other players to keep their jobs.

They won those challenges, kept their jobs, and outside of injuries they haven't lost their jobs since last season. So what in the world is the problem with the Eagles' interior line?

On passing plays, they're getting pushed backward and missing blitzers. On running plays, they're getting pushed back and forcing LeSean McCoy to find a cutback lane in order to go anywhere. On screen plays, they're completely missing their guys. They run right by the defenders and leave either McCoy or Brent Celek out to dry.

Never before have I seen three guys get manhandled so badly throughout a season. Herremans doesn't have the body mass to play guard, Cole doesn't have the feet to move around well enough to play guard, and Jackson has been struggling for a while. However, I do put a lot of Jackson's struggles on his attempts to compensate for the struggling guard duo.

I'm by no means giving Jackson a pass -- he must play better -- but it feels like he's peeking at the guys shooting the 'B' gaps because he doesn't trust the guards next to him not to get beat. He's always been very good in pass protection, and that seems to be suffering this season.

If we could take about 30 pounds off Cole and give it to Herremans, it would balance the two out and create more of a formidable duo, but last I checked that wasn't an NFL or FDA-sanctioned procedure.

So, until it is, we'll just have to hope Stacy Andrews gets healthy and that the light turns back on for Herremans, a player who just a couple years ago was looking at his first Pro Bowl nod.

With all the talk of Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan leaving via free agency, who would have thought that the tackle positions would be two most stable positions on this line?

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