Andy when are you going to sign Kevin Mawae?
What we as Eagles fans got to witness was what happens when you lose your staring center and guard. It was ugly.
For all you Eagles fans let me briefly explain the offensive line.
When we think of the offensive line we all think left tackle. That is because they get paid the big bucks. Truth is the offensive line starts with that triangle in the middle which is center and two guards.
For a Quarterback to be effective he needs a pocket. To pass the ball he needs to step up into the pocket. The key player in forming and supporting the pocket is none other than the center.
Let’s just say you are looking for a yard or inches on third or fourth down or perhaps you are trying to punch the ball across the goal line. You would think when we did have a big body QB like Donavan that a QB sneak would be a no brainer. You might remember we lost three games the year before because we could not make three yards.
Despite the Philadelphia Eagles having had some of the biggest and best lineman in the league at guard and tackle we chose to go with a smart, smaller, play calling, pass protecting center in Jamal Jackson. In fact Andy has never had up till now a player drafted by any team starting at center for the Eagles. They all have been undrafted free agents.
Don’t get me wrong, Jamal Jackson is highly respected center but he is better known for his brains and his pass blocking than his run blocking. He is after all the quarterback of the Eagles offensive line.
Jamal Jackson got hurt at the end of season and history tells us that it usually takes a good year for most players to come back, plus because of the pounding an O-lineman takes and his size 18 months to two years for him to be 100% is not unreasonable to expect.
I would have said with luck maybe October he might be able to play some. Fact is so far Jamal’s recovery has been amazing for an O-lineman.
But can he go 16 games plus what if we do make the playoffs another two or three games? What about practices? What if Jackson needs to come out for a quarter or perhaps sit out game?
So what is Andy’s backup plan? It started out as being Nick Cole who is listed as a guard and backup center. Eagles did re-signed restricted free agent C/G Nick Cole to a one-year, $1.759 million contract. Nick is consider a very good guard. He did payed in 16 games last year mostly as guard.
Nick did not do well against Dallas filling in a center. He has been injuried in training camp and just how well he is able to play the center position remains to be seen.
But we need Nick incase Todd or Stacy should not be able to play all 16 games or needs to be pulled out for a down or quarter.
Although Nick started out as center early this year he got hurt and Mike McGlynn has been filling in at that position, yep another guard moved to center.
There is Q.A Shipley who did see some action in Friday’s preseason game and who Andy has on occasion talked about but since he has not started a preseason game I can assume that he is either not ready or likely to be cut.
If our guards are playing center, Nick and Mike than who are our starting guards? Who are the other two players that are going to make up our triangle and create that important pocket for the QB as well as allow us to run up the middle?
That means we are counting on Stacy Andrews to fill one of those guard spots and Todd Herremans to play the other guard spot as well as to be the backup tackle.
So Friday we got to see what happens when we lose a starting center, Jamal and a starting guard Todd and we got to see what happens when Stacy did not playing well.
But Stacy’s problem could have been because he was not getting any help from the center or that the center had to help out the other guard or perhaps the center was not calling the correct blocking assignments. Can we say ugly?
Let’s get back to our triangle. If we are using a guard to play center where does that leave us at the guard positions? Suppose both Stacy and Todd need to miss some time? If we are looking at experienced say three or more years; than we are looking at Nick Cole, Max Jean-Gilles, and Mike McGlynn. Guys, Nick and McGlynn are they not also the backup centers?
To the best of my knowledge, Nick and Max both only got 1 year contracts to boot.
Based on the new CBA they both could be unrestricted freeagents.
So Eagles fans we have to assume that somewhere on the Eagles roster is a future starting guard.
So Andy why have you not signed a center free agent or traded for one in the offseason?
Why have you not signed Kevin James Mawae a eight time pro bowler.
I just can not see Todd and Jamal making it through the entire season and I can also see the possibility that both of them could be out at the same time and seeing the nightmare of last nights game, the Mike, Max and Nick show.
Please Sign Kevin.
At leaset as insurance?
Kevin James Mawae is one of the top centers of recent times, having been selected to the Pro Bowl on six consecutive occasions (1999-2004). Eight time Pro Bowl Center. Kevin last year started 16 games for the Tenseness Titians. In 2009, Mawae was ranked fifth in a Sports Illustrated poll of dirty players. The magazine surveyed 296 NFL players to come up with the ranking. Mawae was quoted on the Titans' site as saying he was "proud" of the recognition because he plays the game hard, but conceded, "I’ve been known to leg whip a time or two. I’ve paid the price for those, both physically and in the pocket.
If we have Mawae at center who is a known starting center as our backup or part time player than we don’t have to use our thin supply of guards to fill that center role or put a rookie or inexperience player in.
If it is not Mawae than get somebody.
Please sign the guy?
Did I mention that the picture was Kevin at the 2010 Pro Bowl?