Speaking publicly for the first time since the Eagles brought back longtime left tackle Jason Peters to play right guard, head coach Doug Pederson said he thinks the position switch will be “relatively easy” for the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer.
Peters is a nine-time Pro Bowler at left tackle but with Andre Dillard taking over at that position, the Eagles didn’t bring Peters back until Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks tore his Achilles.
Peters now has a new position.
We had many conversations with Jason,” Pederson said. “We took a look at our roster obviously and felt that where Jason is and the type of player he is, obviously his leadership on the football team, that the transition would be relatively easy. I'm not going to say it's going to be easy, but relatively easy, for him being a veteran guy moving into that guard spot.
The Eagles officially signed Peters on July 17 but without preseason games, his first game action won’t come until the season opener on Sept. 13. He’ll have a few weeks of training camp to learn a new position.
A couple weeks ago, we looked at the challenge that faces Peters as he transitions not just from tackle to guard but also from the left to right side of the line.
For a little background, the Eagles always wanted to move to Andre Dillard at left tackle in 2020 but they kept in touch with Peters. They thought he’d be signed early in free agency but that didn’t happen. And when Brooks went down with the Achilles tear, they had that relationship intact and had a reason to bring Peters back.
In addition to being the starter at right guard, Peters obviously offers depth at tackle too.
But should Dillard be looking over his shoulder?
Pederson was asked about how much patience they’ll have with their former first-round pick as he takes over as the starting left tackle.
“Quite frankly, we love where Andre is at,” Pederson said. “He's had a tremendous offseason.The things he did for us last season, the couple games that he played and started for us, he did well and it's just going to be a great opportunity for him moving forward. I'm looking forward to really getting these guys, those five guys, working up front with [OL coach Jeff Stoutland] to see where they can go this season.”
Dillard’s big offseason goal was to put on more muscle and according to Brooks, Dillard is up to 335 pounds. That added weight and strength should help him this season.
We’re looking at an offensive line of (from left to right): Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Peters and Lane Johnson. On paper, that looks pretty good. But there are obviously more questions heading into this year than there were going into 2019.
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