OFFENSIVE Line has to stop being an afterthought. It’s the engine of every offense, on any team, in any football league. Earlier this year we released RG Todd Herremans, and now we’re looking to trade LG Evan Mathis. This is literally a changing of the guard. Change however, needn’t be a bad thing; but when you get rid of players of a high caliber, it’s important that you can replace them with someone of a similar caliber. If you fail to do that, then change IS a bad thing.
As of right now I can’t see the end game in terms of who we’d bring in. Names like Will Rackley, Jeffrey Linkenbach may be possible replacements at Guard. Former Packer and Dolphin Daryn Colledge has been linked to us in the past, and though he’s got some miles on him, he might be seen as a mentor for someone we draft. (Though it would make more sense to keep Mathis to do that since he’s played well in this system.)
As for the Draft, I’d be lying if I said anybody was on my Wishlist yet, but I know whoever we get should be a mauler in the run game. (Which I’ve said in the past )That seemed less necessary when we had cutback runner LeSean McCoy, but now that we have north-south runner DeMarco Murray, nothing would fit the bill better. It would also help QB Sam Bradford, if the guys trying to get to him are tired from being rag-dolled on running plays.
It’s possible that the Eagles figure that players like Allen Barbre and Andrew Gardener will step up in 2015. Seeing as how neither player has much of a track record, it would seem like a hell of a risk to attempt this without a net. I think the smarter play would be to keep Mathis, let him play and let him teach. It certainly wouldn’t hurt morale.
This is the Offensive Line. It’s the engine of the Offense. While it’s true that over time you have to retool or replace parts in your engine, you certainly don’t gut it when it’s running smoothly.