Turns out Jamaal Jackson was right all along.
Jackson told reporters last weekend that there wasn’t a competition for the starting center spot. Yesterday, the Eagles confirmed that speculation by naming Jason Kelce the starter. That means the team is banking on two rookies — Kelce at center, Danny Watkins at right guard — to anchor the interior of the O-line.
“I know it can work,” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. “I’m quite happy with their play. I’m very confident that it will work. It’s a difficult thing to do. Difficult thing with the center position alone. But I’m real confident they will be playing at a high level very quickly.”
Todd Herremans is now the starter at right tackle, with Evan Mathis slated to take over at left guard. It’s a new-look offensive line that will have to hope two weeks of practice is enough to build chemistry.
“There’s a risk with everything you do, and there’s a risk in staying put as well,” Mornhinweg said.
Andy Reid doesn’t usually play his starters in the fourth preseason game. While it would be uncharacteristic for the coach to change that philosophy, Mornhinweg didn’t rule out the starters playing in Thursday’s finale.
“There is a possibility, and it’s tempting,” he said. “It’s really tempting to do that, however for the long term there has to be some choices made there. Andy [Reid] ultimately will make those choices.”