It’s Jason Kelce’s Turn To Start In The Center Battle With JacksonBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Offensive Line Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Veteran Eagles center Jamaal Jackson started the Birds game against the Steelers and played the entire first half. That was his chance to lock down the starting center job, by showing new offensive line coach Howard Mudd what he could do at the position.
Jackson played okay versus the Steelers, but he didn’t nail down the starting job. I don’t think he’s Mudd’s guy. Jackson can overpower defenders at times, but he doesn’t do as well when they put him on the move, especially now as he tries to return from the microfracture knee surgery.
This Thursday in the Cleveland Browns game, rookie Jason Kelce will get the chance to start the game at the center position and he’ll play the entire first half. If Kelce plays well, I think he will get the starting job.
Jackson seems to be on his way out because Kelce fits the mold of the type of offensive linemen which Mudd likes. Jackson is well over 300 pounds, but Kelce is just over 280 pounds. Mudd likes the smaller more athletic offensive linemen.
He likes to run the stretch running play where quickness and athleticism is more important in the offensive linemen than brute strength. Kelce fits that stretch play because he’s quicker in getting position on defensive tackles and nose guards.
There’s no question that the rookie, Kelce is more athletic than the veteran, Jackson, but is he ready to start right now in the middle of this offensive line. He would be starting next to another rookie, right guard Danny Watkins, and an inexperienced right tackle, in King Dunlap if he starts at that position.
I think starting Kelce puts a great deal of pressure on the entire offensive line. Hopefully Mudd knows what he’s doing because the center has a tremendous responsibility for working with the quarterback to pick up blitzes. On the positive side of starting Kelce, if does well early and he makes it through the beginning of the season, he would probably get better and better as the season goes on.
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