PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles have arguably the best offensive line in the NFL and while the talent level is certainly high, don’t discount the impact of position coach Jeff Stoutland, one of the more highly-regarded assistants in the entire NFL, when it comes to the reasons why.
When the Tennessee Titans lost starting tackle Taylor Lewan for the season with a knee injury and needed a body, they looked to the Eagles’ practice squad and plucked Le’Raven Clark, guaranteeing the veteran a 53-man roster spot for at least three weeks.
Clark is the second Eagles’ PS O-Lineman to be poached, following Kayode Awosika, who was signed by Detroit on Sept. 15.
Rewind to the summer and two other offensive linemen who were being tutored by Stoutland were quickly snatched up when the numbers game became too difficult on the Eagles’ deep line.
William Dunkle, an undrafted rookie free agent out of San Diego State, was waived on Aug. 14 and wasn’t out of work for long, quickly being snapped up by Pittsburgh two days later.
While Dunkle was waived by the Steelers at the cutdown to 53, Pittsburgh immediately brought Dunkle back to its practice squad.
Finally, the likely 54th player on the Eagles’ list when Howie Roseman made his moves to get to 53, versatile interior lineman Jack Anderson, was claimed off waivers by the New York Giants and currently resides on their 53.
Anderson lost out in Philadelphia to undrafted rookie Josh Sills, who got the nod because Stoutland himself believes Stills has a very bright future.
Go back even further, to May, and you see that Nate Herbig wasn't on the street long after being released. The New York Jets grabbed him in 24 hours.
Roseman understands to default to Stoutland’s thinking when the coach feels passionate about a player and now it seems like the rest of the league is looking at Philadelphia when they need offensive linemen, understanding that they tend to be ahead of the curve when it comes to technique and surfacing blocks.
The Eagles’ current starting O-Line from left to right is Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, and Lane Johnson.
The current swing tackle is Jack Driscoll while Sua Opeta got some reps at LG during the win over Washington on Sunday with Dickerson fighting through a foot injury. Second-round rookie Cam Jurgens and Sills are the other backups on the active roster.
Left tackle Andre Dillard is currently on injured reserve after fracturing his forearm late in the summer and is expected back sometime in October.
Then there is Brett Toth, who is on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) as he recovers from a torn ACL late last season. He can be activated as soon as nxt week if he is healthy enough.
The Eagles also have OC Cameron Tom and OT Jarrid Williams on the PS and worked out veteran OT Roderick Johnson on Tuesday, a former fifth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2017 who has also spent time with Houston, Miami, and Kansas City.
John McMullen covers the NFL and the Eagles for SI's Eagles Today and JAKIB Media. He’s also the co-host of “Birds 365,” a daily streaming show covering the Eagles and the NFL, and the host of “Extending the Play” on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow John on Twitter: @JFMcMullen.
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