For this article, we begin with an exercise.
I’m going to give you two groups of offensive linemen, and you tell me which you prefer.
Here’s group A:
Jason Peters (LT), Sua Opeta (LG), Jason Kelce (C), Matt Pryor (RG), Lane Johnson (RT)
And here’s group B:
Jordan Mailata (LT), Jason Peters (LG or RG), Jason Kelce (C), Matt Pryor (other guard spot), Lane Johnson (RT)
I’m going with group B.
Why? Because that group of five players, in a vacuum, is better than the other five. Even with Peters at guard.
Obviously the Eagles saw it differently. They valued Jason Peters at left tackle to a point where they were okay with Opeta being on the field, even though he’s started one career game. Keep in mind, Peters originally signed up to play guard this season and only went back over to left tackle when Andre Dillard was lost for the season. Sunday, they ended up with a 38 year old at left tackle, an undrafted free agent at left guard, and a promising 23 year old sitting on the bench.
Monday, at his afternoon press conference, Doug was asked straight up whether he had considered going with group B that I listed above.
“No,” was the one word answer.
When asked why, he gave this explanation:
“We really felt like Jason Peters has settled in over there at left tackle. He’s done a nice job over there and actually played really well Sunday. He was a lot more explosive coming off the ball than in previous weeks. I think I addressed this last week or whenever it was with Mailata, but we just felt like this was the best five going into this game.”
Alright, well, that’s how the staff feels. Peters asked for more money to go play left tackle, the Eagles gave it to him, and now he’s gonna be over there for the rest of the season while Mailata, who was performing at a very similar level, is going to sit on the bench. One guy is 38 and the other is 23, yet the Eagles think the latter is going to continue to improve by watching from the sidelines when he should be on the field continuing to build real experience.
I personally do not get it. Do you?