According to a recent interview with Eagles' guard/tackle Todd Herremans, he's more than willing to switch back to offensive guard if that's what it takes to make the Eagles O-Line better…
I love this guy. He's about T-E-A-M….
Every time I look at him, I'm reminded of the ultimate team member on this Bored— Hall-of-Fame poster Kenny Kenemeka from Indianapolis— a guy who just keeps after his reps and states his case, without fanfare, day after day, game after game, year after year…
Todd Herremans, 6-6, 321, in his 9th year out of Saginaw Valley State, drafted in the 4th round in 2005 by Philly…
Jordan Raanan of NJ.com did a nice piece on Herremans yesterday. Here's a synopsis:
"Todd Herremans doesn't watch the NFL Draft."
Herremans went out skeet shooting the day of the first round of this year's draft.
But when the Eagles selected Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson with the No. 4 overall pick, Herremans realized immediately what it meant.
"They don't spend the fourth overall pick on a kid and not have him come and play tackle," said Herremans, who received a text from general manager Howie Roseman and a phone call from coach Chip Kelly after the pick. "One of the things that has always been big for me is my versatility and being able to play other places. I'm sure they'll probably bump me down to guard and see how everything else works out."
That's the way this new Eagles regime rolls. They leave little for interpretation. They reached out to just about every player that could be threatened by an incoming draft pick, quickly eliminating fears from any of the existing players that they were set to be fazed out. Only time will tell if they were being genuine.
“I called Brent Celek when we took a tight end and James Casey. I called Mike [Vick] and we talked to Jason Peters and we talked to Todd Herremans. It’s just kind of the way we’ve done things," Kelly said. "I’m really big on open communication. I don’t want there to be gray areas."
There really is no gray area in the case of the Eagles offensive line. Nothing definitive needs to be said to Herremans. He gets it. He's moving to guard to make room for the first-round pick.
Herremans was the Eagles' starting left guard from 2006-10. He was the Eagles' right tackle the past two seasons. With Evan Mathis having enjoyed tremendous success at left guard his first two years with the Eagles, it makes sense for Herremans to slide over to right guard where Danny Watkins has struggled since being drafted in the first round in 2011. Johnson will play right tackle as long as Peters is healthy.
"Let’s get Lane in here and let him actually take a few reps and run around a little bit," Chip Kelly said after the first round. "We do know that Todd has some flexibility and that’s the great thing about him, because Todd has played inside and outside. … We’re going to let them all battle it out."
Regardless, when the Eagles line up at organized team activities (OTAs) on Monday with the rookies and veterans on the field at the same time, it's expected that Herremans will be at right guard, Johnson at right tackle. Watkins likely will be at left guard with Mathis still struggling with an ankle injury he played through last season. Mathis underwent a procedure this offseason to remove bone spurs, according to a source.
The shifting of the line is hardly unexpected. Herremans knew from the moment Kelly was hired this was a realistic possibility.
"I've already had conversations with Chip about it. I asked him flat-out earlier in the offseason, 'What are you going to do? Where am I going to play this year?'" Herremans said. "He was like, 'I don't know. You have some versatility. It's a good thing. We might try a few different combinations.'"
Herremans, 30, is returning from a serious foot injury, but says his preparation for the season isn't altered by whether he's a tackle or guard. He doesn't need to put on weight or add muscle to play guard. In fact, Herremans believes his best season came in 2010 when he was playing guard at a career-low 294 pounds. Pro Football Focus ranked him the 26th out of 82 offensive guards that season.
Given his age and injuries, returning to guard may be the best move for his career. Herremans appears better suited as an interior player in Kelly's fast-paced offense. As a tackle, he's average athletically. For a guard, he's quick and agile.
The younger, more athletic Johnson seems an ideal fit on the outside. He may just be the fastest and most athletic tackle in the NFL.
"I was prepared to play tackle, I was prepared to play guard," Herremans said. "I think I can probably steal a few more years at guard, but I still think I have three or four really good years of football left.
"One of the things I've been thinking, to me personally, it doesn't really matter if I play guard or tackle. I just really want to have a real solid unit out there. If that means me lining up at guard, so be it."