Heading into the 2013 season, the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line was a question mark.
The offensive line is a major strength now, led by All-Pro tackle Jason Peters and also consisting of Todd Herremans, Lane Johnson, Evan Mathis and center Jason Kelce. The line helped running back LeSean McCoy capture a rushing title with more than 1,600 yards last season.
The success of the line begins with Peters, who was named to the Pro Bowl for the sixth time after starting all 16 games. He missed the entire ’12 season with an Achilles injury.
“From my standpoint, you would not have even known that he [Peters] was injured,” offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland told CSNPhilly.com. “He never missed any training sessions, he was always in the training room taking care of himself. I never questioned once that he could become an All-Pro player again.
“I’ve only been around him for one year now, and for him to totally grasp the concepts that we’re teaching and I’m teaching, we’re working really well together. I think for as good as he was this past year -- and you can throw age and all that stuff out the window, I really believe that -- this guy is an incredible athlete.”
Stoutland also continues to be impressed with Kelce, a sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft.
“I use a phrase sometimes that maybe is not politically correct: Many times those big, giant offensive linemen out there in space look like cows on ice,” Stoutland said. “They can’t change direction. They can’t stop on a dime. Jason Kelce is the total opposite of that.”
As a group, the linemen are extremely athletic. And that helps immensely in a fast-paced system implemented by coach Chip Kelly.
“A lot of people are a little apprehensive about that,” Stoutland said, “about having the big offensive linemen and what type of training you have to do leading up to the season. Jason Kelce is a former linebacker. Jason Peters is a former tight end. Lane Johnson is a former tight end. These are big skilled players. We’re surrounding ourselves with those types of players to be in this type of a system.”