Saturday, August 22, 2009
Watching the Eagles game Thursday night, you didn't need to see anything beyond the graphics displayed during the the team's opening offensive series to know that they have a problem. Only one member of their starting offensive line was in uniform. Missing were Todd Herremans and all three of their high profile lineman, namely Jason Peters, Shawn Andrews and Stacy Andrews.
To say that this trio is instrumental to their plans for and success in 2009 is a large understatement at best. The Eagles offense under Andy Reid has always been built on the foundation of a strong front wall that enables an unbalanced pass to run ratio. As witnessed last night, the whole offensive scheme breaks down if the QB does not have time to throw.
This leads me to my point. The Eagles need to sign Jon Runyan right now before he gets scooped up by another team. At the minimum, he would provide important insurance. Judging by the current state and previous history, though, it is likely that he would be taking a lot of snaps throughout the season.
Runyan knows the system like the back of his hand. He also lives in the Philadelphia area and would seem more inclined to consider remaining with the home town team despite not being guaranteed a starting role. Of course, he can also see the same things we do to project a great deal of playing time.
On paper, the Eagles starting offensive line has the potential to be one of their best ever as well as a top unit in the league. Unfortunately, the only thing that counts is how they actually do on the field. Getting them onto to the field is one challenge. Having them play to their potential when they get there is another. Although players tend not to highlight it, lingering injuries keep them from peak performance. Additionally, limited practice time together keeps the players from jelling as a unit, which is essential for them to function well in the complex world of the NFL.
Sign Jon Runyan before it is too late. If the Eagles need to free up some salary space to make that happen, I could make some suggestions there, too.