King Dunlap started at left tackle in the last two games for the Eagles, so it looked like he would be the team’s starting left tackle when the regular season started as well.
Looks were not deceiving. Coach Andy Reid confirmed Sunday that Dunlap has won the starting left tackle job over Demetress Bell, who the Eagles signed to a five-year, $34.5 million deal after Jason Peters was lost for the season to a torn Achilles. Only $3.25 million of that deal is guaranteed and that will probably be all that Bell sees if he doesn’t win the job back. He vowed to do that on Sunday, while admitting that he wasn’t surprised by the decision because he’s struggled to learn the Eagles’ blocking system.
“That’s always my mentality,” Bell said, via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. “From Day 1, it was my job to get in the starting role, and I’m not going to stop working until I get there.”
Dunlap played better than Bell, who still got time with the first offensive line in the past couple of weeks. Dunlap hasn’t impressed in previous stints on the starting line, however, so there’s a chance that the Eagles will be revisiting this spot down the line.
Reid also announced that Akeem Jordan will start ahead of Brian Rolle at the weak side linebacker spot. Rolle started 13 games last season as a rookie, but he’s undersized and struggled during the preseason. History says that he’ll get another look with the first team, though. According to Frank, Reid has used 19 different starting linebacker combinations since 2009 so, like left tackle, this could change down the line.