The loss of left tackle Jason Peters to an Achilles injury during the 2012 offseason presaged a year of injuries along the Eagles offensive line.
Those injuries played a major role in the line’s poor performance, a poor performance that wound up playing a major role in sinking their season and ending Andy Reid’s long tenure as the coach in Philly. Chip Kelly took over as coach and brought Jeff Stoutland on board as the new offensive line coach and Stoutland’s transition has been made easier by the fact that Peters has been healthy this spring.
“Honestly, you wouldn’t know Jason ever had an injury. For a guy his size, the leverage that he gains … he plays so low to the ground,” Stoutland said, via Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News. “Moves his feet so fast. Out of all the players I’ve ever coached, he’s got the best balance and body control of anybody I’ve ever seen.”
Having a healthy Peters will go a long way toward erasing some of the offensive ills that plagued the team last season. If right guard Todd Herremans and center Jason Kelce can also hit full speed, the Eagles will have a good chance of turning last year’s glaring weakness into a strength for the new staff.