Doug Pederson: It’s huge to keep offensive line intact

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The Eagles responded quickly to left tackle Jason Peters’ request for more security by giving him a one-year extension through the 2019 season with guaranteed money that increases his chances of remaining with the team.

That was a shift from early in the offseason when there was talk about Peters taking a pay cut and similar talk about moving on from center Jason Kelce never materialized, which leaves the Eagles largely unchanged up front heading into the season. During his Wednesday press conference, coach Doug Pederson was asked how important that is for quarterback Carson Wentz and the offense as a whole.

“I think it’s huge,” Pederson said in comments distributed by the team. “I think it’s huge to have your offensive line intact that way, especially a guy like Jason Kelce in the middle. He’s the field general for that group and he’s a smart guy and he gets the guys going in the right direction. And he and Carson have a great relationship in ID’ing things defensively, protections, runs, things of that nature. And now having Jason anchored there on the left side just gives you a comfort factor on your backside being a right-handed a quarterback. I know the feeling, back in the day, having those Tra Thomases over there or the Jon Runyans on the right side. To have those anchors on the edges gives you more comfort as a pocket passer and someone that can just take advantage of those guys being the core of your offensive line.”

The Eagles focused on adding to Wentz’s options in the passing game in free agency and made a late addition to the backfield when they signed LeGarrette Blount. Making those moves while simultaneously making over the offensive line would have been a head scratcher, so they avoided the itch altogether.