Frank Reich Confident in Eagles' OL Pieces as Starting Rotations Continue During Camp

The Eagles used three different starting offensive lines last year and six the year before. They used six combinations in 2012, five in 2011.

The only time in the last five years all five offensive linemen started all 16 games was 2013, which happens to be the last time the Eagles reached the playoffs.

Going back to 2010, the Eagles have used 32 different starting offensive lines and 23 different starting linemen. Center Jason Kelce has played next to 15 different guards.

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Guys get hurt. Gets get benched. Yes, guys get suspended. And Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said the offensive line the Eagles are currently using – with Allen Barbre at Lane Johnson’s right tackle spot and rookie Isaac Seumalo at Barbre’s left guard spot – isn’t necessarily the one that will start the season.

He just wants to see different combinations. And right now, that’s the combination he’s most interested in seeing.

“It's standard course of business in the NFL to rotate linemen around and get them a lot of reps,” Reich said.

“Obviously with situations, it's that good time in camp where you have got to move guys around. Because invariably throughout the season, you just see it. Stories are written about it every week in 32 cities.

“Rarely are you playing with the same offensive line at all five positions the whole year. So you have got to prepare for that. This is a good step for us.”

As of now, Barbre and Jason Peters are the tackles, Brandon Brooks and Seumalo are the guard and Jason Kelce is the center.

That would mean new starters at three positions from last year’s opening day, when Lane Johnson started at right tackle, Andrew Gardner at right guard and Barbre at left guard.

Stoutland could have kept Barbre at left guard and started Dennis Kelly, Matt Tobin or Gardner at right tackle, but Barbre does have experience at tackle – although it was a long time ago.

“Allen is a pro. He's versatile. He's played there before,” Reich said. “He can make that adjustment and we have high expectations for him.”

The key to the whole operation becomes Seumalo, who is on track to become the first Eagle rookie to make an opening-day start at guard since Shawn Andrews in 2004.

It opened some eyes up when the Eagles promoted Seumalo into the starting lineup ahead of veteran Stefen Wisniewski. But the rookie third-round pick from Oregon State has had a better preseason.

“Isaac's progress has been really good,” Reich said after practice Monday. “When you see a young guy who has the physical ability and the smarts that he has, it really shows up on film.

“He's an explosive athlete for an offensive lineman and when he's right, it's eye catching. When he's right on the film, it's eye catching.

“But like many young players, you've still got to iron out (things). You can't have low lows and high highs. There's got to be the consistent highs. And that's what most of the young players really are always working on - eliminating the bad plays.

“Like in golf, the bad shot can't be that bad. And so that's part of the goal as a player. When you're having a bad play, it just can't be that detrimental to the team. You have to find a way to be consistently good.”

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