Eagles' right guard position battle still wide open


With two weeks of training camp and one preseason game in the books for the Eagles, there still seems to be no clear front-runner for the starting right guard position.

After the departure of veteran guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans this offseason, the Eagles were left in a compromising position regarding both left and right guard. Allen Barbre, it seems, has solidified his spot as the team's left guard. But who becomes the starting right guard remains to be seen.

It's an ongoing process, Eagles’ offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said before Sunday's preseason opener.

“Every single day, we’re taking it one day at a time,” Stoutland said. “Each guy has an opportunity to present to us what they have to offer in terms of technique, effort — all those things are being evaluated.”

In the preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Andrew Gardner got the work at right guard with the first-team offense. Though Gardner didn’t do anything particularly eye-opening, he also didn’t make any glaring errors during his brief appearance. He has also gotten the most work with the first team during practice, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is the favorite to win the job.

Stoutland downplayed the significance of Gardner’s first-team reps during practice, saying that regardless of who may be there one day, each player is getting the same number of looks at the position.

“We look at a different person each day,” Stoutland said. “Instead of going from period to period and rotating guys, we kind of put a guy there for the day and soak them. This way you can give each guy a fair shot and I think it’s been great.”

Through two weeks of training camp, there are several players in the mix for the starting right guard position, including Gardner, Matt Tobin, Julian Vandervelde and John Moffitt.

Moffit, a third-round pick of the Seahawks in 2011, sat out last year and is in the process of working his way back into game shape. He signed with the Eagles late in the offseason and missed the entirety of their spring workouts and minicamps.

Though he has had to play catch-up for the first couple weeks of training camp, Moffitt has shown flashes of his potential and seems like a solid option for the Eagles at right guard. He comes to the Eagles with 19 career starts at guard, more than any other player vying for the position.

His experience may give him an extra boost in camp and Stoutland has nothing but praise for the recently unretired veteran.

“You can tell when John first came to us that he hadn’t played football in a while, but each day he gets better and better,” Stoutland said. “As long as he continues to do that, he will get into the games and it’s time to go out on the field and show us his production.”

With four weeks to go until the Eagles open the season on Monday night in Atlanta on Sept. 14, it is clear that coaches are not rushing the decision to name a starting right guard.

"I think we’re totally exhausting the process," Stoutland said, "and it is a process to make sure we absolutely have the right person."

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