Is Peters best O-lineman in Eagles history?


His athleticism is unmatched. His power and strength are unrivaled. His durability and consistency are unparalleled. With apologies to Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan, Stan Walters and Bob Brown, he may be the best offensive lineman in Eagles history.

Jason Peters is putting together a remarkable resume.

On Tuesday, Peters tied a franchise record when he was picked to his third Pro Bowl as an Eagle -- tying the most ever by an Eagles offensive lineman. Hes also one of just two NFL O-linemen whos been a Pro Bowl pick in each of the last five seasons. The other is Joe Thomas of the Browns. In the last 40 years, only four undrafted offensive linemen have been to more Pro Bowls.

Its a great accomplishment, Peters said. Kind of down we didnt make the postseason, but thats a great achievement, to make it five years in a row.

Peters is one of the more insightful and honest Eagles in the locker room after games, but he rarely talks about himself. Wednesday, after practice, he made an exception, and in the longest interview hes done in his three years in Philly, he spoke about his season, his career and his motivation.

Peters said with each Pro Bowl hes picked to, his motivation grows stronger to make the next. Offensive linemen dont have stats to call their own, but this is one streak Peters doesnt want to end.

Every year you make it, theres that much more pressure to make it the next year for me, he said. You never want to fall off or skip a year, so you push that much harder to make it a sixth time or a seventh time so thats my mind set.

Among active offensive linemen, only Steve Hutchinson (seven), Matt Birk (six) and Olin Kreutz (six) have been to more Pro Bowls, but all are much older than Peters and none of them has been to a Pro Bowl the last several years.

So you can certainly make a case that Peters is the most dominating offensive lineman in the game. No offensive tackle in the NFC received more votes this year.

But Peters isnt ready to go that far.

I would say Im in the top, but I dont consider myself the best, he said. Im still learning little tricks and trades of the tackle position.

If not Peters, then who is the best offensive tackle in the game?

Peters offered his opinion: I like (Joe) Staley, from the 49ers. I like Jake Long, hes pretty good. I like (Jordan) Gross, from Carolina. I like the guy from Detroit (Jeff Backus), he's consistent. Hes got like the most starts by an offensive lineman (175 in a row).

Peters athleticism showed more than ever this year and coincided with the emergence of LeSean McCoy -- who will start alongside Peters in the Pro Bowl.

Weve got a bunch of screen passes, weve got a bunch of sprint draws that we run where I can get out in space and make blocks for Shady, and all I have to do is get on him one second and hes going to make a cut and score, Peters said.

Peters went to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2008 for the Bills before making it with the Eagles in each of his three years here.

He joins Charle Young (1973-76), Norm Van Brocklin (1958-60), Asante Samuel (2008-10), Keith Jackson (1988-90), William Fuller (1994-96) and Billy Ray Barnes (1957-59) as the seventh player to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first three years with the Eagles.

Peters said he thinks this was his best year yet.

I think so, he said. As the year went on, I got stronger and stronger. Just trying to make that push to help my team make the playoffs.

The Eagles didnt make the playoffs, but they do have the No. 3 offense in the NFL and with one game left against the Redskins Sunday, theyre on pace to become the 18th team in NFL history to average 400 yards per game.

Peters said he wasnt concerned when Howard Mudd was named to replace Juan Castillo as the Eagles offensive line coach. New position coaches are nothing new to him.

I didnt have any doubts, he said. I had four O-line coaches out of the five Pro Bowl years, so whatever they teach me, Ill take it out on the field. I didnt think it would be a down year.

Peters is truly a remarkable story. He was recruited to Arkansas as a defensive tackle, converted as a sophomore to tight end, then earned second-team All-SEC honors as a junior after catching 21 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns.

He converted to offensive tackle before the draft but went undrafted before signing with the Bills.

Only eight undrafted offensive linemen have been named to more Pro Bowls than Peters, and were talking about guys like Hall of Famers Jim Otto, Lou Groza and Jim Langer, and stars like Jay Hilgenberg and Nate Newton.

My drive is that I came in as a free agent and when I step out on the field I want to show teams I was worthy of getting picked, he said. Thats my mind-set every day when I come to practice, when I step out on the field on Sunday.

Peters, 29, believes hes just reaching his prime and has plenty of Pro Bowl years left.

When the time comes or I feel like I cant do it or Im getting beat too much, then Ill consider getting out of it, he said. But Ive got a ways to go.

E-mail Reuben Frank at

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