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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Social media aided Mathis to start at guard

PHILADELPHIA — Perhaps never before in the history of Twitter and the NFL had a player retweeted a fan’s request for a team to promote him and several days later that promotion happened.

But that’s exactly what occurred to Evan Mathis, the Eagles new left guard, after the team shook up the offensive line 11 days ago.

Six days prior, after the line looked like a colander against the Browns, Mathis passed along a fan’s suggestion that the Eagles move Todd Herremans to right tackle and he take the left guard’s spot. Then he retweeted a similar proposal from a reporter. And then, well, it happened.

“That third preseason contest (against Cleveland) I was back at left guard and started to get an idea of where things were headed,” Mathis said the other day. “Now I’m more where I want to start but we’re nowhere near where we need to finish.”

They’re not even close. While the change was welcomed by Mathis, Herremans and almost universally by Eagles fans, it has only mildly tempered fears about the line and quarterback Michael Vick’s protection.

Aside from a few practices, the starting five will not have played together as one heading into Sunday’s regular season opener at the St. Louis Rams.

Left tackle Jason Peters is the only starter left over from last year’s line. Rookies Danny Watkins and Jason Kelce are at right guard and center, Herremans is starting at right tackle for the first time in his career, and Mathis came virtually out of nowhere.

The seven-year journeyman showed up early in camp, but a few days after the Eagles signed free agents more well known. After his first practice, there was no podium news conference — like the one the Eagles had for Nnamdi Asomugha, Vince Young, Jason Babin, etc. — just a, “Hey, you can grab him off the field.”

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