By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles will be on the road Sunday, travelling down to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Eagles losing streak has reached eight-games and they are saddled with a 3-9 record. However, they have been more competitive the last couple of weeks and one reason why is improved play from the offensive line. That line includes veteran Jake Scott, who has started at guard ever since being signed as a free agent on November 12th.
“I didn’t know for sure if I would be plugged right in,” Scott tells KYW Newsradio. “But I knew I had to be ready. That’s kind of the deal with professional football. If you show up and you’re on the roster, they expect you to be ready. So I stayed in pretty good shape and kept myself in a position where I could go in and play if I needed to.”
Listen To Podcast With Jake Scott:
One reason for Scott’s relatively smooth insertion right into the line-up is the fact that he is familiar with offensive line coach Howard Mudd’s system. He played under Mudd in Indianapolis for several years. But Scott says he doesn’t think the system is as unusual as many make it out to be.
“I think it’s a little bit different, it’s not a lot,” Scott says. “It’s small nuances that make it different. He likes guys to be aggressive, he likes you to use your athleticism and use your quickness to outleverage the defensive line and he likes guys to be aggressive in pass protection. Which is a little different than some people, but it’s not a wholesale difference.”
Scott’s arrival has corresponded with Nick Foles run as the starting quarterback, and he thinks the rookie out of Arizona is making great strides.
“I think you can see his confidence just growing, week in and week out,” Scott says. “Just being in the huddle with him, each week he’s gotten more confident and more sure of himself. And he’s improved. I think he’s played better every week since I’ve been here and I think he’ll probably continue to do that throughout the rest of the year.”
The Buccaneers are 6-6 and their defense is last in the NFL against the pass (309.4 yards a game), but first against the run (82.3 yards a game). Scott says it isn’t hard to see why that run defense is tough.
“They fly around, they play hard,” Scott says. “They run to the ball. So you can see why teams are having a tough time running against him. They move around a lot and they get after the ball carrier, so it’s going to be a challenge this week to get everybody covered up and blocked.”
Eagles and Buccaneers last played on October 11th, 2009, with the Eagles winning that game 33-14 at the Linc behind three Donovan McNabb touchdown passes.
Sunday’s game will kick-off at 1:00 p.m.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.