PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Todd Herremans is a realist. The Eagles’ 10th –year right guard out of tiny Saginaw Valley State is someone who won’t throw sunshine in places it doesn’t belong and one of those areas is reflecting on his 2013 season.
Herremans, one of the Eagles’ respected elder statesmen, stopped an inquisitor short when they described his 2013 season as a “great year,” correcting them and specifying that he had “a healthy year.” Otherwise, he wasn’t too pleased with 2013.
It’s little surprising coming from Herremans, who’s been an Eagles’ stalwart and the one of the most versatile offensive linemen in team history, playing every position on the offensive line except center.
But he demanded more from himself in 2013, and it gnaws at him that he didn’t play up to the level he expects. His aim is to make up for that this season, which carries with it a lot of promise.
“I don’t feel like I played very well early [in 2013], I had some lumps in the beginning of the year,” Herremans said. “I just have to get comfortable playing at [right] guard and I still don’t think I’m there. I know I can play better than I am now. I remember when I was playing left guard for so many years I felt really good. I felt that I was one of the top guards in the league.
“I feel that I can back to that. It’s still a process. It’s not a left-right thing, because I’ve always been able to bounce from side-to-side. I think that’s been one of my strong points is that they can plug me in anywhere and it’s a reason why I think I’ve been around for so long. I’m kind of like a Band-Aid sometimes.”
Herremans said he envisions returning to form as one of the top guards in the NFL. That comes with working more on his balance and suring-up his pass protection. He’s walking around at 315 pounds and he’s pleased with that weight, which set him back last year when he came in a little heavier than he would have liked, and consequently, he didn’t move as well.
“Plus I think when [former offensive line coach] Howard [Mudd] was here, and I was playing tackle, he had our tackles basically running out and jump-setting everything,” Herremans said. “Then when I was moved back inside at guard, it took me a while to shift my weight back and hold my weight inside. I feel like the training camp is going in a right direction. I feel more comfortable inside without question than I did this time last year. There is a bigger thing here, too, because as a team we’re all heading in the right direction. We had a really good training camp.”
Herreman will be faced with another challenge in being paired with right tackle Allen Barbre, who will be replacing Lane Johnson while he serves his league suspension.
“Working with someone new has been the trend for the last three or four years, I played next to Danny [Watkins], next to Lane and now Al,” Herremans said. “Al knows his stuff and he’s making his calls. Right now it’s a matter of him and I working together, rather than playing one-on-one. It’s still a process and there’s some things there that we can tighten up and we’ve been working it. It can only get better.”
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