By Joseph Santoliquito
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jason Peters was a little angry last year. The veteran left offensive tackle and future hall of famer was angry that the Eagles lost to Dallas late last year. He was angry over the fact that the Eagles didn’t make the playoffs last year.
And he was a little angry at himself late last season. He knows he could have played better than he did.
Peters holds a high standard for himself. The 33-year-old, 12-year veteran also realizes he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Time is ticking. He evaluated his play as “OK” last year, though not to his liking.
But the perennial Pro Bowler revealed something on Monday during the second day of training camp.
“I started slacking at the end of the year I must say,” Peters admitted. “The last three games I gave up some sacks that I usually don’t give up. I look back on it and I wasn’t pleased, I came into this year working on trying to fix that.
“When I look back at my last three or four games, I look back and know I have to do better than that; that I’m able to do better than that. It’s why I started training earlier, more than the last few years. I was upset late last year. I wanted to come back than I was last year. I’m getting older. I want to win a Super Bowl. Every year you want to make the playoffs and go farther than what you did the previous year. We lost to the Cowboys and they knocked us out of the playoffs, and that was tough. I was upset. Losing to Dallas got me to a little bit. I carried that around for a while.”
So sacrifices were made in the off-season. One of which was ice cream. The 6-foot-4 Peters is down to 320 pounds this season, a major drop from his usual 345 this time of year.
Peters said he dieted, laying off the ice cream and sweets. He said he also dropped the pounds by riding a bike—not a stationary bike, a regular bike.
This is a big year for the Eagles offensive front. Gone on guards Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis, replaced by left guard Allen Barbre and a battle between Andrew Gardner and Matt Tobin for right guard. It means more pressure on staples Lane Johnson, at right tackle, center Jason Kelce and Peters. It’s part of many changes that this team has undergone in the off-season.
Can one preseason bring all of these unknown parts together?
Peters says yes—starting with himself.
“I feel good,” Peters said. “I am a lot lighter than I usually am this time of year. I feel great. I’m 320, and got down with the work. I think we’re going to be fine [despite all of the new parts]. Anytime you mess with the offensive line, you’re messing with the chemistry. We’ll just have to see and iron out the wrinkles. Every year the team is different. Every year you lose guys and add guys. You never have the same team for a long period of time. It’s the way it is. It’s why you have off-season programs and try and get the chemistry. We’re going to be fine.
“I’m realize that I’m getting older now and I’m trying to finish strong. This is the best I’ve ever felt coming into camp. Normally, I come to camp kind of heavy and I work myself into shape. This year, I showed up in shape and I want to stay where I am. It wasn’t that hard to cut the weight. I think we have good chemistry on the offensive line. I’ve played with Al on my right. I played with him last year. I feel good about the guy.”
Peters comment on the Brandon Boykins situation: “Anytime a guy gets traded or released they always have bad things to say, never good things to say. Some guys take it personal, some take it as a way of life. Chip Kelly is a player’s coach. You have to understand Chip. He’s different than Andy Reid or any other coach that I had. He won’t come at you directly and pull you aside. He’s a different cat. You have young guys that don’t want to change or abide by Chip’s rules. He’s the boss and you’re going to abide by his rules or you’re not going to be here. I had to change. Every time you get somebody new, you might get a new offensive line coach, he might change your technique. You might be stuck in your ways, you have to change for the best.”