By Ed Benkin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles’ offensive line is currently under construction.

As the team braces for a potential suspension of Lane Johnson, the coaches have decided to go with a different look up front. Allen Barbre has taken Johnson’s spot at right tackle with the top unit, and rookie Isaac Seumalo is in Barbre’s old spot at left guard. Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich talked about the changes up front, but added it is not uncommon at this stage of training camp.

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“It’s standard course of business in the NFL to rotate linemen around and get them a lot of reps,” said Reich. “Obviously, with the situations, it’s a good time in camp where you move guys around. Invariably throughout the season, you just see it. Stories are written about it every week in 32 cities. Rarely are you playing with the same offensive line at all five positions the whole year. You have got to prepare for that.”

Eagles Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich (credit: Ed Benkin/KYW)

Eagles Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich (credit: Ed Benkin/KYW)

Reich praised Barbre’s versatility and believes he will have little problem adjusting to right tackle. Meanwhile, Seumalo is still trying to catch up after missing mini-camp while finishing his college courses. The third round draft choice from Oregon State continues to improve, and Reich understands he will have to be patient with the rookie.


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“Isaac’s progress has been really good,” Reich said. “When you see a young guy who has the physical ability and the smarts that he has, it really shows up on film. He’s an explosive athlete for an offensive lineman and when he’s right, it’s eye catching. But like many young players, you’ve still got to iron out.”

Even if the new members of the top unit are able to adjust, players at other positions may also be making changes. Tight End Zach Ertz is being counted on for a large number of receptions, but understands he may be forced to do more as a blocker at different times during the season.

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“I’ve had to put a lot of time and energy into the blocking side,” said Ertz. “With the injuries and the impending suspension and everything like that, I’ve got to do whatever the offense needs. If that’s catching as many balls as possible or if that’s chipping in every pass protection, I can’t get mad if I’m not getting the ball because I have to help out the offensive line.”

As the offense continues to adjust, Reich is hoping to continue to see progress as the Eagles get set to face the Steelers on Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

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“I think we are where we need to be,” Reich said. “You have to balance it as a coach. You’re never happy. You walk off the practice field every day remembering the plays that didn’t go well. You walk off a preseason game remembering the plays that didn’t go well, but you have to keep balance.”