Eagles' offensive coordinator Frank Reich believes athletic hog-mollie Jason Peters might be the best offensive lineman he's has the pleasure of working with.
The 34-year-old bookend tackle has been the cornerstone of Philly’s line for seven years now. He’s battled through every injury imaginable, and continues to ensure that his quarterback’s blindside is consistently protected, even when he’s one-on-one against the quickest defensive ends the NFL has to offer.
“I love the way he works,” Reich said. “Every week when you go back through the practice film, I get amazed, and I’ve shown this to the offense once or twice, you look at how hard he practices on the reps that he’s taking. You look at the athleticism that he still has in his body, it’s really astounding to me. I don’t see any signs [of him slowing down], I wasn’t here in his prime-prime, but he might be the best offensive lineman I’ve ever coached. I mean, [the] guy’s awesome.”
Through a trio of home games, the Philadelphia Eagles have been utterly dominant. Doug Pederson’s team has outscored opponents 84-23 at Lincoln Financial Field, with two of their three wins coming against teams considered to be legitimate conference title contenders.
Prior to this year, the Eagles have never compiled over 20 points and allowed 10-or-less points in three straight home games.
Having said that, expectations should be tapered with the prolific Atlanta Falcons' offense coming to town, and Jim Schwartz knows that his unit will face a very arduous challenge.
“The Falcons are playing well offensively because they’re not a one-trick pony,” Schwartz said. “We talk about Matt Ryan, we talk about Julio Jones, but they run the ball very well. They’ve got a running back that can break anything. They won three games this year that Julio Jones really didn’t have a big impact on. That’s the sign of a good offense, whether one guy’s not having a good day or defenses scheme to take him out, they still had enough else to go to. That’s our challenge this week. We’re gonna have to play our very best.”
In last week’s 28-23 defeat at the hands of the Giants, Eli Manning was efficient in spreading the ball around against the Eagles’ normally sound pass defense. The two-time Super Bowl champion hit eight different receivers and threw for four touchdowns on the day. Despite giving up 28 points, Schwartz’s defense was far from terrible at MetLife Stadium last Sunday, yielding only 311 total yards. Manning converted on two short-field opportunities for touchdowns after a pair of Carson Wentz interceptions in the first quarter.
One player who thoroughly impressed Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator last week was Fletcher Cox, who was quoted yesterday as saying he hasn’t been playing up to the level he expects.
“[Cox] was playing fantastic against the run in that game,” Schwartz said. “We weren’t loading up the run front to stop them because we were more trying to manage our coverage situation. We relied on those guys up front, and Fletch in particular made some dynamic plays against the run. Against the running backs, we were [allowing] about 2.5 yards per carry. When you’re a good player you’re gonna get attention. When you can make an impact, offensive line coaches are gonna start their game plan with No. 91. We certainly rely on Fletch to make a lot of plays for us, and he’s played well even though his numbers haven’t been eye-popping as earlier in the year.”
You can watch the full press conference from Schwartz and Reich below.