Thursday, July 10, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Peters Intends To Be NFL's Best LT Again

Jason Peters said he might have come back late last season if the Eagles hadn't been buried in the standings.

Peters Intends To Be NFL's Best LT Again

Eagles offensive lineman Jason Peters. (Clem Murray/Staff file photo)
Eagles offensive lineman Jason Peters. (Clem Murray/Staff file photo)

At the NFL scouting combine in late February, Oregon running back Kenjon Barner was asked what Eagles players should expect from Chip Kelly.

"A lot of speed," he said. "Everything’s going to be fast-paced. Be in great shape. That’s my advice to those guys. Be in great shape. He pushes you to a limit that you didn’t know you had."

It hasn’t taken the Eagles long to find that out. Two days into the team’s voluntary offseason workouts, chests already are heaving and tongues are a wagging.

"The workout today was up-tempo," offensive tackle Jason Peters said. "Different stuff, different drills that we don’t normally do. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be real up-tempo."

More coverage
 
Kempski's Corner: Which Eagles are overrated, underrated?
 
VOTE: Which GM has the best plan in Philly?
 
DOWNLOAD: Philly Pro Football app
 
FORUMS: Debate the Eagles' draft
 
Grading the Eagles' draft picks

The Eagles aren’t allowed to do any football drills until April 16 when they hold a three-day pre-draft minicamp. But all of their weight-room and on-field running the last two days has been up-tempo.

Kelly’s strength and conditioning staff have linemen like Peters doing things ordinarily reserved for speed positions.

"We’re doing 40 work (40-yard dashes), hurdles, ladders, stuff like that," said Peters. "Working the quick feet, the quick movement. The up-tempo pace."

The good news is Peters has been able to do all of it. The All-Pro left tackle, who missed all of last season after rupturing his Achilles tendon not once but twice, said he has made a full recovery and will not be limited in any way during the team’s spring work.

"I’m 100 percent," he said.

Peters said he’s pretty much been close to 100 percent since December. Said he could’ve come back late last season, but given the death-spiral the team was in at the time, he decided against it, and the coaching staff concurred.

"I was going to come back last year, but it was a bad season. I could have (played), but I didn’t want to risk it with a losing season. And the coaches kind of held me back a little bit."

Peters, 31, said he’s been told there’s no more risk of rupturing his Achilles again than if he had never torn it.

He said he expects to return to the elite level he was at in 2011 when he was the best left tackle in the NFL.

"I’m not going to get out there if I couldn’t be back to where I was before I got hurt," he said.

In the second half of the 2011 season, the Eagles’ offensive line played as well as any line in the league. But injury wreaked havoc on the unit last year. First Peters got hurt. Then center Jason Kelce tore his ACL in Week 2. Then right tackle broke his foot in November and missed the last eight games.

With Peters at left tackle two seasons ago, running back LeSean McCoy was a first-team All-Pro. Averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 87.3 yards per game and had a franchise-record17 rushing touchdowns. Last year, those numbers plummeted to 4.2, 70.0 and 2.

"I want to get back to where I used to be and get some (playoff) wins," said Peters, who never has won a postseason game.

Peters, who played at about 340 pounds two years ago, said he wants to get down to 320 next season.

"(At that weight) I’ll be ready for whatever the coaches throw at us," he said. "Whether we run 100 plays (a game) or 60."

Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
About this blog
Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected