Thursday, December 25, 2014

OL Shuffle -- Wells Here, Cole Starts, Max Back

Max Jean-Gilles was getting a tattoo Saturday evening around 6:30, he said, when agent Drew Rosenhaus called with an odd bit of news.

OL Shuffle -- Wells Here, Cole Starts, Max Back

G Max Jean-Gilles re-signed with the Eagles a day after being released. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
G Max Jean-Gilles re-signed with the Eagles a day after being released. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Max Jean-Gilles was getting a tattoo Saturday evening around 6:30, he said, when agent Drew Rosenhaus called with an odd bit of news.Max, now with extra ink

The Eagles had just missed the 6 p.m. deadline for filing their trade of guard Stacy Andrews to Seattle with the league office. Guard Jean-Gilles was being released, to get the team under the 53-man roster limit. But assuming Jean-Gilles didn't want to try to strike out for greener pastures, the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2006 would re-sign him the next day.  

"I love Philly," Jean-Gilles said Sunday afternoon, after re-signing his one-year restricted free agent tender and practicing with his teammates at NovaCare. "They wanted me here, I love being here, so, I'm here ... Everything happens for a reason. I've got a job, so, I'm good."

Nick Cole and Reggie Wells voiced similar sentiments. Cole is the guy who seemed most likely to start the season at center, this week against Green Bay, when camp opened. But Cole missed most of the preseason with knee swelling, and now, regular center Jamaal Jackson's ACL recovery has gone so well, the plan is for him to take the field against the Packers. Jackson practiced yesterday. Cole is the right guard, with Stacy Andrews traded Saturday to Seattle for a seventh-round draft pick. Cole started nine games at right guard last year, but still, it's been an eventful past few weeks. And Cole is very much aware that Reggie Wells, the longtime Cardinals starting guard the Eagles traded for on Friday, didn't come here to sit on the bench.

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"I'm pretty much used to it," Cole said. "Whether I'm playing left, center or right, I just adapt. Juan (offensive line coach Castillo) makes sure I get my work in, makes sure I'm ready."

Cole said his knee is fine now.

Someone observed that this is a pretty good spot, the way things worked out.

"As long as I'm playing, it's a pretty good spot," said Cole, as Wells was drawing a crowd of interviewers down near the end of the row of offensive line locker stalls. "NFL, baby. Always competing. Fight to keep a job."

The Arizona Republic reported that Wells, a Cardinal since he was drafted in the sixth round out of Clarion in 2003, and a starter since 2004, was given the option of staying in Arizona as a backup or going to the Eagles, where he would have a chance to start. Wells opted to leave.

But, obviously, if he ends up sitting behind Cole all year, he might as well have stayed in the Valley of the Sun.

"Whatever position they want me to learn, that's what I'll do," Wells, 29, said. "They haven't really told me anything other than ... just come in and they think I'm someone who can help make them a lot better, in whatever way they think I can. We'll take it as it comes. I'm not going to rush it our anything, but I came out here to play and give my best."  

Asked if he still feels he's an NFL starter, Wells said: "Oh, without a doubt. I wouldn't have left there if I didn't."

Jean-Gilles' tattoo, by the way, is an intricate thing that winds up the length of his left forearm. It features his initials, a crown, and money burning.

***

Asked if the Eagles are finished making roster moves, Andy Reid said: "Right this minute, we are."

Reid underlined the intention to use new DE Antwan Barnes in the "joker" position, and said Dimitri Patterson will get some reps at safety, while the Birds have six corners and just three safeties. He said Jamaal Jackson will start the opener "unless there's a setback there."

Jackson, asked if he is confident he's ready to roll, said: "We'll see," which was kinda cryptic.

Backup center Mike McGlyyn had strained his back in the weight room but practiced.

Reid said DeSean Jackson was fine, although his teeth remain sore after having his wisdom teeth removed Monday.

"He did okay ... The swellings down and he’s good," Reid said. "It’s just a matter of working through. He went through the whole practice, did everything, and did well.”

Reid said Hank Baskett -- used a few years ago as a quasi-tight end -- knows the position, and rookie wideout Riley Cooper will learn it, while the Birds are carrying just two TEs. Kind of odd that they named five of their eight practice squadders Sunday without adding a TE, even Cornelius Ingram, who finally felt like his knee was making progress last week against the Jets.

Those practice squadders, by the way, are WR Chad Hall, RB Martell Mallett, OL Dallas Reynolds, C A.Q. Shipley and DT Jeff Owens.

The Eagles' roster right now features an even dozen rookies.

The Eagles are off Monday and Tuesday and return to practice Wednesday for a normal game week.

**

To read Paul Domowitch's column on Stacy Andrews, click here.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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