The Eagles aren't supposed to have a deeper rotation at guard than the 76ers, but right now they do.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said today that he expects the three-guard rotation of Nick Cole, Max Jean-Gilles and Stacy Andrews to continue when the Eagles play Tampa Bay Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. Cole, who is filling in for the injured Todd Herremans, has played every down at left guard so far this season, but Andrews and Jean-Gilles split reps at right guard in the last game against Kansas City.
"We feel like both of those men are starters," Mornhinweg said. "I think it's a unique situation on the offensive line because we've talked about this before: It's so important in this league to play at a high level as a unit. You can play pretty good as individuals and still not play well as a unit. It is a little bit unique that way ... and it has worked up to this point."
Mornhinweg said the Eagles' guard rotation isn't being used to keep players fresh.
"There is a plan going in," Mornhinweg said. "It's not run-pass."
So what is the reason?
"Both of those men are starting caliber," Mornhinweg said. "We have one man (Andrews) coming off a major knee injury late last year."
The coach admitted he has never seen an offensive line rotation like this before.
"I've never done it personally," he said. "Look, if they're good players, it will generally work if they're getting enough repetitions. Strategically in practice, you have to get enough reps and we have."
The Eagles' guard rotation should get even more interesting in a couple of weeks when Herremans is likely to return from foot surgery.
Will we see a four-guard rotation?
"We'll see when that happens," Mornhinweg said. "Todd is getting closer and closer."
TROTTER CAN'T WAIT
Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said he's trying not to think about hearing his name over the sound system Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since the 2006 system. He admitted, however, that the experience is unlike any other in life.
"I missed it a lot," said Trotter, who will likely be in the starting lineup against theBuccaneers. "I'm not going to lie. That's the number one thing coming out of that tunnel and seeing all those fans screaming. And just making plays. I really missed that."
Trotter said the Eagles' defense remains similar to what he learned during his six seasons with the late Jim Johnson as his defensive coordinator, but he thinks the team got away from doing some of the things that he brought to the table.
"I'm starting to see a little bit of that comeback," Trotter said.
Trotter, thanks to his 260-pound frame, is best known for being disruptive at the point of attack.