Who makes the roster: Offensive line

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Todd Herremans will make his preseason debut at left guard Friday night. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Day 3 of our series of who makes the Eagles' 53-man roster continues with a look at the ...

OFFENSIVE LINE

To keep nine or ten offensive linemen, that is the question. Last year, it was nine. This year I’m thinking it’s going to be ten. The Eagles got away with keeping just nine linemen a year ago because they had Todd Herremans, who was essentially the backup left tackle. Herremans hasn’t played any tackle since his recent return to practice and he told me the other day that there wasn’t anything yet in the plans.

That doesn’t mean he can’t do the job in a pinch. But with the emergence of rookie Austin Howard the Eagles are probably hoping to avoid the likelihood of having to slide their left guard over to left tackle if Jason Peters gets hurt.
Whenever they had to play musical chairs on the line last season it disrupted the chemistry.

Howard, as the backup left tackle, is virtually assured a spot on the roster. King Dunlap, at backup right tackle, may have something to worry about. He bulked up in the off-season and has shown some slight improvement since last year, but it may not be enough. I think he gets in, however, because Howard is just a rookie, after all.

Fenuki Tupou is an interesting case study. A fifth-round draft pick, he spent his rookie season a year ago on injured reserve. He was a tackle at Oregon and practiced there first for the Eagles, but was moved to guard in the spring. His versatility could help him if the last roster spot is between him and Dunlap. The Eagles have enough guards, though, and I think they’ll cut Tupou and bring him back on the practice squad.

Of the players on the outside looking in, center A.Q. Shipley has the best chance of playing in this league. But it’s a numbers game and with Jamaal Jackson seemingly ahead of schedule, and Mike McGlynn a two-position guy that was also a fourth-round draft pick, Shipley’s best shot of sticking around is to make the practice squad.

There’s has been some speculation that Max Jean-Gilles’ job is in jeopardy, but I don’t see it. He’s not good. He’s not bad. He’s just Max and that’s enough for now.

Keeps the playbook: Peters, Winston Justice, Jackson, Herremans, Stacy Andrews, Nick Cole, McGlynn, Jean-Gilles and Howard.
On the bubble: Dunlap and Tupou.
Call your agent: Shipley, Dallas Reynolds, Zipp Duncan, Jeraill McCluller and Greg Isdaner.

Tomorrow: Quarterbacks and specialists.

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