Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Looks like Bell supplanted Dunlap

Even with King Dunlap healthy, Demetress Bell appears to have overtaken him for the starting left tackle spot.

Looks like Bell supplanted Dunlap

Even with King Dunlap healthy, Demetress Bell appears to have overtaken him for the starting left tackle spot.

Bell said after Wednesday's practice that he took the first team repetitions at left tackle.

Asked earlier if Dunlap had retained his spot now that he's returned to practice, Andy Reid was evasive when in recent weeks he had said the job remained Dunlap's.

"I'll cross that bridge when we get there," Reid said before practice. "But I'm glad to have King back. I just want to see how he's doing."

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Dunlap took some reps at right guard, according to Bell, with Danny Watkins out with a chest injury. Watkins was suited up at the start of practice, but was held out.

As for left tackle, the likely reason for the change: Reid thought Bell played well Sunday in the Eagles' 19-17 win over the New York Giants.

"He played well very," Reid said.

There appeared to be several plays in which the tackle appeared to be beat by defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora. But on the play in which Umenyiora raced into the backfield and forced Michael Vick to scramble for 18 yards, Reid explained that Bell was supposed to have help.

"The one where he got edged there was supposed to be a chip on that from the tight end," Reid said.

Reid said that Bell, who had first lost the starting position after the first preseason game, gained confidence as the game progressed.

"You could tell [the Giants] got frustrated," Reid said. "They went from all of a sudden the bull rush. The bull rush is tough and he hunkered down and held his own."

Bell was acquired in April a week after Jason Peters ruptured his Achilles heel. He was immediately named the starting left tackle and remained there at the start of training camp. But the former Buffalo Bill struggled to adapt to offensive line coach Howards Mudd's blocking techniques.

It took only one preseason game before Bell was demoted. Dunlap started the first two games of the season, but suffered a hamstring strain in the second half of the Ravens game. Bell jumped in under difficult circumstances and performed well. He struggled the following week in Arizona, and despite the perception that he didn't block well against the Giants, Reid said he had improved.

Reid did admit that right tackle Todd Herremans did not have one of his better games on Sunday.

"Ask him, he'll tell you," Reid said. "That probably wasn't his best game. He normally makes adjustments to fix it."

In other injury news, Reid said that linebacker Akeem Jordan (hamstring) and defensive tackle Derek Landri (knee inflammation) won't practice Wednesday. Jamar Chaney filled in for Jordan on Sunday and recorded three tackles at weak-side. Reid said that Jordan was close to getting healthy.

Riley Cooper will practice again Wednesday. The wide receiver hasn't played all season because of a broken collarbone. Reid, when asked, said that it wouldn't have been more prudent to place Cooper on the Injured reserve-designated return list before the season even though the receiver has taken up a roster spot for the first four games.

The Eagles are permitted to activate one player from Injured reserve this season. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson (brain AVM) and Peters remain on IR and are available to return. Reid said that he didn't have an update on Patterson's condition. He also didn't rule out Peters returning sometime this season, although he said once again that it was a long shot.

Safety Colt Anderson, who missed Sunday's game with knee inflammation, will also practice.

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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