Todd Herremans, Trent Cole, and Mike Patterson were the longest-tenured Eagles last season as the last vestiges of the 2005 draft class. Patterson was released two weeks ago. Andy Reid was fired two months ago. When Herremans looks around, the changes in the organization are apparent.
"It’s not something you can ignore,” Herremans said in a telephone interview Monday. “Mike’s a great friend of ours. We spent a lot of time together. Won a lot of games together. That was kind of like a little wake-up. It’s like, there’s you and Trent left. But I’ve seen changes happening. Changes usually, some of them come with a price. But change is good. I’m excited for it. I really like the coaching staff and their attitude about everything. Just how upbeat they are and how ready they are to win. I don’t think my days are numbered right now. I think if it’s still football, and if you’re a football player, you can make an adjustment to it. I’m looking forward to making the adjustment.”
Entering his ninth NFL season, Herremans recently launched the "Todd Herremans Foundation," which will host its inaugural event on March 28 at Lincoln Financial Field. (More details below) Asked if he'll be a right tackle or right guard at the day of the event, Herremans laughed.
“That’s a good question,” Herremans said. “I don’t know.”
Do you expect the Eagles to make a big splash in the free-agent market?
The coaching staff is not allowed to discuss football with Herremans, but his position versatility is one of the key topics to watch as the Eagles formulate the roster. Coach Chip Kelly didn't have an answer when asked at last month's Combine. If Herremans bounces inside, where he spent much of his Eagles career, the team can pursue a right tackle in the draft or in free agency. In fact, they might use the No. 4 pick on a prospect such as Eric Fisher. But if Herremans stays at right tackle, the Eagles can try to salvage Danny Watkins or acquire a guard.
“We just want to have the best five guys out there," Herremans said. "That’s initially why I started playing right tackle, because it was a necessity. We were running out of guys to put over there. To be honest, I just want to get healthy and play with the other four best linemen that we got. Doesn’t matter where I line up.”
Herremans is recovering from a dislocated cuboid bone in his right foot that ended his season in November. He expects to participate in April's organized training activites. His only obstacle is regaining all the strength in his right leg so that both legs are equal, but he's moving well and working out in the team's bubble at the NovaCare Complex.
“I don’t really plan on missing anything this offseason," Herremans said. "Especially with a new staff coming in, I really want to buckle down and get into the swing of things.”
Herremans likes what he's seen from Kelly in the past eight weeks. He also thinks fans will like what they see. Though the conversations between Herremans and the coaching staff is limited to off-the-field small talk such as family and hometowns, he's convinced that Kelly will offer something fresh to Eagles fans.
“They’re going to see a whole new variety of football," Herremans said. "Philadelphia has been very traditional over the past decade that I’ve been here. But Chip’s not going to do things for the sake of doing things. They all have to have a rhyme or a reason. That rhyme or reason has to benefit and push toward us winning. That’s the bottom line.”
And though free agency and the draft might have a direct effect on where Herremans plays, he does not think the Eagles need many moves to become a contender again. He supported the decision to bring back Michael Vick, citing the expected new scheme and the challenge Vick had playing with an injured roster last season. With the team healthier, Herremans is already encouraged -- even before the roster changes expected during the next month.
“I think that Chip is taking over a very talented roster," Herremans said. "I don’t think there are a lot of things that we need to go out and change. Maybe just a philosophy. We got plenty of talent, and given the right system with the right reads, it’ll be very exciting and very fun to play.”
Regarding the Todd Herremans Foundation, Herremans has been charitable during his tenure in Philadelphia, but this is the start of a devoted foundation. The "Hoops for Help" event on March 28, which is already sold out, is built around the NCAA Tournament. Proceeds will go to six different charities. Brent Celek, LeSean McCoy, and Jason Kelce are among the teammates expected to attend. It was important for Herremans to hold an event in Philadelphia and support causes in the area.
“I spent all my career here. I almost lived here for a decade now. I call Philadelphia home," he said. "The city has been nothing but gracious and accepting to me and my family. I feel like the least I can do is try to do something positive to help the community.”