Eagles ‘Fast-Tracking’ Jason Peters to Right Guard in ‘Easy’ Transition

Jason Peters

Getty Eagles LT Jason Peters is one of the most unselfish players on the roster.

Jason Kelce and Jason Peters can probably finish each other’s sentences after playing together for nine seasons on the Eagles’ offensive line.

This year, aside from the weird circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic, is a little bit different for two of the best to ever do it at their respective positions. Peters is learning a new position, at right guard, for the first time since transitioning from right tackle to left tackle in 2006. Kelce, of course, remains stationed at center.

It could be a bumpy ride, with an abbreviated training camp and a shortened learning curve. But the Eagles don’t seem worried about the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer making the adjustment. Neither does Kelce, his good friend and linemate who lobbied to bring Peters back before Brandon Brooks went down.

“I was hoping we were going to bring him back regardless of what happened to Brandon Brooks,” Kelce told reporters on Tuesday. “So the fact that he’s playing right guard for us and still on the team, and still able to bring the experience and leadership that he has — and just being the great teammate that he is, I think I speak for everybody that we’re really excited to see how this move goes.”

Kelce added that what happened to Brooks was “terrible” and his heart went out to the Pro Bowl right guard, arguably the best offensive linemen in football.

“Terrible what happened to Brandon Brooks, a guy who had been working really hard to come back from an injury at the end of the season,” Kelce said. “He was in the best shape I’ve ever seen him in his life. He still is, it looks like on Instagram.”

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Peters Making ‘Relatively Easy’ Switch to Guard

So, how is that move going? Is it the “relatively easy” switch that Doug Pederson thought?

Kelce admitted the two are “ironing out the little details” but added that he still does that with all his teammates. Peters just happens to be standing next to him now, instead of two guys down and to the left.

“It’s been actually a really engaging and fun experience for both JP and I,” Kelce said. “We’re still talking about ways to do things better and iron out little details that will make a big difference hopefully on gamedays. And, obviously, with JP being new to the position, we’re really fast-tracking a lot of that.”

When the rumors of a possible Peters’ reunion in Philly first took root, Kelce was quick to rally support for the move. The All-Pro center called him the “best player I’ve ever played with” at the time. Three months later, Kelce finds himself asking Peters questions in practice.

“He understands the game. He understands angles. He understands footwork,” Kelce said. “So being able to bounce things off him and really being able to ask him questions has been awesome. He’s already brought up a few things to me, about how we can do it better or why aren’t we doing it this way … to be able to talk to a guy who has the amount of experience that he does is really fun for an older guy.”

Isaac Seumalo Really Coming Into His Own

Another player that Kelce can’t give enough kudos to is left guard Isaac Seumalo. He started all 17 games (including playoffs) for the first time in his career last year and proved to be a valuable member of the NFL’s best offensive line.

Kelce has hyped up Seumalo back in May when he referred to him as “one of the premier guards in this league” and hasn’t backed down from that stance. The Eagles’ fiery leader — and giver of epic speeches — believes Seumalo just needed the right opportunity.

“He’s played all over [the offensive line], and he’s gotten a very limited amount of time just working at one position until last year,” Kelce said. “And you really saw him take that and become even better and hone in on the little details that really take his game to the next level.”

Seumalo’s big break came in 2018 when the team benched Stefen Wisniewski and never looked back. Prior to that, Seumalo had bounced around on the offensive line at every position: tackle, guard, center and even some tight end in “big packages,” as Kelce pointed out.

“He’s got the full gamut,” Kelce said. “He’s smart. He’s very, very intelligent, understands the game very, very well … physically he’s strong, he’s athletic, he’s quick. He’s got pretty much every attribute you want and I’m really happy about the way he’s progressed and for everyone else to take notice of the player he is.”

Luckily for the Eagles, Seumalo also has a team-friendly contract. The franchise inked the 26-year-old to a three-year contract extension in 2019 worth $15.9 million, pennies on the dollar for a guard of his caliber. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.

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