Eagles Name Starter at Right Guard, Overall Situation Remains Cloudy

Nate Herbig

Getty Nate Herbig, shown here hugging Josh McCown, will be the starter at right guard for the Eagles.

Doug Pederson has twice this week named Nate Herbig the starter at right guard. So why doesn’t it feel like the job is his?

Maybe because the Eagles head coach added the words “right now” to one of those not-so-ringing endorsements. Herbig himself even sounded a bit surprised that the team was so quick tho throw him into the fire. Yet with a full week under his belt — plus 68 snaps on the offensive line — it’s clearly the big Hawaiian’s job to lose. The undrafted kid from Stanford has been leaning on Lane Johnson and the other veterans in the room. Herbig knows he has a “high standard” to uphold.

“Since I was a little kid I always dreamed of playing in the NFL, and just getting this opportunity is a blessing to me,” Herbig said. “And all I can do is just go in and do my job and do it the best I can and try and help the team win. I feel like every time I go out there I just have to get better. I can never be happy. I can never be disappointed in myself.”

Pederson revealed that Herbig graded out well in Week 1 and Pro Football Focus seemed to agree. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland hasn’t chimed in with his opinion and Herbig didn’t want to speak for him when asked. Whatever the case, he’ll line up next to Johnson on Sunday and give it his all.

“Obviously, I feel like I have to elevate my game if I have to play next to one of the best,” Herbig said of Johnson. “I just have to keep getting better, and we’re on to a new week, and I have to get better.”

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Jamon Brown Breathing Down Herbig’s Neck

When the Eagles stole Jamon Brown off the Bears’ practice squad, it sure felt like the confidence level in Herbig was less than 100-percent. Maybe less than 50-percent.

The former third-round pick has played in 60 NFL games, including 47 starts — and the majority of those starts have been at right guard. Herbig is most definitely holding down the job there “right now” but one hiccup and Brown knows he can swoop in.

“Oh man, ended up in Philly,” Brown said when asked how it all transpired. “When I really got a call after a meeting, saying I was being called on to come here and I felt like this was a good opportunity, to come to a great organization and to see if I could help us win some football games. I’m glad I got the opportunity and I’m excited to see what it holds.”

But the 27-year-old has been given no indication about his role from the coaching staff. In fact, Brown may be inactive on Sunday due to limited knowledge of the Eagles’ system. He had to quarantine and undergo virus testing for two straight days before he was even permitted to enter the team facility. Brown has had very few reps to show what he can do, although he made it clear he was most comfortable at right guard.

“We really haven’t discussed where I’m at as far as competing for a spot,” Brown said. “Will it happen sooner or later? Don’t really know.”

The good news is the concepts are mostly the same for offensive lineman across the NFL, according to Brown, but the terminology varies from team to team. And so does getting to know the coaching staff’s tendencies. He’s still getting “up to speed” on all that stuff.

“It’s not like I’m coming in here and reading Chinese,” Brown said. “What I’ve come to learn in my short six years in the league is a lot of things are universal, typically, what you have to change is your terminology of things but in terms of the concept of things, they’re pretty universal and then it’s just learning the differences of each coach, what each one likes and how they like to do things.”

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