Jason Peters protected Carson Wentz’s blindside for half a decade in Philadelphia. Now that the one-time franchise quarterback is gone, the All-Pro left tackle was willing to shed a small ray of light on how things got turned so upside down.
What went wrong? Nothing, according to Peters. The future Hall of Famer chatted with the “Good Morning Football” crew on Thursday morning in a shockingly candid interview. Peters expressed a desire to return in 2021 for what would be his 18th NFL season and made the statement while wearing a Philadelphia Eagles sweatshirt. He also talked honestly about the franchise’s “rebuilding phase” and how impressed he was with Jalen Hurts’ leadership and swagger in the huddle.
“He comes to the huddle and he demands your eyes and your ears,” Peters said of Hurts. “He’s definitely ahead of his time as far as his leadership and his swagger. He must have got that from Nick Saban and all the coaches up there in Alabama. The guy’s got great confidence I think he’s going to be on the up and up over the next couple of years.”
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Peters commented that he wasn’t “super surprised” that the Eagles traded Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts, but made sure to mention that not everyone is wired to play football in Philly. It’s a tough town that demands excellence out of players on every single play, week in and week out. He wasn’t criticizing Wentz for being soft, although it sounded like a cautionary tale for free agents.
“Carson is a great player and nothing really went wrong on that,” Peters said. “It’s just that in Philadelphia, it’s a hard city to play for, man. They are critical of every play, every inch, every foot, every year — you gotta bring it every year or Philadelphia will eat you up.”
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Peters: ‘I Still Got Something In the Tank’
There’s no question that Peters will eventually get a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio. He’s a nine-time Pro Bowler who has twice been named first-team All-Pro. The man known as The Bodyguard is on a very short list of guys in the conversation for the greatest left tackle in NFL history. But save that talk for another day because he’s not ready to hang up his cleats.
Peters posted that “I need one more” on Instagram, referring to his need for another Super Bowl ring. He told NFL Network’s Nate Burleson that he still has “something in the tank.”
“I don’t know about a whole lot but I still got something in the tank,” Peters said. “And I can definitely show some of the young guys, you know, how to play the game of football. You can know the X’s and O’s but I’m going to be the one to stay with them after practice and show them how to really play the game, the technique, and the detail of the football game throughout the course of the season.”
The 39-year-old is an unrestricted free agent after inking a one-year deal with the Eagles in 2020 to play right guard. He was given a significant pay bump to move over to left tackle once Andre Dillard was lost for the year. Peters finished with eight starts and allowed eight sacks en route to a 67.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
Eagles in Rebuilding Phase, Mobile QB Preferable
Lastly, Peters touched briefly on the advantage of having a mobile quarterback versus a statue under center. It just makes the job of an offensive lineman a lot easier since he doesn’t have to engage those freakishly athletic defensive ends and tackles so long. Does that mean he preferred Hurts over Wentz? Interpret at your own risk.
“As an offensive lineman, you definitely want a guy that can move around because you’re not going to win every matchup. Those guys — the defensive ends, the defensive tackles — they get paid, too, so you definitely want somebody who can maneuver a little bit, get outside the pocket and make big throws.”
He also offered his thoughts on the youth movement taking place in Philly. The franchise has made a conscious effort to turn the page on the 2017 Super Bowl roster, making The Bodyguard’s return in 2021 a longshot.
“I think they are just in a rebuilding phase right now,” Peters said of the Eagles. “They want to go younger. We had an older team leading up to the previous couple of years and they want to go younger. Franchises do that from time to time, they want to go younger — and I don’t think nothing went left until we started losing.”