Eagles Can Live With Center Situation

Posted Apr 26, 2006

Yes, the Eagles could be in a better situation at center, which is why they were so interested in LeCharles Bentley. But with all of the true need positions, going after a center in the draft is low on the priority list.

First of all, the depth at the center position for the draft isn't great. Unless you're going to get Nick Mangold, there aren't a lot of players who can definitely come in and take over on the offensive line and help to run the offense for the Eagles.

The Eagles have been pretty pleased with the play of veteran Hank Fraley. Last year, Fraley was one of the many Eagles who missed considerable time because of injury and when he went down, the Eagles appeared to be in a desperate situation.

That's when Jamaal Jackson stepped in and stepped up. As the season went on and Jackson became more comfortable with his new job, his play elevated. Jackson provided solid pass blocking and was able to open up some pretty good holes on the rare occasions when the Eagles actually ran the ball. Considering that prior to stepping into the lineup, Jackson was a mainstay of the practice squad and injured reserve, his play was especially impressive.

Fraley figures to be recovered from the torn triceps injury that sidelined him last season. That means an all out battle for the starting job come training camp at Lehigh. It's one of those classic veteran versus young guy battles that is meant to happen in every camp.

The Eagles continue to consider other options for the position, but the draft isn't likely to provide much more than a little depth. Unless Mangold takes an unexpected tumble, finding him in Philadelphia would be a definite longshot. The Eagles have shown interest in dealing for Cleveland's Jeff Faine, who is seemingly displaced by Bentley signing with the Browns. While Cleveland has shopped Faine, there haven't been any takers, but the Eagles' interest is still there at the right price.

Fraley and Jackson can provide adequate play at the center position, as long as both stay healthy. After those two, the options are certainly less attractive. Trey Darilek and Dominic Furio are backup options, but neither appear ready to play on a regular basis. Of course, the same could have been said for Jackson at this point last season.

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