Dennis Kelly settling in on Eagles offensive line

Rich Schultz

The rookie from Purdue is likely to get his 2nd straight start in place of the injured Danny Watkins.

Eagles fans have desperate for literally any good news along the offensive line, but so far it's basically all been bad. The line is now down 3 starters and so far the backups have all been a significant downgrade form the starters. At left tackle, we've even seen the Eagles dip down to the 3rd string.

But last week provided a little sliver of hope as rookie Dennis Kelly stepped in for the injured Danny Watkins and actually looked alright. Kelly says he was pleased with how well he implemented the techniques that Howard Mudd taught him over the summer.

"I thought I was very aggressive," he said. "I took the techniques that [offensive line coach] Howard [Mudd] has been preaching and really, I think, executed them pretty well."

But just as important as knowing what you did well, is knowing where you need to improve and Kelly had no problem diagnosing his problems after watching the film.

"I was a little unhappy with how I did on blocks out in the second level, kind of dealing with linebackers. I know one play in particular, I opened up too much and crossed my feet and the backer went right under me. So, I just have to work on being disciplined with going over an open space."

Andy Reid also took note of the rookie's performance in his debut.

"Actually, Kelly did a pretty good job: Andy told reporters this week. "That was a respectable job that he did, in particular with his first start and for going against a really good player. Can he do things better? Yeah, he will. He's a rookie. He'll get better. I thought he did a nice a job."

Now, it is worth cautioning that it was only Kelly's first start and it would hardly be the first time a guy has held in his own in his debut but struggled after. What separates starters in the NFL from everyone else isn't the ability to have a good game, it's how they handle the grind of a season. We've already seen this year that Dallas Reynolds got off to a good start in his first game, but has struggled since.

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