Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Eagles OL Todd Herremans. I asked him about a number of topics, including his newly established charity, Chip Kelly, the Eagles QB situation, and more.
You recently started your new charity, The Herremans Foundation. What was your inspiration to start this?
"It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time. I’ve been involved in so many different charities in my career and I was having a hard time just trying to focus on one charity to be involved in. So I came up with the idea of creating a foundation that would be able to help multiple charities in times of need. I understand that every charity needs help. We’re focused in on the ones I’ve been affiliated with. We’ve been flying around and raising money. Rather than me just showing up at the event [that a charity had asked me to do] I can create my own event to raise money and be able to give a bigger lump sum of money to the charities."
How is your foot injury progressing?
"It’s going well. I wouldn’t really call it an injury anymore. I feel real healthy. I’ve been running out on the turf and in the closed facility. I’m cutting, sprinting and doing all that stuff so I’m getting pretty close back to football shape. I imagine within the next few weeks I’ll probably be cleared and ready to go for the mini camps."
So you don’t expect to miss any time then?
"No. And I’m pretty amped about that because we have a new coach."
Speaking of, what are your thoughts on Chip Kelly?
"Everything I’ve gathered from Chip, talking to him and from what I’ve heard from other people, everything’s positive. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to work with him. He seems like an innovator. It’s a great feeling around the practice facility right now, very enthusiastic and exciting. He brings a staff together that’s pretty young and has an energetic vibe to them. It seems like they’re really excited to be here and to win."
Based on comments of former Oregon players, a lot has been made about Coach Kelly’s desire for his players to be in "the best shape of their lives". Do you personally plan on ramping up your workout routine?
"Not really. A lot of people aren’t used to the tempo he’s run before. Every year when I come into training camp I try to be in better shape than I was the year before so I’m constantly trying to get into peak physical condition. I don’t really see myself changing too much this year. I don’t think tempo has ever been a real problem for me."
Do you see this as a challenge for some other players?
"I think in order to be in the NFL you have to be a professional about the condition you show up to training camp in. Obviously we might hit the ground going a little faster, and it might seem quite a bit different than from years prior to the way [Andy Reid] would do things pretty traditionally. Chip isn’t such a traditionalist. There’s definitely going to be a different kind of monitoring how our bodies are, where our energy levels are at, stuff like that."
Everyone wants to know about the Eagles QB situation. Who do you see as the starter right now?
"To be honest, I see [Mike Vick] being our starter. He’s been around the facility working out. I think that Mike has a lot of ball left to play and he can perform at a high level. I think things got a little too complicated in the offense that we were running last year when we had the turnovers and all the protection flaws. I think everyone looked at that as "Mike’s washed up" but a lot of that wasn’t on Mike. A lot of that was on the faster offense. Mike has a lot of football left to play. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite or a front-runner because I have no idea exactly what this offense entails yet. So it will be exciting, not only for the fans and the media, but also to us on the field to see how everything unfolds."
It’s speculated that the Eagles could take a Tackle in the draft with the 4th overall pick or maybe even sign one in Free Agency. If the Eagles do that, are you OK with moving back to Guard?
"Yeah. Quite honestly I don’t have a preference. I love playing [both positions]. I basically just want to have the best combination of 5 players out there. If that has me playing [at either position], so be it. Honestly I don’t really have a preference."
With Mike Patterson being cut last week, you and Trent Cole are now the longest tenured Eagles. What’s this mean to you in terms of being a leader on this team?
"It doesn’t really change my mindset about being a leader. If anything, I feel fortunate to be in the NFL this long. Eventually you’re going to see some of your best friends get released. It’s kind of bittersweet. I feel bad for Mike, he’s been through quite a bit. I don’t think that Mike is done playing. I think some stuff just slowed him down last year and that led to being cautious with him. I think he’ll have opportunities with other teams and we’ll see what happens with him.
Yeah, it’s just me and Trent now. We’ve been here for 8 years going on 9. Neither Trent nor I are very vocal people. I think that’s what [the Eagles] like to have: guys who will go out and do the grunt work, not complain too much about anything, not being a loud mouth or talk just to make noise. We’re here to go about our business and that’s it."
So "lead by example"?
"Yeah, exactly. If someone steps out of line I have no problem telling them that, but I’m not trying to orchestrate anything. I just basically do as I do."
How do you think the addition of new OL coach Jeff Stoutland will impact the OL?
"I don’t know. [Todd said he hasn’t had the chance to really talk to him yet per CBA restrictions on talking to coaches]. I think he’s excited. I think he has a great group of guys that have the opportunity to be excellent. I don’t think that we really need too many more people on the line. We have depth from all the experience guys got last year. It shouldn’t be too much of a change for us."
I'd like to thank Todd again for taking the time to do this interview. He came off as very open and honest.
Be sure to check out the Herremans Foundation website (http://herremansfoundation.org/) and their first fundraiser, "Hoops for Help" that takes place later this month on March 28th.
Also check out Todd (@toddherremans) and his foundation (@HerremansHelp) on Twitter.