The hiring of Jeff Stoutland away from Alabama to coach the Eagles offensive line was considered by many to be Chip Kelly's biggest coup in the staffing process. Soutland's unit from last season produced 3 draft picks, including 2 first rounders, and was a driving force behind the Crimson Tide's national title.
Stoutland met the media this week and Philly.com posted an entire transcript that's worth checking out. It's a very wide ranging discussion and there's not much Stoutland doesn't address.
But for our purposes, I picked out a few highlights.
His thoughts on Danny Watkins so far?
"I have seen an improvement in Danny. I've spent a lot of time with Danny. He's put a lot of time into this thing on his own. Outside of what we're doing (as a team), he's putting a lot of time into it trying to learn this system. Because it's a new system. New terminology. New footwork. He's a pleasure to coach. He wants to learn. Those are the kind of people I like to be around. People who have a burning desire to be the best.''
And on first round pick Lane Johnson?
"From the skill-set standpoint, he's really good. He's long. His arms are long. He's explosive. He's everything that we thought he would be. Now, we've got to get him into some really good habits.
"I enjoy coaching him so much. There are so many things I can bring to the table for him. I can see exactly what he's doing wrong. Here's what's great about Lane. When you tell him something or correct him about something, he's a blue-collar guy. He's not offended. He doesn't give you a look or anything. He just wants to learn and be coached hard.
"After you correct him, he goes out on the field and applies what you've taught him. It shows up in the video the next day. It's apparent that he was listening and applying what you're teaching.''
Finally, Jason Peter's injury. Any lingering effects?
"Honestly, you wouldn't know Jason ever had an injury. For a guy his size, the leverage that he gains. . . he plays so low to the ground. Moves his feet so fast. Out of all the players I've ever coached, he's got the best balance and body control of anybody I've ever seen.''