Eagles right guard Todd Herremans is technically the longest-tenured member of the Eagles roster. A versatile lineman that has started at four of the five positions on the offensive line throughout his career, Herremans is a fan favorite and he has fully-embraced his adopted home of Philadelphia.
While he is known for protecting quarterbacks and leading the way for running backs, Herremans is also a good Samaritan, who enjoys helping his community. That is why he started the Herremans Foundation, which puts a unique spin on athlete-fronted charities. Instead of focusing on just one charitable mission, the Herremans Foundation focuses on as many as possible.
Now entering his 10th season in Philadelphia, Herremans sat down with BGN's Mike Kaye to discuss the offseason, the Eagles recent moves and his charitable efforts, including the "Hoops for Help" fundraiser that is set to take place on March 27. Below is Kaye's Q&A session with the Eagles starter:
MK: You got off to a bit of slow start this past season with the transition from right tackle to right guard and you were coming off of a serious injury. It seemed like as the season got down to the home-stretch you improved a lot. Do you think the injury had an impact on you early last season? Was the position change tough on you?
TH: "I think there were some adjustments I took for granted. I think rehabbing all last offseason, I wasn't really training the way I wanted to. It probably hurt me more than I thought it did. You know, all the technical things I tend to work on in the offseason, I really didn't get the chance to do last season, so I found myself moving my hands a lot and I didn't have a good base underneath me and I just kind of felt out of it.
As the season progressed I felt more and more comfortable, you know going out and getting a lot more work in and those things. I also think things are different with [the two positions] too. I thought it would be really easy because I played so many seasons at [left] guard. It's kind of funny how playing one or two seasons out at tackle can completely change things so much and it took me by surprise. I am looking forward to having this whole offseason to put the work in and work out when I want to on things that I need to [fix]. I am really looking forward to this season."
MK: What was the transition like going from Andy Reid to Chip Kelly?
TH: "It was easy for me. I think it was easy for most of the guys. The transition and the things that changed were fresh, they were energetic and they were exciting. I think everybody were excited to be apart of it. I don't think there was anyone having a tough time with the transition, just because of the way Chip [Kelly] introduced everything to us and the way that he worked things in. He let us know that 'Everything we do is for your benefit and we aren't going to ask you to do things that will hinder you or us.' I think once he set that precedent up front, it was easy for everybody to grasp the concept of it all and buy in [to the program]."
MK: What can you tell us about your training this offseason? Are you staying in Philly or heading back to Michigan or training on the west coast?
TH: "I have been in Philly so long that this is my home now. In the offseason people are like 'Are you going home?' and I say I am staying around Philly. This is my home, so I just hang around here and I go to Michigan on a weekend or so and do some snowmobiling or some ice fishing. I am just staying here and going to the practice facility doing offseason workouts and staying in shape."
MK: Two of your fellow offensive lineman got long-term extensions recently. What do you think that means to the Eagles and offensive line to have Jason Kelce and Jason Peters locked up for a while? Is it encouraging to see the team reward a guy in his 30's when the previous regime got rid of players that hit that age?
TH: "Well, you know it's a whole new culture with the Eagles now. I think it's great that both of those guys got those deals done. They are both very deserving of them. I think with Jason [Peters], it's great to see [an older player get an extension]. I know he is a great cornerstone of our offensive line and there are not too many people like him throughout the NFL. As far as Kelce goes, he runs the show, he makes all the calls and the adjustments, [so] it's like having a coach on the field.
I think having those guys locked up, Jason [Peters] is going retire as an Eagle, which is great and I think that's what he wanted to do and Kelce is going to be here for quite some time too. That's a very solid foundation for the next four or five years for the Eagles."
MK: The wide receiver position has been the talk of the offseason. Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper got new contracts and the team recently cut Jason Avant? Can you talk about what it means to have Maclin back in the fold? Also, what are your feelings on the Avant release?
TH: "I think it's great that we were able to work something out with Maclin. Coming off an injury, he wanted to have one-year deal so I think he got what he wanted. He can now show his value this coming season and show everyone exactly what he deserves, which I think is big wide receiver money. I think he is looking forward to playing in this offense because he really didn't get a chance to because he was injured so early in training camp. I think the sky is the limit for him and he's going to get out there and love the way we run things. I think [Kelly's offense] will really work towards his advantage.
As far as letting Jason Avant go, I know that was a hard decision for the whole organization. Jason has been instrumental with the Eagles for the last eight years. He's the definition of a 'team player' and is a great role model for young players, veteran players, kids and coaches. Everybody has respect for Jason and the way he handles himself, so I think that it was good that it happened this early. He is going to get a chance to land somewhere else and he'll definitely be playing [because] he definitely has some years left in him.
It's sad [about Avant leaving] but it's part of the business that you really need to get use to because organizations head in certain directions and have to make decisions like that."
MK: You were on an offensive line that helped protect a quarterback that had the greatest touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history and blocked for the league's leading rusher. Can you talk about why Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy are so specials and what they bring to the offense?
TH: "I think one of the things that Nick [Foles] does that really helps our offense is that he is very calm and collected. He makes great decisions on the field and he is able to recognize things on the fly. He sees things on the field and he doesn't make dumb mistakes. He throws the ball away when he needs to and he doesn't throw a lot of balls up that are in danger of being intercepted or anything like that. Also, he's not afraid to pull the ball and run it for six or seven yards when we need to.
As far as Shady [McCoy] goes, it's hard to explain Shady. He's a special player. I think in any offense [that he is] a dynamic player but I think in Chip's offense he is able to showcase all of his skills. A lot of the times he makes runs on his own because he'll see [the line] clogged up and he will reverse field and take off. I think he's a very special player that you don't see very often in the NFL."
MK: Can you tell us a bit about Michael Bamiro? He is one of the offensive linemen that fans are curious about because of his small school roots and lack of playing time.
TH: "Well, Mike is an enormous human being and he came from Stony Brook, which is a small school up in New York. I think Mike has a lot of talent and a lot of potential. He works hard everyday and he's made huge strides last year. I think he's looking to make bigger strides this offseason and look to contribute next year."
MK: Can you tell us about the Herremans Foundation and your upcoming charity event in Philadelphia? It's a unique charity, can you explain why you decide to model it the way that you did?
TH: "On March 27, we have our annual event called 'Hoops for Help' and what we do is have a nice dinner with food and drinks and raffle items. We have enough sponsors from around the area to make it a nice atmosphere and a lot of my teammates show up and mingle with people. I think Chip showed up last year, which was a nice surprise.
I have been involved with so many foundations since being with the Eagles that I couldn't pick one thing that meant more to me than others, so what I wanted to do is create a foundation that has all these different events and raise money [for multiple charities]. Then we take the money and hand it out where we see fit to the different charities. This year's event on March 27 is going to be benefiting six different charities. Those charities include Magee Rehabilitation, Alzheimer’s Association Recreation Center of Philadelphia, Bringing Hope Home, Cooper Hospital Social Work Division, Zhang Sah Martial Arts/MostSports+ and Kevin from Heaven.
What we did this year was focus more on local charities that weren't nationally known so that we could make a bigger impact with what we do to help them."
Tickets and tables are still on sale for "Hoops for Help" at www.herremansfoundation.org. Tickets cost $325 and the event features giveaway contests, Eagles player appearances, auctions and much more. You can follow Herremans on Twitter at @toddherremans and the Herremans Foundation at @herremanshelp.