Aug 102010

August 10 Philadelphia Daily News

Mike McGlynn, who started 43 games in a row at Pitt, has been an Eagle for two seasons now, and hasn’t started an NFL game yet. He’s played in only three, plus one in the playoffs, all in the 2008 season. It’s been a strange existence.

It has been less strange this training camp, so far. McGlynn has been getting lots of first-team reps at center, with Nick Cole fighting knee swelling and Jamaal Jackson still recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgery. McGlynn, listed in the Eagles‘ media guide as a guard, is the third-string center when everyone else is healthy; he probably never thought when he finally got a shot at playing time, it would be in the middle. But here he is, looking likely to be the guy snapping the ball to Kevin Kolb when the Eagles open their preseason Friday night against visiting Jacksonville. After that, who knows?

“He’s a good player,” Kolb said yesterday. “He’s an intelligent guy. He does a lot of off-the-field studying, making sure he’s up to par on all the stuff, you know. That’s what you want in your center; you want a smart guy who can help us with the protections and get us in the right stuff.”

The Eagles‘ center calls out the protections for his teammates, something McGlynn said was the most challenging transition he has had to make into pro football, since being drafted in the fourth round in 2008. He was a tackle and guard at Pitt, though he played center in high school in Austintown, Ohio.

“It’s always been a natural position for me. I feel comfortable at it right now,” said McGlynn, listed at 6-4, 315. “Injuries happen, and I hope Nick gets back out, but the more reps I get, the better it is for me.”

Coach Andy Reid indicated that McGlynn is understandably green.

“It starts right there, it starts at center,” Reid said. “We’re doing a lot of blitz drills here, and that center has to be able to be the transmitter between the left and right side and, in particular in those drills, with his calls. That’s where he’s getting better. I think physically, he’s fine. I just think he’s got to see all those different looks, and Sean [McDermott, the defensive coordinator] is throwing a bunch of different looks at him. He handled it better today and took a step forward.””

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