Perhaps the biggest strength of the 2011 Eagles was their revamped offensive line.
The unit thrived under grizzled veteran Howard Mudd, who came out of retirement to coach. There had been speculation in recent weeks that Mudd may step down after the season.
That won’t be the case, after Mudd told the team he was returning for 2012.
“I’m very happy [that Mudd is returning],” Todd Herremans said. “I like Howard. I like his methods. He’s a good personality to have on the team.”
With Mudd in charge, the 2011 Eagles allowed 17 fewer sacks than they did in 2010. They also paved the way for LeSean McCoy’s breakout season. All this in a shortened offseason and with Mudd choosing to start two rookies, right guard Danny Watkins and center Jason Kelce.
“We were 8-8, but the way the offensive line came together, the strides we made as a unit, he's very pleased with that," Kelce said.
Kelce added that this season was Mudd’s second favorite behind his 2006 Super Bowl-winning season in Indianapolis.
JACKSON STILL LOOKING FOR CONTRACT
That was DeSean Jackson’s parting message as he packed his bag and left a media scrum Sunday evening. The Eagles receiver has had an up-and-down year that included two benchings and a brief holdout.
Jackson is a free agent after the Super Bowl and he wants a new contract. The two sides continue to negotiate, but they seem far apart. If the Eagles want to keep Jackson around for another year, they could decide to use the franchise tag on him.
“I wish I could give you an answer and say whether I will be here or not, but I really don’t know,” Jackson said. “We will just see how it all plays out.”
Jackson turned back the clock Sunday, hauling in a 62-yard touchdown in double coverage. As Jackson returned to the sideline, he was greeted by a bevy of hugs, high-fives and handshakes from teammates and coaches. It very well could have been his final touchdown as an Eagle.
“No, like I said, I am not there," Jackson said, when asked if he thought about this being his last game in Philadelphia. “I don’t know whether I will be here next year or not. It is out of my control and power. I hope I will be here. These guys on this team and the fans, this is home.”
Jackson finished the season with 58 receptions for 961 yards. In four seasons in South Philadelphia, Jackson has caught 229 balls for 4,085 yards and 21 touchdowns.