When the bright lights go on tonight at Heinz Field, the spotlight will inevitably be on Michael Vick.
It always is.
But peer in front and to the right for a second. There you’ll find a player auditioning for the most important position on the entire team.
With Ryan Harris and Winston Justice injured, King Dunlap will be responsible for protecting Vick’s blindside. In many ways, this will be an audition for the 6-foot-9 tackle.
“It’s an opportunity, right?,” coach Andy Reid said. “What more can you ask for being a football player? You’re given an opportunity to work with the ones, so you go in and try to capture the moment.”
Dunlap has seen reps with the first-team offense throughout training camp. Still, he recognizes the importance of making a good impression in Pittsburgh.
“I’m going to try to take full advantage of the opportunity and try to lock that spot down while I can,” Dunlap said.
When Jason Peters went down in Week 5 last season, Dunlap was the man Reid put his faith in. While he gave up three sacks in that game, Dunlap wound up starting five games for the Eagles, including three at right tackle.
Once again, Reid is trusting the King.
“Listen, King’s a good athlete and it’s just a matter of him getting back into football shape and learning the new techniques,” said Reid. “And he’s played pretty good football the last couple of days in that starting role.”