Eagles Notes: Dunlap stepping in at left guard

Posted: November 10, 2011

King Dunlap, who has played tackle his entire career, expects to play left guard Sunday in place of Evan Mathis, who has turf toe and did not practice Wednesday.

"As far as I know, I will be [starting]," Dunlap said. "I'm guarding it up this week."

Dunlap took some scout-team snaps at guard in practice last season but never in a game.

"It'll be a new experience for me," said Dunlap, who at 6-foot-9 is taller than most guards.

Facing more stout, powerful defenders compared to the speed-rushers he goes against at tackle, Dunlap said keeping his big frame low will be critical to the transition.

What's the biggest challenge, Dunlap was asked: "Staying lower," he said. Because "you've normally got shorter, wider guys, a lot more power guys inside, so making sure I'm getting myself down lower in my stance and when I'm moving my feet," Dunlap said.

His presence inside will present a potential obstacle to quarterback Michael Vick, who will have to throw around the big man.

"He said [he'll] find the lanes," Dunlap said.

Dunlap likely will match up against the Cardinals' Calais Campbell, a 6-8 lineman.

"We'll be looking eye-to-eye. It'll be real big up the middle this week," Dunlap said.

Nickel for your thoughts

The Eagles aren't planning a change at nickel, but Joselio Hanson said he could help if given a chance at the position he has long manned.

"There's a couple of plays out there [this season] I feel like I could have made," Hanson said. "A couple of those plays I've seen a number of times."

But the Eagles appear to be sticking with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who is taller and faster than Hanson but inexperienced as a nickel back. He was torched by the Bears on Monday night.

"I'm not the boss here. I'm just a worker," Hanson said. "They tell me to go in, I'll go in."

Rodgers-Cromartie said he is still thinking too much in his new job.

"Any time as a player you go into the game and you're always thinking, you tend to push slower," he said, adding that he is "a little confused" by some calls.

In some instances, on-field checks have come too slow, Rodgers-Cromartie said.

"We've just got to work on that and talk a little. That's all," he said.

As for playing nickel, Rodgers-Cromartie said: "That's the job they want me to play. I'm trying to learn it to the best of my ability and go out there and play it."

Vick says Eagles panic

Vick and running back LeSean McCoy were asked about the Eagles' toughness, particularly in the fourth quarter.

"When certain things happen in a game, we kind of go into a panic, and we can't do that," Vick said. "We've got to keep pushing forward, stay confident. . . . if we do that we're one of the best teams in this league I think and when we don't, obviously you see what happened, we don't win football games."

McCoy said the team needs focus.

"A big part of it is not focusing and having an attitude," he said. "You have an attitude to finish games, finish runs, block this, block that, make the plays, make the catches."

Injuries

Rookie safety Jaiquawn Jarrett got first-team snaps during practice in place of Nate Allen (concussion). Jarrett saw his first action at safety Monday night after Allen got hurt. He could get his first career start Sunday if Allen is not ready. Defensive end Juqua Parker (ankle) was limited in practice. . . . With Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb (toe) uncertain for Sunday, Rodgers-Cromartie said the Eagles are preparing to face backup quarterback John Skelton.


Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, jtamari@phillynews.com, or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.

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