Eagles’ Cam Jurgens wants to play guard with his own style
Cam Jurgens could eat and lift weights non-stop from now until the Eagles opener on Sept. 10 and hes still not going to be Landon Dickerson.
As Jurgens makes the transition from center to guard the right guard spot appears to be his to lose he knows hes not going to play the position like a prototypical, big-bodied mauler.
Im not quite the 350-pound Landon, Jurgens said, so I handle things differently.
When Jurgens spoke to reporters earlier this week, he said he weighed 305 pounds but hopes to report to training camp this summer at around 310-315. Last year, Jurgens said he was able to maintain his weight throughout the season so he doesnt think hell have to pack on extra pounds expecting to lose it. If he gets to 310, hell be happy.
Even at 310 pounds, Jurgens will be an undersized guard. Dickerson on the other side of the center is listed at 332 pounds, which feels like a flatteringly slim number. Dickerson is more of the prototype but the Eagles dont think prototypes matter as much as the player.
And Jurgens knows it would be foolish to try to play like Dickerson.
I think were still playing the game of football, hitting people, Jurgens said. So just trying to go to my strengths. I want to be an athlete in any spot I am. I dont want to fit a pizza cutter mold of whatever a right guard is supposed to be. I just want to be out there and be a good O-lineman.
Jurgens, 23, wont be able to overpower everyone. Hell have to win with athleticism, footwork and leverage.
Isaac Seumalo, who held down the right guard spot last year for the Eagles, was listed at 303 pounds but he looked much thicker than that. Still, Seumalo is probably a better comparison for Jurgens as a slightly undersized but athletic guard with a center background.
Jurgens said there are a lot of guards around the league he enjoys watching and Seumalo the guy hes about to replace is one of them. The Eagles have plenty of Seumalo tape already in the building.
Hes very athletic, does a lot of really great things with his feet, hes really quick in how he moves, Jurgens said. Ive been watching him a lot.
There are plenty of similarities between Jurgens and Seumalo. One of them is that they both played center in college and were drafted to replace Jason Kelce as the Eagles future center. Seumalo was drafted in the third round in 2016 and spent seven years in Philly; Kelce outlasted him.
It seems pretty unlikely Kelce will be able to outlast Jurgens too. The Eagles used a second-round pick on Jurgens out of Nebraska last season for a reason.
In fact, it seems very possible the 2023 season could be Kelces last in the NFL, which means hes probably going to play this season next to his eventual replacement.
When were doing combo blocks, [Kelce] knows what its supposed to be like and feel like, Jurgens said. Big thing is just hes going to show me how hes going to hit the block and how he expects the presence of a guard right next to him.
There are some things Jurgens will take from his career as a center that will translate to playing guard. A big difference is that the communication changes a bit. As a center, its your job to make sure everyone is on the same page. As a guard, its your job to feed information to the people making the calls.
Jurgens was supposed to start cross-training at guard last summer but Kelce suffered a minor elbow injury, which pushed Jurgens up the depth chart at center. Even though those first-team reps at center last training camp were valuable, it put him a bit behind on the cross-training. But Jurgens did eventually get some walkthrough reps at guard in 2022.
The transition from center to guard isnt easy but the good news is that its easier than the one Jurgens went through early in his time at Nebraska.
Its not as challenging as going from tight end to center, Jurgens said. So that helps. Its been fun.
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