May 29, 2024   5 MIN READ

Two’s A Charm?

Birds Need Major RG Stride In Second Season


The dawn of a new NFL season often features roster turnover and depth chart climbs, ushering in a changing of the guard at various positions.

The Eagles are no exception to the offseason maneuvering, with one of the notable modifications – a literal changing of the guard on the right side, where second-year lineman Tyler Steen currently sits atop the positional hierarchy.

Steen, a converted college tackle, has the inside track to inherit the position occupied last season by Cam Jurgens, who now shifts to his natural position at center in light of the retirement of franchise legend Jason Kelce.

Steen, 23, played sparingly as a rookie, appearing in 11 games (one start), acclimating to a position change in addition to the physical demands that accompany the step up to the pros.

Seated at the NovaCare Complex podium last Wednesday after an OTA session, Steen took a moment to reflect on his strides as well as the contrast in comfort playing guard.

“Really a lot farther, just mentally and physically,” Steen said. “Coming in, you really don’t know what’s going on. Everything is pretty fast.

“And I think just having a year under the system, working with coach [Jeff] Stout[land], I think, has helped me out a lot.”

Tyler Steen

GETTY IMAGES: The Eagles are banking on RG Tyler Steen to make a major jump in Year 2.

As for the Eagles, the team has so far doubled-down in its endorsement of Steen by taking aim at different positions with their premium draft picks last month.

Further demonstrating their support is Steen’s locker placement.

Last season, the team stationed him in close proximity to the exclusive back corner of the Eagles’ locker room. Now, he’s grouped with the starting unit.

But the Alabama product cautioned into reading too much into his locker situation.

Steen also noted the seamless transition playing alongside Jurgens, whom he commended for not only helping his own progress but also elevating the performance of everyone in the room.

Steen cited how playing next to someone with Jurgens’ intangibles will make him a better, smarter lineman.

“He’s really taken a step as a vet,” Steen said, “and he has a lot of knowledge. Really smart dude. So, I think, playing next to somebody like that is just gonna naturally gonna make you a smarter, better player.”

Steen logged only 71 snaps as a rookie, hardly enough data to formulate an opinion of his long-term prospects.

A hefty chunk of those snaps came in a Week 9 home win over the Dallas Cowboys, a game in which Steen did not fare particularly well. It ended up being his lone start.

“When I look back at it, probably didn’t play as well as I wanted to play,” he said. “I mean, we won the game, so that was great, but as far as individually, I was a little disappointed.

“Really just wanna prove that I’m a better player than that. So, that’s kinda what I’m focused on.”

Given the rocky debut, the outside perspective could be that the Eagles are banking too strongly on Steen experiencing a drastic second-year breakthrough.

But what often isn’t taken into account is the development that typically occurs from Year 1 to Year 2.

For Steen, that includes a full calendar year of working under Stoutland, filling out his frame through an NFL strength and conditioning program to withstand the toll of playing inside, and establishing continuity with his linemates via reps and film study.

Steen noted some of the subtleties and nuances that come with kicking inside to play guard as opposed to his long-time tenure at tackle.

“I think just looking at it, the angles, just as far as how you play, is a little different,” he explained. “You got two people next to you, instead of at tackle, where you’re on an island most of the time.

“So, you kinda do a lot of stuff by yourself. Whereas at guard, you gotta figure out who you’re working with and how you’re gonna get to your ID or whatever it is.”

Steen’s said his offseason focus centered on becoming faster, stronger and physically more prepared for the highest level, ensuring that he would return better than when he left.

Not to be complacent, Steen hasn’t let his spring promotion to first-team or compliments from coaches change his approach.

As the offseason accelerates toward the proving grounds of training camp, Steen insisted that he wouldn’t take the opportunity in front of him for granted.

“I know I gotta earn every day,” he said. “I’m not gonna be given anything. I gotta prove that I should be able to play. So, that’s just kinda how I’m looking at it and how I’ll continue to look at it.”

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for

About The Author

Comments are closed here.