Nobody had to come out and tell Mike McGlynn he didnt really fit in the Eagles plans anymore.
When you start 15 games at center for a playoff team one year and then show up for training camp the next year and youre not the first-team center and youre not the second-team center and youre not even the third-team center ... thats kind of generally not a good sign.
Yeah, McGlynn said late Thursday night.
Then he smiled, started to say something, stopped himself, nodded his head and chuckled and just repeated, Yeah.
Hes not a Howard Mudd guy, and no matter how well he played this preseason, it wouldnt have mattered. He just never seemed to have a chance with the Eagles new offensive line coach, who prefers his linemen smaller, leaner and quicker than the powerful 320-pound McGlynn.
McGlynn, a fourth-round pick from Pitt in 2008, replaced Jamaal Jackson at center on opening day last year after Jackson suffered a season-ending torn triceps injury. The Eagles went 10-4 with McGlynn starting before losing in the wild-card round to the Packers.
By all accounts, McGlynn played at a fairly high level. There was a blown assignment in Nashville that turned into a Kevin Kolb fumble down at the goal-line and may have cost the Eagles a win over the Titans. McGlynn took that one particularly hard.
But for the most part, he played as well as could be expected for a first-time starter. Hes a big, tough, strong guy, a prototypical Juan Castillo offensive lineman.
Unfortunately for McGlynn, hes not a prototypical Mudd lineman. Once rookie sixth-round pick Jason Kelce showed up at Lehigh and instantly began competing with Jackson for the starting center job, McGlynn knew his days in Philly were likely numbered.
And not only was McGlynn not the starter, he wasnt even on the depth chart at center. A.Q. Shipley was the third-stringer, and McGlynn was relegated mostly to backup guard duty.
McGlynn likely played his final game in an Eagles uniform Thursday night. In the preseason finale, a 24-14 win over the Jets at MetLife Stadium, McGlynn started with the backups at center, then played left guard in the second quarter and right tackle for most of the second half.
After the game, he said he tried to handle a difficult preseason like a pro.
Ive handled it pretty well, dont you think? McGlynn said at his locker. I could have been complaining since Day 1 and Ive never done that. Thats none of my business."
What those guys do up top, its whatever. Im going to go out there and play football. Im going to go out there and be me, and when I get an opportunity to play, Im going to play. Well see how it goes here and how it unfolds, but Im excited for the season.
The Eagles must reduce the roster by 27 players to the regular-season limit of 53 by 6 p.m. Saturday, and it sure seems likely that if the Eagles cant trade McGlynn by then, theyll release him.
But McGlynn has lots of strong play on film, and he showed his versatility Thursday night, playing all three positions.
Im not sure where I stand, but I did what I needed to do, he said. If it works out and Im here, thats good. If it works out that Im not here, Ill land on my feet running, and I know you guys are talking about numbers, this and that Im not worried about it. I know I can play in this league.
The issues not me being capable of playing football, its just getting out there and playing. I have a lot of experience under my belt from last year. I played 17 games. Im comfortable playing football in this league, and I know what I can do. The issue? Are there any issues? Whats the issue? If I get on the field Im going to play and Ill be a professional.
If the Eagles do cut ties with McGlynn, hell resurface quickly. Hes too solid, too consistent, too talented to be on the street very long.
But was he treated fairly here? Head coach Andy Reid is always talking about open competition, but was McGlynn given an honest shot to compete at center?
You know, Im not going to answer that, McGlynn said. It doesnt matter. It doesnt matter what my thoughts are. Itll work out for me. Im not worried about it. Did I get a fair shot? Who knows.