The conversations have taken place over dinner and video games at Patrick Chung’s house where Eagles rookie defensive backs Jordan Poyer Earl Wolff and others have spent plenty of time with the fifth-year safety. The conversations also have happened in the film room at the NovaCare Complex where ninth-year offensive lineman Todd Herremans has given pointers to first-round pick Lane Johnson. It was the same for second-round pick Zach Ertz a tight end and third rounder Bennie Logan a defensive lineman who are learning from veterans Brent Celek and Isaac Sopoaga respectively. Those mentoring sessions also occur with other NFL teams both on the field and off. But they are even more essential for the Eagles who have 24 players in their first or second season on the 53-man roster. Many of them are counted on for major contributions. When the Eagles face the 0-4 Giants today Johnson and Wolff will most likely start while Ertz and Logan will play quite often. The Eagles also will start second-year players in defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and linebacker Mychal Kendricks while Brandon Boykin is the Eagles nickel cornerback. The faster they can adjust the better off the Eagles will be. That’s why Poyer the Eagles seventh-round pick who mostly plays on special teams said he looks forward to the dinners with Chung. “I think we had a natural connection when I first got here” Poyer said. “He’s been helping me out a lot. All the veteran guys. Any time a rookie comes in it’s hard to adjust. For me and Earl all the [veterans] are a good group of guys.” For Chung the reason is simple: When he was a rookie with the Patriots in 2009 veterans like Tedy Bruschi Brandon Meriweahter and Junior Seau in the final season of his NFL career took him under their wing. “A guy needs somebody to go up to and talk to and ask them off the field issues on the field issues just have that mentor-type person” Chung said. “I needed that when I was a rookie. Whoever needs help I’m going to help them.” Johnson the fourth overall pick in the draft has benefited from that as well. Johnson was installed as a starter at right tackle early into the spring organized team activities. But he had just two years of experience on the offensive line in college at Oklahoma. He was a quarterback coming out of high school then converted to tight end and defensive line in junior college before moving to the offensive line at Oklahoma. “In college you’re never getting beat so it’s quite a bit of change” Johnson said. “Everyone gets mad when they mess up … but you can’t really reflect on it because everything is going so fast. All you can do is go on to the next play and try to correct it when you watch the film.” That’s the lesson Herremans and center Jason Kelce have been trying to teach Johnson. “Where he comes into problems in games is when he’s thinking too much” Kelce said. “I think sometimes there are too many things going on in Lane’s head and that happens a lot to rookies. We’ve been trying to calm him down a little bit the last couple of games.
Eagles' mentoring sessions essential
Courier-Post | Oct 6