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‘I Wasn’t Good Enough’: Eagles Youngster Details Insane Offseason


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‘I Wasn’t Good Enough’: Eagles Youngster Details Insane Offseason

  • Updated Aug 6, 2021 at 12:30am
Nate Herbig

Getty / Eagles versatile guard Nate Herbig put in a lot of work this offseason as he pushes for the main backup spot on the offensive line.

Nate Herbig was effectively a starter last season for the Philadelphia Eagles. He started 12 games for the team’s injury-plagued offensive line, jumping in at right guard and left guard seemingly on the fly. The third-year player was handy with the cleat and mostly earned his keep.

Herbig graded out very highly over the final four weeks: 79.9 overall grade, with three pressures allowed. And his versatility quickly turned him into a trusted anchor on a unit that went through 14 different combinations in 16 regular-season games. But, to hear Herbig tell it, he didn’t play well enough to completely get out of offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland’s doghouse.

"He’s on me every day. He coaches me hard every day, nothing is ever good enough for him,” Herbig told reporters on Thursday. "And I agree, I’m not good enough so I got to get better.”



So the undrafted kid from Stanford spent the spring studying at the School of Hard Blocks, a no-nonsense football academy run by Lane Johnson out of a house barn in suburban New Jersey. The lessons there rival anything a young offensive lineman can learn at training camp.

"I had to change something and Lane’s a specimen,” Herbig said, "so why not just work with him and learn from him?”

Yes, Herbig wanted to do it and showed up willingly at Johnson’s doorstep. (Think Meatloaf in Fight Club). But the decision may have been pressured by the elder statesmen in the locker room, maybe even those in plush chairs higher up the organizational flow chart. Either way, Herbig was on board.

"It was understood, I guess,” Herbig said. "I needed to get better.”


‘We Ran the Hell Out of Him’

Johnson had the look of a proud father when he started talking about Herbig last week. He and Gabe Rangel put the young Hawaiian through Dante’s Inferno – all seven circles – at his famed "Bro Barn.”

"We ran the hell out of him,” Johnson said with a smile. "Man, he’s been great. He has a great attitude.”


Herbig said he lost 20-30 pounds this summer, now listed at 334 pounds. He feels lighter and faster after working on "pretty much everything” to improve his game, including footwork, pass sets, hands, quickness.

"Coach Sirianni preaches it, get one-percent better,” Herbig said. "So I’m just trying to get better at the things that aren’t good enough, and I’m really just trying to focus on it and perfect it.”

Watching Michael Jordan Videos

One thing Sirianni does is hand out inspirational videos to his players after giving them a teaching point. He gave one to rookie JaCoby Stevens featuring Takeru Kobayashi in a hot-dog eating contest to show him the importance of details and repetition.

Herbig remembered receiving one about Michael Jordan. In it, the Hall of Fame hooper would let the scout team build up a lead in practice and then put his foot on the gas.


"They would be losing 5-1 and it’s to six, and he would come back and win,” Herbig said. "So he [Jordan] said when he got in the game, when those big moments came, nothing was new to him. He was ready for it and that kind of really resonated with me.”

The main lesson there was to treat every day like gameday. Meanwhile, Herbig is being cross-trained at different positions in 2021. His primary spot remains guard, but he did take reps at center during a recent walkthrough.

"I just knew I wasn’t good enough,” Herbig said. "I needed to get better.”



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