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October 04, 2017

Brandon Brooks: The offensive line takes pride in running the ball

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The Chargers had an extremely good front. Their front seven worked well together. They got a lot of guys that they rotate in that played well. It was a good challenge. Going into the week, we told ourselves that even though [Los Angeles] was 0-3, they definitely weren’t a 0-3 team on the defensive side. They played us hard.

Obviously, they have Philip Rivers on the other side, who’s a gunslinger and will probably be a Hall of Famer.

  • Each week during the NFL season, Eagles offensive lineman Brandon Brooks will sit down and speak with PhillyVoice contributor Joseph Santoliquito about the previous week’s game, their upcoming matchup and whatever happens to be on his mind. 
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Have you seen a tape of the game? There was one block in particular where you pancaked Chargers’ defensive lineman Corey Liuget. What goes into that, hips, hands, balance?

Yeah, I saw a tape. It is pretty much everything you just said. It’s meeting power with power. It’s obviously firing off the ball and keeping your legs and feet going and driving to the whistle. That’s what goes into it. Like I said it’s power versus power. There’s stuff that goes into it. It’s feet, drive, finish. It’s the technique you tell yourself. Feet going, driving and finishing at the end.

What was the talk among the offensive line after the Chargers’ game and how motivated were you guys to see LeGarrette Blount bulldoze those guys?

Since [Blount] was in Tampa Bay, he was known to be an extremely hard runner; a punishing runner, obviously a bigger back. Everything that he’s done so far we knew he could do. And it’s really been unbelievable to watch. The long run, the 68-yarder, we were obviously blocking up front, but watching him get down that field, stiff-arming guys, breaking tackles, it’s unbelievable to watch.

Obviously, on the offensive line, you’re out there grinding; it's is a grinder type of position. To see a guy working his ass off, throwing guys off, and just running angry and upset, you love to see guys run like that as an offensive line.

Let’s cover the unspoken language on the offensive line. The TV telecast showed a closeup of your face; your eyes shifted left to right and you nodded your head. At times, there’s been an occasion where I saw you slap center Jason Kelce on the leg. In terms of eyes and body language, what is the unspoken language that goes on? Is there a point where you have to hide certain things.

I’d rather not touch [the unspoken body language]. They’re on you constantly. I’m sure they’re across the ball assessing where my eyes are, where they think I’m leaning towards. In my stance, if I’m giving something away.

Again, Brandon, you had another very good game. There were zero rushing tackles behind you. The Eagles ran the ball 19 times up the middle for 149 yards and a TD/averaging 7.8 yards a carry. On the right side (your side) 8 times for 43 yards (5.3 average). Total, it came out to 27 times for 192 yards (7.1 ave. behind you) of the team’s 42 attempts for a season-high 214 rushing total. What enabled that to work against a quality defensive line?

We’re just out there grinding; everything was firing. We built up what was started in the Giants game. But we also took pride in running the ball. Actually, when it got down to that [final 6-minute, 44-second] drive at the end of the game, we really took it on ourselves that [head coach] Doug [Pederson] is really calling our number to keep running the ball and get a first down. He came back to it and kept running the ball every time.

We felt like we couldn’t be stopped.

How much do you get when you’re taking it to them? Obviously, you’re the ones being attacked when you’re in passing mode. But in terms of run blocking, you’re the ones delivering the punishment.

Run blocking is sheer want-to, sheer effort. Matching power with power, you’re coming off the ball, they’re coming off the ball, you’re trying to drive them back to gain yardage for the guy behind you. For us, it’s extremely exciting to impose our will and get our guys downfield by opening up holes.

You hear them huffing and puffing, but sh*t, we’re huffing and puffing on the other side, too. You’re both tired. It makes it worth it to see guys like LeGarrette running their asses off. That’s driving you as well, that you’re imposing your will on a defense, which is awesome. As it gets down the field, it comes down to who’s going to get the job done.

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Obviously, that was clear on Sunday.

At a certain point, we realized we could run the ball all the way down the field if we wanted to. That’s what the plan was.

You’ll be seeing another 3-4 front from Arizona this week. Josh Mauro, who is a physical freak at 6-6, 292, Olsen Pierre, who’s 6-5, 293 pounds, and nose tackle Corey Peters. You might also be running into weakside linebacker Kareem Martin. What kind of problems does Arizona pose to you?

They get off the ball, play together and they have [linebacker] Chandler Jones over there as well, who does things well going back to his days in New England. They work well going to the ball. They work their hands well.

What’s on your mind this week?

The Vegas thing. My thoughts go out to the victims and their families. It’s extremely unfortunate; it’s extremely sad and it’s just crazy. My prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families. I watched a lot of the stuff online and it’s a really, really sh***y situation.

Does it make you think sometimes when you’re on that field and sometimes you don’t know who’s in the stands?

I can’t think about that. I’m out there playing the game.

How is everything holding up physically?

Pretty well.

I have a trivia question for you about your own football team: Who’s the heaviest Eagle?

It’s probably between me and Jason Peters. I don’t know how much he weighs.

You’re the heaviest Eagle. Peters is listed at 327 and you’re listed at 335. Did you come away feeling better than the previous weekend in Philadelphia?

I got an IV prior to the [Chargers] game, as well. I wanted to make sure I was hydrated and taken care of that, especially since it was warm outside. Everything is good.

In addition to reading Brandon's comments, each week we'll post audio of the full interview so you'll have a chance to hear to Brandon's words in his own voice.