Ed Wang Looking to Seize Opportunity With Philadelphia Eagles

The second Ed Wang was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft,  he had already made history as the first Chinese-American to be drafted by an NFL team. Let’s just say, he’s had to work to get everything he’s earned. Hard.

An All-ACC 2nd Team member in 2009, Wang’s expectations were not complex or broad for the draft. “Just for an opportunity to play in the NFL,” Wang told Khandyman Sports in a recent interview. “Thats all I wanted.”

Wang playing for the Bills (via Bleacher Report).

That’s exactly what “Godzilla,” the nickname he earned in college, got when he was selected 140th overall by the Bills. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to prove himself as one of the team’s top offensive lineman, battling a thumb injury throughout training camp and only playing sparingly as a rookie (six games, none started) as a result. Then he was placed on Injured Reserve prior to the 2011 season, meaning yet another season would be lost to injury, possibly costing him more opportunities to earn a permanent spot on the Bills roster and show off his talents.

Of the injury-riddled start to his career, Wang remarked, “[The toughest part is] just not being out there and playing. Doing it for such a long time and then all of the sudden not doing it anymore was hard and very difficult . . . I was pretty injury free in college and then I just haven’t been able to shake off the injury bug my first few years. Hopefully things will change and I can stay healthy!” Wang was cut by the Bills after the 2011 season.

Wang fought through his early injuries to make a full recovery prior to the start of the 2012 draft, and was given an opportunity by the Oakland Raiders to make the roster in 2012. Injuries managed to find him again, however, and after being placed on Injured Reserve again in September he was cut by the Raiders.

But nothing, apparently, can keep “Godzilla” down. Making yet another recovery, Wang impressed GM Howie Roseman and coach Chip Kelly enough to earn another chance in the NFL; the team signed him to a two-year deal this February.

Asked why Philadelphia stood out to him as a possible destination, Wang responded, “Just how they ran things there. They have a winning attitude and know what they are doing. It was always a plus to have that going into a program.”

Wang played well the Organized Team Activities this Spring, earning reps with the first-team offensive line with Jason Peters out and Lane Johnson still adjusting to the NFL. Despite his size and bulk, Wang is surprisingly athletic; he changes directions quickly and is agile when making second-level blocks. Those qualities make him a dominant lead blocker, and his experience in the spread offense at Virginia Tech has allowed him to flourish under Kelly and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Of the offensive scheme, Wang says, “Definitely a lot more uptempo than the traditional offense I ran at Virginia Tech.” It’s clear that Kelly demands athleticism, quickness, and versatility from his lineman, and Wang brings those things to the table. He can definitely work on his run blocking, but he has made a strong case to be a 2nd-string tackle on the Eagles.

Going forward, Wang wants to, “Just learn the offense and get comfortable with it. Going into a new offense, there are always kinks to get figured out and worked out.”

Unfortunately, the Eagles are stacked at the position. 4th overall pick Lane Johnson and 4-time All Pro Jason Peters have the starting positions locked up, and second-year player Dennis Kelly is guaranteed a roster spot after starting several games last season and holding his own. To make the roster, Wang will have to beat out Matt Tobin and Allen Barbre; but if history has told us anything, it is that he will work harder, spend more hours practicing than anyone on the team during training camp to make the team.

So yeah, nothing is guaranteed given how deep this team is at the offensive line position. But that won’t stop him from trying, and from succeeding.


Tags: , ,

Categories: Eagles, Editorial

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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  1. Eagles Cut Offensive Tackle Ed Wang | Khandyman Sports - August 19, 2013

    […] more on Wang, check out my story on him (with an interview included) from earlier this […]

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