By his own admission, Mike McGlynn was a work in progress this season.

The same could be said for the entire Eagles offensive line.

Right to the bitter end, when King Dunlap replaced Winston Justice at right tackle in the second half of Sunday's 21-16 wild-card playoff loss to Green Bay, the Eagles' offensive line was unsettled and unsteady.

One constant in the lineup was McGlynn, a third-year player who took over the starting center position from the injured Jamal Jackson in Week 2.

But McGlynn's situation underscored the shaky state of the offensive line as the former University of Pittsburgh athlete was playing center for the first time in his career and was forced to learn on the fly.

"You can't replace experience," McGlynn said. "I'd never been a center before, except a little bit in high school, and you really can't compare high school to the NFL.

"I was happy that I got an opportunity to step in and play."

After McGlynn replaced Jackson, who tore a biceps muscle in the opener, the Eagles' offensive line for most of the season featured their new center with guards Todd Herremans and Max Jean-Gilles and tackles Justice and Jason Peters.

But the group struggled to develop continuity thanks to a series of minor injuries to Peters, Jean-Gilles, and reserve guard Nick Cole.

Plus, the offensive line needed to adjust to the changes at quarterback - first Kevin Kolb, then Michael Vick, then Kolb, then Vick - and to the way opposing defenses began to blitz more and more during the season.

"Early on, we took a lot of heat for things," McGlynn said of the offensive line. "As the season went on, we got better and better, and we got acquainted with each other. We made progress."

McGlynn said picking up the blitz was a challenge for the Eagles during the latter part of the season.

"We were really hitting our stride there and scoring a lot of points," McGlynn said of the Eagles in midseason. "But teams decided they weren't going to sit back. Their answer was to go ahead and blitz us. It was something we saw every week."

Coach Andy Reid mentioned McGlynn's play at center as one of the positive developments involving young players this season.

"It was a matter of training Mike to play the center position," Reid said. "He was able to get better every week and develop as a center."

With nagging injuries and a steady, late-season dose of opposing blitzes, the Eagles' offensive line never found its rhythm.

The unrest continued Sunday as Cole started in place of Jean-Gilles, who was inactive with an ankle injury, and Dunlap replaced Justice, who was hit with consecutive penalties and struggled to block Packers linebacker Clay Matthews.

"We fought through it," McGlynn said of the upheaval along the offensive line. "I thought we made some good strides."

Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223 or panastasia@phillynews.com.