September 15, 2021   5 MIN READ

Inside The Birds: Graham, Mailata Impactful In Blowout Of Falcons


The Eagles blew away expectations on Sunday, with a 32-6 win against the Falcons in Atlanta.

Who really stood out for Nick Sirianni’s group?

On the latest Inside The Birds, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan deliver film breakdown with the help of personnel sources while also touching on roster news.


Adam Caplan: “[The Eagles] completely out-coached the Falcons. It seems like this staff has been together forever and the other one is like a rookie coaching staff. I just believe on both sides of the football the Eagles’ coaching staff absolutely dominated.”

Geoff Mosher: “The game really turned on some questionable calls on Arthur Smith’s side. Though, sometimes, you watch the tape and you realize he called that for a reason. It’s just that they’re working with some limitations there, to say the least, but still I feel like you’re a head coach with a reputation, you gotta figure it out.”

Devonta Smith

Mosher: “Devonta Smith can block, my friend. I bet you every single defensive back that lines up across him is not concerned in the run game that he’s gonna block them. Well they’re gonna learn quickly that he’s an Alabama-tough guy. He just does everything with great technique and precision. For him at that size to block the way he did effectively, he’s not going to be a great blocker all the time but there were times he was able to get the man in front to create space, and he did. I was really impressed with that.”

Caplan: “You don’t have to be at receiver, 240 pounds, to block. It’s about technique and angles. Smith has it. Look, he played in a pro offense at Alabama, he’s been coached by Nick Saban, he’s been coached by pro coaches who were in the pros and are now at Alabama.”

11 vs. 12 Personnel

Caplan: “We’ll see if this turns out to be right, but I just get this feeling, [this staff] feels like they can morph into anything they want to morph into. If they want to be heavy 11 in the game they’ve got the personnel to do it, because they’re young and they’ve got speed. If they want to be in heavy 12, they’re deep at tight end, they got three guys who can play.”

Mosher: “[Zach] Ertz played 41 snaps, that was 58 percent of the offense, and Goedert played 52 snaps, 73 percent of the offense. I think they had to be in 12 personnel probably at least 40-45 percent of the time if not more.

Caplan: “[They had] the most last year at 33.2 percent in 12 [personnel] to lead the NFL. So, the fact of the matter is this is a good thing … they’ve given this staff the ability to do whatever they want to do.”

Jordan Mailata

Caplan: “From what I understand this is probably his highest-graded game in pass [protection]. As one source said, no one got within two feet of Hurts in pass protection on [Jordan] Mailata’s side. We’ll see how good he becomes because the challenge with him is technique, because football is new to him, in terms of usage and the way that [Jeff] Stoutland teaches it. So it’s still a work in progress, his technique still needs to be more consistent, but he is so gifted. You can’t teach size and athleticism, he is a super freak as everybody calls him, it’s true, and he cares so much.”

Brandon Graham

Mosher: “Brandon Graham, because he’s such a smart player and he keeps himself in very good shape – he has been doing that for several years and now what they’re doing at practice it even more enables guys to be fresher for the season – he might be able to play until he’s 35 or 36 because while he doesn’t do anything great he does so many things well, and one of them is getting off blocks, especially in the run game. So he had a bunch of big run stops, which tends to get overlooked. We always talk about sacks and pressures. He’s such a good edge-setter and run defender and I saw plenty of examples of that in the game I thought he had a very good, solid, efficient game.”

Assignment Defense

Caplan: “Their [showed] ability to play within their zones so well. To play with such discipline, because if you just match up talent to talent, the Falcons should have had more success. But I didn’t count for assignment football, the way they’re coached. Just because you don’t have any frame of reference, they’ve never played a regular-season game together. This is a zone defense and these guys are being coached well and it’s really fascinating and again they didn’t play one particular zone, they switched it up all the time.”

– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to

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