July 12, 2021   4 MIN READ

Inside The Birds: Mailata Vs. Dillard In Blindside Battle


There’s just over two weeks until Eagles training camp begins, which means positional competitions will be heating up soon at the NovaCare Complex.

On the latest Inside The Birds Podcast, Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan break down competitions on offense, analyzing the contestants, pointing out strengths and weaknesses, and projecting winners.

Jordan Mailata, left, will try to hold off former first-rounder Andre Dillard for the Eagles’ starting LT job.

Jalen Hurts

Adam Caplan: “When you look at this situation, the Eagles want to see if Hurts can be the guy past the season, let’s call it like it is.”

Geoff Mosher: “It’s fair to say I think he has a long leash. I mean if they start 1-8, I don’t know. But I’m saying he’s not gonna get pulled at the half of Game 3 if he’s playing poorly, I would think. He shouldn’t.”

RB Competition

Mosher: “The Eagles seem to see something in Jordan Howard that maybe the rest of the league does not. They keep bringing him back, they give him a chance, he’s here to compete. I do feel that they like him and he knows the team, but I would have to say from a talent standpoint, if all things are considered equal and healthy, and everybody’s conditioned and in good shape, that Kerryon Johnson is a more talented running back. So it’s safe for us to say that if Jordan Howard wins out, it’s because Kerryon either didn’t stay healthy, wasn’t in the best shape or just really lost something along the way from the injuries that he’s had, because I feel like Kerryon is the better overall player.”

Caplan: “Well you can look at it this way. Boston Scott does not have Johnson’s size or power. Johnson is the best pass protector. You were comparing Howard vs. Johnson, you can make the case to keep both of those with [Kenneth] Gainwell and [Miles] Sanders. There’s your four, and Boston Scott is the odd man out.”

Last WR Spot

Caplan: “In the end, if they don’t add a veteran – and I’m kind of surprised they haven’t done that yet – and I’m not saying they will, but if they don’t add a veteran, I’m going to pick [Quez] Watkins to be the fifth receiver. Hightower I’ve said all offseason and I’ll continue to say it, I don’t see him on this roster. We’ve outlined his issues since last season. He had a relatively solid training camp. Definitely earned a roster spot and played a lot early on because of [Alshon] Jeffery’s and DeSean Jackson’s injuries, [Jalen] Reagor’s as well.

Left tackle

Mosher: “We’ve got Jordan Mailata vs. Andre Dillard and honestly, I don’t want to be overdramatic and [call it] like a Pay-Per-View heavyweight fight, but it has everything that you want. I think this is the perfect type of battle because they’re both good at different things and you’re gonna find out if each one was able to improve on what they needed to improve at and also what the coaching staff will value more than the other. There’s other variables involved here but this is basically Andre Dillard, who has beautiful feet and is a good pass protector, a finesse pass protector against a speed rusher, versus Jordan Mailata, who is just enormous and massive and will stop your bull rush in its tracks and can drive you backwards. So the question is: Can Dillard show that he’s tougher and have that nastiness to him and be able to handle that bull rush; and can Mailata show that he can handle the speed guys, that he’s not too big for the position, and that he can capitalize on what he was able to do last year?”

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

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