Everyone’s accounted for at Philadelphia Eagles training camp now.
It’s like those roll calls that began homeroom when all of us were in junior high school. You waited on your name to be called. You yelled ‘present’ or ‘here’. Everyone went on about their business. For the Philadelphia Eagles, the past couple of weeks must have felt exactly like that, but over the course of several days, a few familiar faces began trickling back into the NovaCare Complex for work.
The ‘Birds’ got Nathan Gerry back, who believe it or not is now the elder statesman in that linebacker room. He was activated from the Reserve-COVID-19 list on Sunday morning. Jatavis Brown retired Sunday evening. Vinny Curry was officially signed on Monday. Lane Johnson was activated from the Reserve-COVID-19 list on Tuesday, and the coach, Doug Pederson, returned to work on Wednesday.
We all know Marquise Goodwin has been given an excused absence of sorts which left only Jordan Mailiata, whose return was announced by the Eagles on Thursday. He’s officially off of the Reserve-COVID-19 list. Roll call complete, and everyone’s accounted for. It’s time to get down to business. Here are two immediate reactions following the news of Mailata’s return.
1. The Philadelphia Eagles are one month away from their first regular-season game.
Another Eagles regular season is set to begin on September 13th. The opponent is a familiar one and a division rival, the Washington Football Team. This marks the third time in four seasons that the Eagles have started their season with their rivals from the nation’s capital on the other sideline.
Coach Pederson hinted at some of the gameplan for the remainder of training camp, stating that the coaches had already put both the offensive and defensive schemes in over the course of the past few weeks and that the only thing left to focus on was situational areas. The roster sits at 80 prospects. As you know, that number will need to be trimmed down to 53 men. The question is who’s in and who’s out?
2. Is it now time for the Philadelphia Eagles to give up on the Jordan Mailata experiment?
Maybe they’ve finally gotten it out of their system, but there was this thing for a few years where someone or a few people must have been watching a lot of rugby at the NovaCare Complex and had their minds set on turning a few stars from that world into NFL stars.
First, there was Adam Zaruba. They wanted to make him a tight end. That didn’t work. Now, there’s Mailata, who the Eagles actually invested a seventh-round draft pick on in 2018. Though he’s shown both flashes and a few missteps that you would expect from anyone who’s never played the game before, you have to figure that the guys who have been playing football their whole lives would have an edge.
The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in 2019. They have Jason Peters, who’s playing right guard but could easily slide back over to the position that he’s played for almost two decades if anything happens to Dillard. The ‘Birds’ also drafted both of Auburn’s starting tackles from the 2019 season, Jack Driscoll and Prince Tega Wanogho. Casey Tucker is also in the picture.
When you weigh everything, if we were to create a depth chart for all of Philly’s tackles, Mailata’s name might be the last one on the list. We’ve all been cheering for the guy. How could you not do so? Even still, when it’s all said and done, we may want to acquiesce ourselves to the notion that, while Mailata is a good guy, the experiment might be over. It’s hard to imagine a scenario, except one where the Eagles coaches are being stubborn (which we have seen before), in which Mailata earns a spot on the final 53-man roster.