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  • Jordan Mailata

    I've been wondering what the Eagles plan is for this guy. They have stashed him twice now, so my assumption is they like him and want to take the time to teach him the game. So I went searching for info. Here's a pre free agency piece I found.


    EAGLES
    SPORTS
    Jordan Mailata remains biggest piece to Eagles OL depth puzzle
    By NICK FIERRO
    THE MORNING CALL |
    FEB 13, 2020 | 9:32 AM
    | PHILADELPHIA

    If all goes according to plan, Philadelphia Eagles backup tackle Jordan Mailata will go through his third season in 2020 just like he did in his first two: without playing a snap.

    Yet he figures to be a key component on the team they’re reshaping this offseason.


    Top swing tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai likely is headed for free agency, Andre Dillard probably will start on the left side and Matt Pryor is looked at as more of a guard than a tackle.

    Barring moves in free agency or the draft, that leaves Mailata, who had each of his first two seasons cut short by trips to the injured reserve list with a cranky back that is not nearly as bad as could be interpreted.


    He lasted until mid-December before they had to make that move in his rookie year. Last season, he was simply stashed there after they were essentially forced to do the same in September because of so many injuries to other positions.


    “I was ready to go again in three weeks,” he said.

    And for those worried that the inability to practice during all that time on injured reserve has stunted the growth of someone who never played the sport before the Eagles drafted him in 2018, the 6-foot-8, 350-pound Aussie giant has a message: He’ll be ready.

    Mailata actually was hurt more by the anguish that came with the 2019 season than anything else.

    “Not being able to have any impact just took a mental toll on me,” Mailata said the day after their playoff loss to Seattle last month.


    But nobody on the team wants to be great more than Mailata, who played rugby before having the benefit of learning from one of the NFL’s finest offensive line coaches in Jeff Stoutland and two of the NFL’s finest tackles in Lane Johnson and Jason Peters.

    Mailata learned the left side in his first season and the right side in his second, after Dillard was drafted in the first round to eventually replace Peters and be their left tackle of the future.

    Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata holds off Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Lyndon Johnson, 92, in a preseason game.
    Eagles tackle Jordan Mailata holds off Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Lyndon Johnson, 92, in a preseason game.(Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)
    He believes he’ll be completely ready to plug in and play in 2020, despite all the lost time in 2019.

    Exceptional offensive line depth was a driving force behind three straight trips to the playoffs and a 4-2 postseason record for the Eagles over the previous three seasons.

    Just look at Vaitai. Though never a starter other than for injury reasons, he has started 20 regular-season games and four postseason games in his four years. He’s played a total of 2,359 snaps with the offense alone.

    Now that BIg V is headed for possible starter’s money, the ability of Mailata to take over that role will be vital.

    The irony is that Mailata believes the drafting of Dillard helped his progress.

    “No lie, I think this was the best thing that they could have done for me on this,” Mailata said. “I understand the game now like the back of my hand because I had to learn it all again, but this time it wasn’t like I was unfamiliar with the terms and techniques. So it was easier for me to pick up the right side and learn the game of football even more.”
    The time away from the practice field was spent learning other necessities.

    “It was a blessing in disguise,” he said. “It gave me more time to focus on understanding my body, and that’s pretty much what we did this year. We really took this year to understand my body and how to manipulate it and how to use it, how to distribute your weight. So it was really just an educational experience for me this year.”

    Furthermore, Mailata has embraced vertical sets, the most complicated pass protection technique to master because so much can go wrong when creating so much space for the pass rusher before initial contact.

    “At first it was very awkward and uncomfortable,” he said, “but the more practice you get, the easier it is to get comfortable. And this year, like I said, understanding your body, like how to manipulate that weight and distribute the power, my pad level has been lowered.”

    The pad level is the only part of Mailata’s game that is lower these days.

    “He wants to be great,” Johnson said. “He’s doing everything it takes and he has all the tools.”

    What this portends for Mailata’s long-term future in Philadelphia is unclear. Dillard is not likely to be going anywhere for a long time, Johnson is still in his prime at age 29 and Mailata’s contract will be up at the end of the 2021 season.

    Yet Mailata’s third season will be the most crucial. If he can play, big money and a starting job will eventually find him.


    For now, it’s just a matter of focusing on the present and his role and controlling what he can control.

    To that end, he’s done a marvelous job, according to Stoutland.

    “I like his attitude,” Stoutland said. "He’s not in the tank, he’s not walking around with his head down. He’s really actually chipper, positive. He’s in that room every day with his notebook, taking notes.

    “I ask him questions and he’s right on point. So I like what he’s doing right now.”
    We're looking for people that are fundamentally different,” vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl said Saturday night. “The love and passion for football, it's non-negotiable. They're caring, their character, they do the right thing persistently, and they have a relentless playing style that you can see on tape. The motor, it burns hot. You see them finishing plays. They have a team-first mentality. They're selfless individuals.

  • #2
    and another article . He sounds like a really smart kid. I hope this season he kicks the door in. Kinda wondering if in year 3 he might learn to play some Guard .

    Why breakthrough 2020 NFL season awaits 'mad' Aussie Jordan Mailata
    By Melanie Dinjaski
    Feb 18th, 2020
    Why breakthrough 2020 NFL season awaits 'mad' Aussie Jordan Mailata
    Australian NFL player Jordan Mailata was faced with a difficult conundrum in his first two years in the league.

    How do you develop as a player when you're not allowed to practice with your team, and as a raw talent transitioning from rugby league that had never played a full game of American football?

    The Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman found a way though, through early solo training sessions, being the most studious player in his team and, of all things, yoga.

    "We have our own team yoga instructor and I've been seeing her about twice a week, sometimes three," Mailata exclusively told Wide World of Sports from Philadelphia.

    "It's actually hilarious seeing all these big O-linemen doing yoga," he laughed.

    "The best thing about yoga, is if you go to her studio you can play your own music. I've got this playlist - the most eclectic song playlist ever - and I usually play that, and when we're doing yoga she's like, 'What on earth?!'"

    Yoga is just part of the revised and restricted training regimen Mailata had to undertake after spending his first two seasons on the Eagles' Injured Reserve (IR) with lower back injuries. No more squatting or dead lifts for the former South Sydney Rabbitohs under-20s forward; now it's more 'downward dog' and 'happy baby'.

    Still, the yoga was the fun part in what has been an extremely frustrating couple of years.

    "Having the right people in your corner, that was very crucial for me," Mailata said.

    "Like my girlfriend, my family were always there for me, even though they were in Australia.

    "They were there for me when I was having rough days."


    FROM BANKSTOWN TO THE NFL
    To say it's been a whirlwind journey for Mailata to date would be an understatement.

    He came into the league selected as a surprise 233rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, fresh off the Eagles' Super Bowl victory. Despite his obvious lack of experience in the game, there was something about the 6-foot-8, 156kg, (then) 20-year-old that Eagles coach Doug Pederson saw potential in, and they didn't hesitate in trading up 17 spots to draft him.

    The buzz around Mailata was huge. Every Philadelphia beat writer and NFL insider was obsessed over the gentle giant from western Sydney with an electric junior rugby league highlight tape. The NFL's official Twitter account described it: "INSANE. DOMINANT. RIDICULOUS."


    NFL

    @NFL
    The @Eagles just drafted Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata.

    His highlights are... INSANE. DOMINANT. RIDICULOUS. �� #NFLDraft

    Embedded video
    5,839
    6:46 PM - Apr 28, 2018
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    2,466 people are talking about this
    Mailata didn't flinch under the spotlight, and showed enough to make the 53-man roster each year.

    But two years later, he is still waiting for his NFL regular season debut due to injury setbacks, and the hype train has definitely come to a thundering halt.

    In his rookie year, it was a stress fracture that sidelined Mailata, and last season it was a disc protrusion L5 on the right side of his back.


    Jordan Mailata has been hit by injury setbacks during his short NFL career (Getty)
    'NOT TRAINING WITH THE TEAM, THAT HURT'
    On IR this past season especially, Mailata felt isolated and faced his biggest test as a professional athlete.

    "There's all these rules being on the Injured Reserve. I had to learn how to train by myself, grow mentally and understand the nuances about the sport and this playbook," he said.

    "Once you get put on the IR, the NFL regulates the league, and they have all these rules - for instance you can't practice with the team.

    "It wasn't because I wasn't medically cleared, it's because of these rules.

    "Not training with the team, that hurt me so much."


    Jordan Mailata (Getty)
    Mailata stayed focused on getting back off IR though, because at the beginning of the 2019 season, there was a glimmer of hope that he could return by Week 11.

    "Teams can only take two players off IR each season... so the team needed to figure out if they needed me. But unfortunately by week 11 there were close to 11 players on IR and in my position they didn't really need me, so I wasn't called back up," he said.

    It didn't matter.

    Mailata said he felt he could be responsible for his own success. He challenged himself to do all he was could within those strict NFL rules to keep on developing and work towards being on the field in Week 1, 2020.

    "I just kept going to all the meetings from the start till the end of the season," Mailata said of the class-like sessions where coaches and players go over plays and team strategy.

    "I watched every single practice to keep myself in the loop, in the game plan and in line with how the league and the players play.

    "When I got cleared from rehabbing, I could do my own thing and take control of what I could do. I decided the best way for me to do that was practice before the boys practiced - an hour and a half before them. So then by the time they came out I was able to sit there and watch them."

    His job was made even harder because in pre-season last year he had a position change from left tackle to right tackle, but he's taken that shift in his stride without complaints.

    "I'll do anything to be a part of this team and that's been my mentality," Mailata said.

    "It was a long but short transition - short time, but long days, and I feel like I got the job done in learning it."

    AUSSIE BECOMES BEST IN CLASS
    His efforts didn't go unnoticed by his coaches either, with whom he was still able to maintain strong relationships despite not physically training under them within the group.

    Mailata was best in class, sitting in the very front row of every team meeting.

    "My coach has a thing called 'cold questioning', where he asks a specific player a question and you're expected to know the answer, and he couldn't get me; I didn't have any wrong this year," Mailata said.

    "I challenged myself to be attentive and present because I knew this coming season it was going to help me so much once I get back on the field.

    "I know I'm going to be able to play this year, that's a fact."


    Jordan Mailata at practice during training camp before his injury last year (AAP)
    WHAT MADE MAILATA MOST 'MAD'
    On IR Mailata got hungrier. And teed off.

    He wanted nothing more than to jump in the deep end and absorb every minute of his NFL experience to fast-track his already light-speed transition in a sport his peers played since they were kids.

    But around him he said he could see guys not making the most of their chance in the cut-throat league.

    "People who weren't capitalising on the moment would always make me mad and that's one thing I'll take with me forever - make every opportunity count," Mailata said.

    "As long as you get to step on that field with your teammates, make every opportunity count, because that's what hurt me this year.

    "Being with them everyday and hearing what they were complaining about ... people not realising that others have it worse than what they do. And that's what's made me more appreciative of my position here.

    "I'm blessed to be here, to be playing this game, to be living in this city. Some people are small-minded and they don't have goals. They don't appreciate the small things because they haven't been on the grind.

    "I can say I've been on the other side now, you know? I've been on the other side, watching my teammates try and fail."


    Jordan Mailata of the Philadelphia Eagles during a pre-season game last year (Getty)
    THE AUSSIE CONNECTION IN PHILLY
    In his locker room Mailata at least has a fellow Aussie he can lean on for support or a friendly, familiar accent. No-one can understand the difficulties of settling into a new sport in a foreign land more than Eagles punter and former Melbourne Demons draftee, Cameron Johnston.

    Johnston is one of a tight group of Australian sports stars in the City of Brotherly Love, along with Mailata, and Philadelphia 76ers duo Ben Simmons and Mattise Thybulle.

    "This is like the export destination of Australian athletes. To have four in one city, it's crazy," Mailata said.

    So strong is the Aussie connection in Philly that the 76ers hosted their second annual Australian Heritage Night, sponsored by Four'N Twenty, which this year raised $A80,000 for bushfire relief. Mailata was also given the "honour" of ringing the ceremonial 'Liberty Bell' pre-game, before Simmons' 76ers defeated the Chicago Bulls 118-111.

    "I think we should have an Australian Heritage Night every night. Or an Australian Heritage Month!" Mailata joked.


    CAN MAILATA SOAR WITH THE EAGLES IN 2020?
    Looking towards the 2020 NFL season, it's shaping up to be a breakthrough - if not make or break - year for Mailata.

    "I feel like from year one and two I've made an enormous transition and transformation as a player," he said.

    "I've never had any regrets. Frustration that I couldn't participate in practice, yes, but never any regrets like, 'Oh why did I come here?'"

    Mailata isn't backing down from the challenge ahead and said he would also welcome the team drafting young offensive linemen to compete for the starting role in pre-season training camp too.

    "I'm ready, trust me," he said confidently.

    "They can bring anyone in. It is every man for themselves, but we'll see when they get here. I was ready when they brought Andre [Dillard]. Bring it on!

    "We've got the best O-line group in the league."


    Jordan Mailata of the Philadelphia Eagles (Getty)
    The Eagles haven't been able to replicate quite the same form they had since their Super Bowl-winning efforts in 2018, led by then back-up quarterback Nick Foles (now at the Jacksonville Jaguars). Still, Mailata says the "resilient" Eagles will take flight again.

    "We've had some people try and talk us down and make fun of us, but honestly our locker room is tight," he said.

    "There's never been any drama. We have a great corps of veteran leaders that make sure the team is very cohesive.

    "We are pretty resilient. Every year they count us out and we end up making the post-season.

    "We don't want to get our expectations up, but we do have expectations. We have our goals and really the first step to every season is wining our division. First win the division, and that's what we have our eyes set on every time we walk in the building."

    Jordan Mailata spoke to Wide World of Sports on behalf of Four'N Twenty as an ambassador of the iconic meat pie company with Ben Simmons
    We're looking for people that are fundamentally different,” vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl said Saturday night. “The love and passion for football, it's non-negotiable. They're caring, their character, they do the right thing persistently, and they have a relentless playing style that you can see on tape. The motor, it burns hot. You see them finishing plays. They have a team-first mentality. They're selfless individuals.

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    • #3
      The birds have been high on him since the beginning. He certainly is the heir apparent to Big V. My only concern is they used two years on him already. How long before another team sees him and makes him a priority for them after the 2021 season. Hopefully he remembers who gave him the chance and taught him the ropes
      "Don't look between the lines for stuff that isn't there" Schwartz
      RIP

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by NoDakIggle View Post
        The birds have been high on him since the beginning. He certainly is the heir apparent to Big V. My only concern is they used two years on him already. How long before another team sees him and makes him a priority for them after the 2021 season. Hopefully he remembers who gave him the chance and taught him the ropes
        Let's just hope that's the case, but that was my bitch from the beginning with this guy. Why is he learning on our dime and then goes someplace else?
        Last edited by Eagle60; 04-06-2020, 05:52 PM.
        "Hey Giants, who's your Daddy?"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Eagle60 View Post
          Let's just hope that's the case, but that was my bitch from the beginning why this guy. Why is he learning on our dime and then goes someplace else?
          to this point in his career he has cost next to nothing and hasn't held a roster spot. Even if he gets game experience the next 2 seasons, as a 7th rounder, I doubt he even makes much in year 4. He has 2 seasons to show what he's become and if he has value, he will be here , if not ,he moves along.
          We're looking for people that are fundamentally different,” vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl said Saturday night. “The love and passion for football, it's non-negotiable. They're caring, their character, they do the right thing persistently, and they have a relentless playing style that you can see on tape. The motor, it burns hot. You see them finishing plays. They have a team-first mentality. They're selfless individuals.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by musicman View Post
            to this point in his career he has cost next to nothing and hasn't held a roster spot. Even if he gets game experience the next 2 seasons, as a 7th rounder, I doubt he even makes much in year 4. He has 2 seasons to show what he's become and if he has value, he will be here , if not ,he moves along.
            Whether he costs much is irrelevant. It's the roster spot that I'm worried about. The Eagles think that he can be their swing tackle this year so it may have worked out.
            "Hey Giants, who's your Daddy?"

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            • #7
              I personally hope he pushes Dillard
              We're looking for people that are fundamentally different,” vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl said Saturday night. “The love and passion for football, it's non-negotiable. They're caring, their character, they do the right thing persistently, and they have a relentless playing style that you can see on tape. The motor, it burns hot. You see them finishing plays. They have a team-first mentality. They're selfless individuals.

              Comment


              • #8
                he hasn't cost them a spot to this point. I think he will be a good swing T and might be worth training at the G spots
                We're looking for people that are fundamentally different,” vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl said Saturday night. “The love and passion for football, it's non-negotiable. They're caring, their character, they do the right thing persistently, and they have a relentless playing style that you can see on tape. The motor, it burns hot. You see them finishing plays. They have a team-first mentality. They're selfless individuals.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I see him, as others do, as a Big V type swing guy. I don't see him pushing Dillard. If he does and becomes a HoF guy I am happy but if he does and is just another guy that doesn't say much for Dillard.
                  I must say though that I have high hopes for Dillard. He has talent if he can just settle into the position.
                  "Don't look between the lines for stuff that isn't there" Schwartz
                  RIP

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NoDakIggle View Post
                    I see him, as others do, as a Big V type swing guy. I don't see him pushing Dillard. If he does and becomes a HoF guy I am happy but if he does and is just another guy that doesn't say much for Dillard.
                    I must say though that I have high hopes for Dillard. He has talent if he can just settle into the position.

                    I was hoping that the commitment to having him start this year would allow him to learn and get comfortable this year. But the lack of camps and training sessions this pandemic is causing does not bode well for his growth. Let's hope he absorbed enough last year to pick up the nuances of the NFL quickly.
                    Official Driver of the Eagles Bandwagon!!!
                    Bleedin' Green since birth!

                    "Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many." Mike Willey

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                    • #11
                      If it doesn't work out for him he could try America's got talent. Man can that guy sing. I've heard that he's a character and very popular with his teammates. I hope that he works out. I just wish that he picked a different position to play.
                      "Hey Giants, who's your Daddy?"

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