Andre Dillard had one big goal for the offseason between his first and second NFL season: He wanted to bulk up.
The Eagles’ 24-year-old starting left tackle said he gained around 20 pounds this offseason. Dillard is listed at 6-foot-5, 315 pounds so that would put him at around 335.
“The results, I have been feeling them so far in training camp,” Dillard said. “I just feel a lot more solid out there and stronger and being able to sit guys down.”
Anyone can eat cheeseburgers and sit on a couch. If that’s all it took, I’d be an All-Pro by now. But gaining weight the correct way is much harder. Dillard has now done it both ways. When he bulked up as a college student, he didn’t do it the right way. He would eat too late and would even wake up in the middle of the night and drink shakes.
This time, he did it with oversight from an NFL team and was able to keep his body fat percentage the same. That means he put on muscle.
“I was in contact with our strength coaches a lot,” Dillard said. “I was always on the phone with them and whatnot. I started paying more attention to nutritional things, taking in a lot more calories, pushing the weight. Really a lot of hard work is what it comes down to.”
And he doesn’t think the added weight gain has negatively affected his athleticism at all, which is obviously the key.
There’s no questioning Dillard’s athleticism; that’s why the Eagles traded up in the first round to take him in last year’s draft.
But it was clear he needed to add strength. As Jason Kelce said earlier this offseason, the good news was that Dillard had the stuff that can’t be added; you can put on weight. And he did.
His teammates are taking notice too.
“He’s looking good, he’s more filled out,” said Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson. “He’s a specimen as far as an athlete. Like I said, man, the more he plays the better he’s going to get. But right now, he’s looking good. Special athlete and the more he plays the better he’s going to be.”
The best news about Dillard this offseason is that his confidence has grown along with his mass.
Perhaps the two go hand in hand.