Eagles

Doug Pederson explains Eagles' thoughts on Andre Dillard, Jason Peters

Doug Pederson explains Eagles' thoughts on Andre Dillard, Jason Peters

Doug Pederson gave Andre Dillard the strongest vote of confidence yet from anybody in the Eagles’ organization on Tuesday.

Pederson, in a Zoom chat with the Philadelphia media, said that while the Eagles have been in touch with Jason Peters, he and offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland are confident in Dillard and planning for him to be the team’s starting left tackle whenever NFL football does resume.

We have a ton of confidence — I have a ton of confidence — in Andre Dillard playing that left tackle spot,” Pederson said. “This is why we drafted Andre Dillard. You look at his skill set and what he brings to our offense and what he brings to the Philadelphia Eagles it fits right in line with everything that coach Stout talks about, teaches, preaches about and what we are as an offense.

Peters, a nine-time Pro Bowler and likely future Hall of Famer, has been an unrestricted free agent since March after 11 seasons with the Eagles.

The Eagles traded up three spots to No. 22 in the 2019 draft for Dillard, who started three games last year when Peters was hurt.

Pederson still wouldn't rule out bringing Peters back, but the fact that the Eagles let him go when free agency started and they haven’t moved to re-sign him yet points to a high level of confidence in Dillard.

And Pederson articulated that level of confidence Tuesday in his strongest terms yet.

With Jason Peters, listen, we’ve always said we’d stay in touch with him during the offseason and we have,” he said. “Jason Peters is a tremendous not only football player but he’s a tremendous Philadelphia Eagle, and I have a lot of respect for a guy like Jason Peters who played that left tackle position for so many years at a high level, so I have a lot of respect for his game and what he has accomplished in his career. But as we move forward, Andre Dillard was a guy we drafted to be that left tackle for us. The way Andre played last year kind of propels him into this offseason where he’s taken command of that role.

Eagles three-time All-Pro center Jason Kelce spoke highly of Dillard last week but said Dillard does have to get physically stronger, and Pederson echoed that on Tuesday.

“We know — and he understands — that strength is a big part of playing offensive line, but that’s something that can be worked on in the offseason and that’s what he’s doing right now,” Pederson said. “But moving forward I’ve got a ton of confidence in Andre and getting him back and getting him in the huddle, on the grass. Our quarterback has a ton of confidence in him and that’s how we’re proceeding moving forward.”

Dillard started at Dallas and Buffalo and home against the Bears last year when Peters was shelved by a knee injury. The Eagles lost to Dallas but beat the Bills and Bears.

Pederson said Dillard’s performances in those games is something positive for Dillard to build on, although he did say a young player like Dillard will be hurt by the lack of OTAs and spring workouts.

“One of the things that you go back (and look at), he had a chance to play in a few games this past year, and he played well,” Pederson said. “Wasn’t perfect but he played well, and that’s something that as coaches we continue to grasp ahold of. He’ll have confidence going into training camp, but I think with any player, not just Andre, but if more time is missed there’s going to be probably slight setbacks. You’re going to be slower than you would be under normal, ideal situations.”

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Eagles' Jalen Reagor has perfect response for Skip Bayless criticism

Eagles' Jalen Reagor has perfect response for Skip Bayless criticism

Jalen Reagor hasn't yet set foot on a football field wearing midnight green, but the Eagles' first-round pick is already a pro at comebacks.

Professional Talker Skip Bayless popped off about Reagor's (admittedly unexpected) draft slot late last week, making fun of the Eagles for taking Reagor at No. 21 overall.

Here's what Bayless had to say:

I about fell out of my chair over that, for the wrong reason. Jalen Reagor went way higher than any draft expert had mocked him. I'm mocking that pick right now, because I thought it was a silly pick, because there were four, five other receivers I would've taken over Jalen Reagor.

There are, of course, different ways to responds when a person like Bayless (loud, looking for attention) singles out a player.

You can try to argue the points made, and point out that while Reagor going at No. 21 overall may have been a surprise, you'd be hard pressed to name four wideouts who went after Reagor and are widely seen as better players.

Justin Jefferson at No. 22? Fine. Brandon Aiyuk at No. 25 is a pick 'em, as is Tee Higgins at No. 33, and most basically everyone would give Reagor the edge over guys like Laviska Shenault, K.J. Hamler, and Chase Claypool.

You can take the petty angle and remind Bayless, a noted Cowboys fan, which team is the reigning NFC East champion. (It's the Eagles.)

Or you can be Reagor, and simply tell Bayless that you heard what he thinks, and keep it moving:

Nice and subtle. Reagor is keeping a list, but he's unbothered. Perfect.

Something tells me this clip will be re-shared plenty when Reagor scores his first touchdown against the Cowboys.

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How Tom Brady says the Eagles helped create the 'Patriot Way' in New England

How Tom Brady says the Eagles helped create the 'Patriot Way' in New England

ESPN's decision to seize on the success of "The Last Dance" by teasing a similar documentary about Tom Brady has grabbed sports fans' attention, even if the doc doesn't come out until 2021.

And while reliving Brady's greatest accomplishments isn't an ideal way to spend several hours, the way the Eagles are intertwined with Brady's Patriots legacy certainly suggests there will be tons of insights for Philly fans in the final product.

Like, maybe, Brady saying he feels the fabled 'Patriot Way' began because of the Eagles.

Here's the doc's producer Gotham Chopra, talking to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, on the way Brady viewed his time in New England:

CHOPRA: There was something we recently did on that 2004 Super Bowl, where he talked about the culture of that team. All this stuff you hear about Patriot Way, and Do Your Job, stuff that Bill has created over the years, the philosophies, this is the year that really happened.

He’s like, ‘First year, kind of a miracle. The next Super Bowl, O.K., now we’re getting our feel. And that first Eagles Super Bowl, this is where the Patriot Way was born.’

Welp.

Odds are good the Patriots would've been great for the last 15 years no matter what, but it's sort of frustrating to know the Eagles losing to Brady helped, at least in Brady's mind, establish New England's brand of success.

Who knows: If Donovan McNabb & Co. managed to pull out the win, maybe we would've had a very different last 15 years.

One thing Eagles fans can get excited for, at least, is Brady's reaction to losing Super Bowl LII to the Eagles.

It's unclear how much behind-the-scenes stuff we'll see from the game - Chopra said Brady suddenly got cold feet about filming in Minneapolis that week - but It sounds like it really changed him as a person:

CHOPRA: What he told me about that Eagles loss, it was dealing with it as a father, dealing with it as a husband. He was a very different person than with the Giants losses, he had a different perspective that I think poised him for that game. I thought, ‘Wow, it’s really interesting how a guy who’s still at it is learning like that.’ Because he’s like [Michael] Jordan, he’s incomparable. There’s no one else who has that story, has that perspective.

It's so strange to think how, despite playing in a different conference, the Eagles have played a pretty significant role in shaping the way the world sees Brady and the Patriots.

For better, and for worse.

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