Eagles

Eagles' Andre Dillard already getting 1-on-1 instruction from Jason Peters

Eagles' Andre Dillard already getting 1-on-1 instruction from Jason Peters

When Jason Peters entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas back in the spring of 2004, Andre Dillard was still just an 8 1/2-year-old kid in Woodinville, Washington, who hadn’t even begun to play football yet. 

The two shared their first Eagles practice together this week. 

And every chance he’s had so far, Peters has been in Dillard’s ear, showing technique, breaking down movements and teaching the first-round pick everyone expects will eventually replace him. 

“It’s incredible,” Dillard said. “It’s a blessing.”

Dillard, 23, said the 37-year-old Peters has mostly been showing him technique things to improve upon. Peters watches all of Dillard’s reps when he’s not in so he can critique and help his much younger teammate get better. 

Because the Eagles are limiting Peters’ reps this spring (and likely this summer), Dillard fills in at left tackle with the first team when Peters is pulled. Not only will this rest Peters, but it will get Dillard ready to play this season if he’s needed. 

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said he encourages all his veteran players to “pour themselves” into younger players. He likes the idea that instruction isn’t just coming from coaches, but also from their peers. Sometimes that means a little more. But there, of course, is no requirement that veterans teach the guys who will one day replace them. In fact, there are plenty of veterans around the league who refuse, not wanting to help speed up their eventual demise. 

But Peters has played 15 years in the NFL. He’s been a Pro Bowler nine times and will one day have a bust in Canton. He knows his time in the NFL is waning and he isn’t worried about his standing. Over the last few years, he’s been incredibly generous with his time, willing to help young players on both sides of the ball who are willing to work hard. 

It’s only natural that Dillard is benefitting from it now. 

This is a good time from Dillard's standpoint to watch Jason operate and move and really get a great picture of what it's like to be a left tackle in this league,” Pederson said. “Then when we get into training camp and start playing games, Jason, again, will be there to help coach him and really be another set of eyes on the sideline for Stout (offensive line/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland) and Roy (assistant offensive line coach Roy Istvan) to really help Dillard's growth.

Back when he was drafted in April, Dillard said he spent a lot of time watching tape of great tackles in the NFL: Tyron Smith, Trent Williams, David Bakhiari and, of course, Peters. 

Now, the two are on the same team and both are working to make Dillard the next longtime left tackle for the Eagles. This will only add to Peters’ legacy. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles promote Alex Singleton from practice squad to 53-man roster

Eagles promote Alex Singleton from practice squad to 53-man roster

Alex Singleton decided to sign with the Eagles’ practice squad instead of returning to the CFL because he knew it would give him a better chance to achieve his main goal.

Playing in the NFL.

Singleton is one huge step closer to that goal.

Singleton, a two-time CFL All-Star, signed to the Eagles’ 53-man roster Wednesday evening, taking the roster spot left open when the team released starter Zach Brown.

After a terrific training camp and preseason, the 25-year-old Singleton was released as part of the Eagles’ final roster cut-down to 53 on Aug. 30.

He signed to the Eagles’ practice squad two days later, earning $8,000 per week. The promotion to the 53 increases his weekly salary to $29,264 per week.

Earlier in the day, head coach Doug Pederson was vague about why the team released Brown, but he did say it would allow the team to “get some young guys on the roster, give T.J. Edwards an opportunity, Duke Riley gets an opportunity. We’ll keep working those guys in.”

Brown is an undrafted rookie from Wisconsin. Riley came in the Johnathan Cyprien trade. Singleton has been with the team since signing a reserve/future contract on Jan. 8.

With Brown gone and Nigel Bradham looking like he will miss the Cowboys game with an ankle injury, the Eagles won’t have a linebacker older than 25 on the field Sunday night.

Singleton, Riley and Kamu Grugier-Hill are 25, Nate Gerry is 24 and Edwards is 23.

Singleton has never played in an NFL game. He spent time in camp with the Seahawks, Patriots and Vikings in 2015 before heading to Canada and playing for the Calgary Stampeders from 2016 through 2018. 

The Eagles filled Singleton’s spot on the practice squad by adding center Keegan Render, who was with the Eagles this offseason.

Render signed on May 9 and was released on Aug. 30. Render, 6-4, 305 pounds, is an undrafted rookie out of Iowa.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

After ‘shocker’ of a cut, Eagles LB group is a reminder of volatility in the NFL

After ‘shocker’ of a cut, Eagles LB group is a reminder of volatility in the NFL

At one point on Tuesday afternoon, Nigel Bradham limped past an empty locker stall where Zach Brown’s nameplate had already been replaced by a generic one that says “Philadelphia Eagles.” 

How’s that for a reminder of how quickly things can change in the NFL? 

“It’s a crazy league,” Kamu Grugier-Hill said. “You know how the business is. Guys come in and out, injuries happen. It’s our job to always be ready and answer the bell.”

Bradham is “day to day” with an ankle injury suffered against the Vikings, while Brown was released on Monday, just a day after he played 58 snaps. 

In one day, Brown went from being a starter to out of a job. 

A few of his now former teammates on Wednesday said that they were surprised by Brown’s release, but at the same time, understand the volatility of life in the NFL. 

“It’s a shocker,” said Nate Gerry, who became good friends with Brown. “But, like I said, s— happens.” 

Grugier-Hill said he found out about Brown like everyone else, when the news hit the internet. 

Sometimes, that’s just life in the NFL. 

“I think at all times, I have learned this is how the business works,” T.J. Edwards said. “You never know what’s going to happen and you have to be prepared at all times to fill a role or do whatever you have to do to show your worth.”

Like Jim Schwartz the day before, head coach Doug Pederson didn’t want to delve into the specifics of why the Eagles cut a starting linebacker six weeks into the season, but did agree with Schwartz that the Eagles need more production from their linebacker group. 

While Pederson said Brown’s comments about Kirk Cousins didn’t have anything to do with his release, Pederson was less clear when asked if the move was strictly based on on-field reasons. 

“Obviously we're based on performance,” Pederson said. “I'm not going to get into a lot of the whys as to why we did it, but we need more production there and so we made a change.”

Without Brown and possibly without Bradham this weekend, the Eagles’ linebacker group could have a much different look when it takes the field against the Cowboys on Sunday night. The good news is that Grugier-Hill says he’s starting to feel like himself after recovering from an MCL sprain in the summer. 

Grugier-Hill along with Gerry and rookie Edwards will likely get most of the playing time. Duke Riley is in the mix as well and Alex Singleton has been called up from the practice squad

But the Eagles could very well be in a situation this Sunday where the two linebackers who have played the most for them this season aren’t on the field. 

“It’s part of the business. People come, people go,” Gerry said. “The week’s gonna go on, no one’s gonna feel sorry for you. You’re just gonna have to pick up where you left off and you have to get better each week.” 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles