After starting the last four games next to rookie offensive guard Landon Dickerson, Eagles’ left tackle finally came up with the perfect way to describe him.
He’s like a “very athletic fridge,” Mailata said.
A very athletic fridge.
How does Dickerson feel about that description?
“It feels alright. If I’m a fridge, he’s a walk-in freezer,” he said. “A fridge and freezer combo, can’t go wrong with that.”
Over the last month, the Eagles have finally found some stability on their offensive line and their two biggest players have shored up the left side of that line. And, heck, Mailata and Dickerson could end up being the left side of the future for the Eagles.
We can call it the large appliance section.
“We got some big boys on the line now,” right tackle Lane Johnson said. “You look at the left side and Landon and Jordan, those guys getting healthy. Man, just some big humans moving some people.”
There’s no denying that their new left tackle and left guard are enormous humans.
Dickerson is listed at 6-foot-6, 333 pounds. Mailata is listed at 6-8, 365 pounds. They’re the two biggest starters on the team right now. And together, that’s around 700 pounds on the left side of the Eagles line.
Mailata said Dickerson is “country strong” and Dickerson has been equally impressed by Mailata.
“He’s a big dude, he’s athletic, nimble on his feet,” Dickerson said. “It’s great to play beside him, great to play beside all these guys. We’re all great athletes, great football players and everybody’s got their own unique things that make them who they are.”
During training camp, Mailata won the starting job away from Andre Dillard and then the Eagles signed him to a big contract extension. So we know he’s the left tackle of the future. But Dickerson’s long-term position is a little murkier.
Dickerson got playing time at right guard earlier this season when Brandon Brooks suffered a pec injury but moved to left guard when Isaac Seumalo suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury. After rough start to his rookie season, Dickerson has really settled in at left guard.
And it makes you think … if Jason Kelce doesn’t return next year, maybe the Eagles would be better off moving Seumalo to center and keeping Dickerson and Mailata alone on the left side of the line.
Mailata and Dickerson have become fast friends despite their vastly different backgrounds. Dickerson has been playing football for most of his life and went to the top college program in the country. Mailata didn’t begin playing until relatively recently and never go to play at any other level.
Dickerson knew of Mailata’s story before he arrived in Philly but didn’t know much else about him.
“It’s really impressive because a lot of us, I can’t speak for everybody, I know I’ve been doing this 18 years, playing football,” Dickerson said. “Been doing it since I was about 4 years old. The fact that he really hasn’t had the high school, college, the lifetime experience of playing, it’s amazing to see what he’s been able to do, how fast he learns, how fast he can fix things and adjust to this game.”
They got here in very different ways, but Mailata and Dickerson have meshed well on the left side of the line. And they might be there for a while.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast: