Brandon Graham is a Super Bowl hero, as his strip sack on Tom Brady back in February 2018 will live on forever in Eagles fans' memories. With that kind of resume, you'd think he doesn't need any ammo to get ready for the most important defensive series of a game, but an unlikely player gave him just that during the team's win over the Giants: starting left tackle Jordan Mailata.
Speaking with reporters after his game-winning strip sack on New York's Daniel Jones, Graham told about Maliata's motivational words for him before that final defensive stop.
"You know what? Jordan Mailata ... had said something to me that sparked me. He said, 'Act like Emerson is watching.' My baby girl. She would be excited for me. 'And give her something to be proud of,'" Graham said. "So it was just cool that I made that play, but he said that to me before I went out there."
Mailata has been playing the sport for less than three years and has started just four football games in his entire life. Graham has started 99 in his pro career alone including playoffs. Graham is a leading veteran, a beacon of consistency in an Eagles season that has been anything but consistent. Mailata appears to be a diamond in the rough export from Australia whose encouraging play in 2020 at just 23 years old who is holding together a withering offensive line.
That speaks volumes about how quickly Mailata has progressed this year.
He's gone from a guy who wasn't a sure bet to make the final roster at the start of the offseason to looking like the left tackle of the future in just a month, Mailata is backing up his play and becoming a vocal leader not just on an offensive line that's almost as inexperienced as him, but for the team overall, a welcomed sign for an Eagles team that is devoid of young talent.
Mailata is displaying the true makings of the franchise's left tackle of the future.
Emerson should certainly be proud of her father. Eagles fans should be proud of Mailata.