Long before Jordan Mailata got a chance to play next to Landon Dickerson, he knew they would get along.
And he was right.
“You all know Landon’s personality,” Mailata said. “I knew straight away from that overall stunt he pulled in the preseason it was going to be a long year with him.”
If you remember, Dickerson showed up to the Patriots preseason game wearing overalls without a shirt. That was before he was even cleared to practice with the team while he recovered from a torn ACL from his final college season.
And that was months before he and Mailata teamed up on the left side of the line.
Over their nine starts together more recently, Mailata and Dickerson have formed an enormous duo with an equally big ceiling. In the second half of this season, we’ve been seeing the Eagles’ left side of the future.
That future looks bright.
“It’s blossomed,” Mailata said of his relationship with Dickerson. “I’ll keep the plant analogies. It’s blossomed, mate. When you play next to somebody new, you kind of have to figure out just being on the same level. For us, I think it just kind of came natural, the type of personalities we have.”
In some ways, Mailata and Dickerson are very different.
Mailata grew up in Sydney, Australia, playing rugby and didn’t begin his football until he came to the United States in 2018, the same year the Eagles took a chance on him with a seventh-round pick.
Dickerson, meanwhile, grew up in the States playing football. While Mailata obviously didn’t play football in college, Dickerson went to two of the best football schools in the country, first Florida State and then Alabama.
But for all their differences, their similarities stand out too. Dickerson is still just 23 and Mailata is still just 24. And their natural size and strength are overwhelming. Dickerson is listed at 6-foot-6, 333 pounds, while Mailata is listed at 6-8, 365.
“I think we enjoy football, we enjoy every second of this game, every aspect of this game,” Dickerson said recently in an Eagles-produced 1-on-1 video. “We really enjoy running the ball, especially when we can get some double teams together.”
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Ah yes, the combo blocks.
Just imagine 700 pounds of football player coming at you in a game.
“I think just the pure strength that we both have when we’re able to connect on the mate blocks,” Mailata said. “It’s evident that we’re really powerful individually so when you get two guys who are equally powerful and strong to execute a mate block, it’s just so much fun when you get to move somebody against his will.”
While Isaac Seumalo was the Eagles’ starting left guard before he went down with a Lisfranc injury this season, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles ever moving Dickerson. Especially not after seeing just how dominant he and Mailata can be together.
A few weeks ago, Mailata was buckled up for the Giants game on MetLife Stadium and we found out Dickerson has a job with the Eagles aside from playing left guard.
Dickerson’s new responsibility is to help Mailata buckle his helmet.
“I think it was when he started wearing the elbow brace,” Dickerson said. “Can’t bend his arm all the way to reach up to his helmet. So naturally I’m the closest guy to him.”
That might not change for the next decade.