Last week, Andre Dillard compared switching from the left side of the line to the right to writing an essay with your non-dominant hand.
After actually playing right tackle on Sunday, Dillard was asked if he still thought that was an apt comparison.
“It’s probably harder than that, honestly,” he said.
It certainly looked like it. Dillard lasted just one half against the Seahawks in the Eagles’ 17-9 loss and spent a lot of that time in Carson Wentz’s lap.
On one hand, I can’t blame the Eagles for trying Dillard at right tackle. When Lane Johnson went down the previous week, Halapoulivaati Vaitai really struggled, so they tried to change it up and go with the more talented player. But I wonder if there were signs during practice the week leading up to the game that this would happen. It probably didn’t help that Brandon Brooks lasted just a handful of plays next to Dillard.
"I learned that it’s difficult to play other spots on there," Dillard said. "It’s hard to kind of understand how that is if you’ve never played offensive line. I learned a lot. This whole year has been a great learning experience for me. I’m grateful to be in a spot where I can get out there and play and get my feet wet."
I asked Dillard on Tuesday if, after watching the tape, he understood why he was benched.
“Sure,“ he said. “Whatever is best for the team, gonna do that. I’m not going to trip over that.”
When asked about a tweet from former left tackle and 97.5 The Fanatic host Tra Thomas that said Dillard was tipping run or pass, Dillard said he’ll probably talk to Thomas about it.
Even aside from that, I definitely saw pretty easily why the Eagles made the switch at halftime. Here are a few plays that stood out:
This was the second-to-last play of the half and if there was any question in Doug Pederson’s mind about making a halftime switch, this likely locked it up. Rasheem Green just put Dillard on roller skates.
Dillard was in Wentz’s lap far too often on Sunday. His overall strength is something I questioned earlier in the year in his first real game action. It showed up even more on the other side, where he had to think about his footwork and technique.
Green gave Dillard fits for the entire first half. There were these plays too:
Wentz delivered a strike for a complete pass on this throw but he did it while making contact with his right tackle.
At least this time, Dillard recovered a little bit. There was some other pressure, obviously, on this play too.
Dillard was really lucky this play didn’t count because of a defensive hold in the secondary. Because he was absolutely worked by Ziggy Ansah. It looks like an end-tackle stunt that is supposed to spring the defensive tackle, but the Seahawks didn’t even need it. Ansah just goes right through Dillard.
Most of what beat Dillard on Sunday was power, but he was beaten by speed on the opening drive. Shaquem Griffin just blows by him here and Dillard barely touches him.
I did want to point out this play because it looked awful live, but it wasn’t what it appeared. While Dillard’s man gets the sack/forced fumble, Dillard gets tripped by JJ Arcega-Whiteside in motion. This is just horrible football.
Even though it was a rough performance, it wasn’t all bad for Dillard on Sunday and I still think he’s the left tackle of the future. He was actually OK in the run game, but spent a lot of the first half in Wentz’s lap. It wasn’t hard to figure out why he got benched against the Seahawks.
“It’s a new day,” Dillard said on Tuesday. “It’s easy to move on from it, learn from it and keep going.”
Hitting the road this week, or wasting away on the couch in a food coma? The perfect time to binge your favorite NBC Sports Philadelphia podcast! Click here for more.