Eagles

A look at why Eagles had to bench Andre Dillard on Sunday

A look at why Eagles had to bench Andre Dillard on Sunday

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.

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Which Philly head coach are you?

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Which Philly head coach are you?

You love them, maybe you yell at them (often), maybe you're frustrated about their rotations or play-making abilities at times. 

Regardless, here in Philly, there are four recognizable, personality-driven head coaches in town, and we want to know who you're most like. 

Perhaps you prefer a martini on your off day or simply just love being a father, pick some answers to the quiz below and we'll tell you who you're most like. 

While you're thinking about head coaches, listen to a little bit about one name you may recognize in the newest Sports Uncovered podcast, right here.

Eagles' Doug Pederson scores a very important point against Bill Belichick

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USA Today Sports Images

Eagles' Doug Pederson scores a very important point against Bill Belichick

The NFL has a wide range of head coaching personalities, from the Eagles' light-hearted Doug Pederson to the Patriots uber-focused Bill Belichick. It's a big part of what makes each team unique. But even when Belichick breaks that facade, he has one downfall that Pederson lacks.

In the fifth episode of NBC Sports' "Sports Uncovered" podcast series, NBC Sports Boston takes a deep dive into Belichick's hidden, more fun-loving side. It turns out the legendary coach is actually a bit of a cut-up behind closed doors, whether it's ragging on Asante Samuel's coverage or throwing snowballs at players en route to the team bus. The whole episode is a ton of fun.

The episode also contains an anecdote from former Patriot Martellus Bennett, which uncovers a crucial, game-changing advantage Pederson has over Belichick.

Check it out:

When I first wrote my books, when I was with the Patriots, I was like, 'Yo Bill, how can I get my books in the Pro Shop?' 'Hell if I know, Martellus. Go talk to him over there.' I'm like, just tell me who I need to talk to! An earlier this year, I was making some ice cream, and I was like, 'Yo Bill, I'm about to drop this ice cream. Can we do something at the training camp?' He's like, 'S**t, I'm trying to get ready for a game and you're over here talking about some ice cream?'

Now! 

I will give Belichick a tiny amount of slack, because it's definitely not his job to coordinate the training camp refreshments. 

However!

Hearing that Belichick is strictly anti-ice cream chatter before a game makes perfect sense, because of one certain coach who goes out of his way to talk ice cream before games.

That's right: Doug Pederson, ice cream afficionado.

The Eagles released that video less than a week before the franchise won its first-ever Super Bowl, defeating Belichick and the Patriots in Super Bowl LII (41-33).

Forget all the reasons you thought Pederson and the Eagles won that game - aggressive playcalling; Nick Foles' hot streak; some cosmic forces finally aligning after a half-century - because we now know the real reason.

The coaches' respective approaches to ice cream discussions.

Problem solved.

The full episode releases Thursday, July 16. You can listen to this episode and the entire "Sports Uncovered" series by subscribing for free wherever you listen to podcasts.

To catch every episode, be sure to subscribe to "Sports Uncovered" and have every episode automatically downloaded to your phone. Sports Uncovered is available on the MyTeams app and on every major podcasting platform: Apple, Google Podcast, iHeart, Stitcher, Spotify, and TuneIn

Listen and subscribe to the "Sports Uncovered" podcast:

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