Eagles coach Doug Pederson raised some eyebrows prior to Wednesday’s practice by saying that it is not out of the question that Jordan Mailata could line up at running back; count Mailata among the raised-eyebrow crowd.
“He said that, huh?” said Mailata after practice, when told what his coach had said just hours earlier. “That sounds fun. I haven’t done anything. I’m just trying to get my head around left tackle. He said that?”
Yes, Pederson did.
At 6-8, 360 pounds, it certainly seems like something worth trying on, say, second-and-goal from inside the 5-yard line.
“He's definitely used to carrying a larger football,” said Pederson. “I don't know what they call it, that ball (in rugby). Very athletic guy. It's intriguing. I mean, it's not out of the question.”
Mailata said the larger rugby ball is easier to carry and hold. He admitted that sometimes before practice he will carry a football around just to get used to it. Maybe Pederson caught a glimpse of that and said, “Hmmm….”
Of course, Mailata never played a snap of football until this year, so there's also that to factor in. It could be disastrous if he was handed the ball inside the five then fumbled.
"Unless somebody hits me in my kneecaps, that’d be the only thing that would stop me," he said. "It would definitely be pretty cool, but it’s a lot to comprehend. You have to think about the angle and your role, but right now I’m just trying to focus on playing my role right now and that’s playing left tackle.”