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Eagles’ Jordan Mailata embraces opportunity, faces top NFL pass rusher Myles Garrett


BEREA, Ohio — Jordan Mailata begged for yet one more rep.

After the Eagles left tackle was beaten by All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett in a one-on-one pass-rush drill during Friday’s joint practice with the Browns, Mailata wanted a rematch.

Garrett didn’t hesitate, and he granted Mailata his wish.

“Myles is a helluva player,” Mailata said. “I appreciate him attempting to get me higher each day.”

The second time around, Mailata stood his ground against probably the greatest pass rushers within the NFL.

After the snap, Garrett executed a swim move and he seemed to be on pace to a different victory, but Mailata quickly shifted his feet and used his large hands to halt Garrett’s initial momentum. Garrett kept his motor running and attempted to evade Mailata by getting lower to the bottom to the purpose where he was nearly parallel to the sphere. But Mailata remained firm and secured the victory.

Moments after the drill, Mailata and Garrett whipped off their helmets and the 2 players shook hands in a show of respect for one another. The duo held a temporary conversation before rejoining their respective teammates. On the conclusion of practice, Mailata sought out Garrett, and the players had a lengthier conversation, with Mailata in search of advice and pointers.

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“The loss, I’m going to take that and learn from it so it doesn’t occur again,” Mailata said. “I do know the standard player he’s. For me, he’s one other hurdle I even have to hop over. Eventually, we’ve got to face one another. He’s an amazing player.”

At 6-foot-8 and 365 kilos, Mailata has developed as one of the crucial promising offensive linemen within the league. He was chosen within the seventh round of the 2018 NFL draft after the Eagles saw the potential in the previous Australian rugby player who had never played American football. Leading as much as that draft, Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland hosted Mailata for a non-public workout, and he became infatuated with the Australia native. Mailata was deemed a long-term project on the time, when he said he knew “as little as peanuts” about football.

During the last 4 years, Mailata clung onto Stoutland’s coaching and he relied on the leadership of veteran teammates equivalent to Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Lane Johnson. Mailata’s ascension has been remarkable. In the future before the 2021 season opener against the Atlanta Falcons, Mailata signed a four-year extension price as much as $80 million, with $40.85 million in guaranteed salary. The Eagles granted Mailata that contract with hopes that he’ll serve because the blindside protector of quarterback Jalen Hurts for quite a while.

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“He’s the guy who is available in each day and takes the coaching,” Hurts said of Mailata. “He’s been raw early on, but having Lane in his back pocket and Coach [Stoutland] has been very useful for him. He just continues to recover and higher and higher.”

Much like the response of many other teammates, linebacker Haason Reddick was shocked when he learned that Mailata only began playing football a couple of years ago.

“He just continues to progress,” Reddick said. “To see how far he’s come, I can only imagine the way it was when he was first playing, especially on the NFL level. But to see him now as he continues to get more experience, he’s going to proceed to recover.

“We’re already talking about how good he’s — we’ll be talking about him being probably the greatest, if not the most effective.”

Inquirer Eagles beat reporters EJ Smith and Josh Tolentino preview the team’s second preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at 11:30 a.m. Sunday and recap the 2 joint practices leading into the sport. Watch at Inquirer.com/EaglesGameday

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