Let’s back get it back to the Eagles.
On today’s conference call, Doug Pederson was asked about the left tackle situation and the various rumors surrounding free agent Jason Peters, who spent the last 11 seasons in Philadelphia.
The Birds drafted his replacement last year, using the 22nd overall pick on Andre Dillard, who played 337 snaps as a rookie, some at right tackle, amounting to about 29% of the available offensive time on the field. It was widely expected that he’d step in as the starting left tackle this season, with Peters signing elsewhere.
That hasn’t happened yet, the Peters signing elsewhere part, and Doug talked about the situation:
With Jason Peters, we’ve always said that we would stay in touch with him during the off-season and we have. Jason Peters is a tremendous, not only football player, but he is a tremendous Philadelphia Eagle and I have a lot of respect for a guy like Jason Peters to play that left tackle position for so many years at a high level and so I have a lot of respect for his game and what he has accomplished in his career.
But as we move forward, Andre Dillard was the player that we drafted to be that left tackle for us. Andre played last year, and I think that kind of propels him into this off-season where he’s taken command of that role, and we have a ton of confidence, I have a ton of confidence in Andre Dillard and playing the left tackle spot. The one thing I think that – when you look at it- this is why we drafted Andre Dillard. You look at his skill-set and what he brings to our offense and what he brings to the Philadelphia Eagles, it fits right in line with everything that Coach Stout (Jeff Stoutland) talks about, teaches, preaches about, and what we are as an offense. We know that he – and he understands that, yeah, strength is a big part of playing offensive line, but that’s something that can be worked on in the off-season and that’s what he’s doing right now. But moving forward, I have a ton of confidence in Andre and I look forward to getting him back, and getting him in the huddle, on the grass, our quarterback has a ton of confidence in him and that’s how we’re proceeding moving forward.
Anything revealing in that answer?
My gut tells me that they’re gonna see what Dillard looks like in camp, whenever we get there. If they don’t think he’s ready, Peters might still be available to come back on a final one-year deal.
It wouldn’t be the worst scenario in the world, though you’d probably be concerned if a first round draft pick wasn’t ready to take over in year number two. Dillard would still get playing time though, since Peters hasn’t been able to play a full complement of snaps since 2016.