Thrown into deep end, Jordan Mailata says: “I’m swimming”

Getty Images

The Eagles gave Jordan Mailata two years to wade into the shallow water, as he learned how to switch from rugby to football.

Last week, was thrown into the deep end, making his first start at left tackle in the NFL.

The Australian admits there were points in the process he wasn’t sure he was going to become comfortable in his new sport, but is beginning to get there now. Drafted in the seventh-round of the 2018 NFL Draft as a project, he understands it’s his time now.

“What year are you talking about? Year 1? Year 2? I had those times, you know, where I was like, ‘What am I doing?’ ” Mailata said, via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News. “I’ve always asked myself that, and then realized, ‘Yeah, this is what you wanted to do.’ I have this saying: Don’t dip your toe in the water; drown in it, and learn how to swim. I always go back to that saying and it pulls me out of that dark place. . . . I’m swimming.”

They need him to stay afloat now, with veteran left tackle Jason Peters on IR with a toe injury. And it gets more difficult this week against the Steelers than his debut against the banged-up 49ers, after which he said he didn’t just want to fill Peters’ shoes, he wanted to “make my own boots.”

“It’s just an identity thing for me,” Mailata said. “Being labeled as the guy who played rugby, even using that as an excuse for giving up a sack or having a missed assignment — I’d rather have a missed assignment because I don’t know the play, I don’t want to miss the assignment because I was a rugby player.

“Trying to be my own person in this sport, and not trying to rely on someone else’s past, or even my past.”

He has no choice now, as the Eagles are dealing with so many injuries up front they need to be able to trust him.

8 responses to “Thrown into deep end, Jordan Mailata says: “I’m swimming”

  1. I don’t think the young guys on the Eagles are as bad as they were made out to be, I just think the Eagles have no idea how to evaluate young players. Some of these guys just needed opportunity to show that they can play (JJAW being the exception) and get some reps.

    A couple of these young guys are going from busts to at least servicable backups just because they are getting an opportunity. The Eagles still have major issues but maybe they should stop treating the young guys as after thoughts..

    I hope Mailata continues to grow but without the line injuries he probably would’ve been let go after this year without ever showing that he can play in the NFL.

  2. I’m sick and tired of the Eagles constantly complaining about injuries. Missing 10-12 starters is nothing to complain about.

    Signed, the NFC East (lol)

  3. Excuses! Eagles one year dynasty. Once again demonstrates the genius of Bill Belichick & Bob Kraf & Nick Caserio/Scott Pioli. 20 plus years of NFL dominance.

  4. I want this big kid to grab hold of this job and not let it go for the next ten years.

    That would mean he can play.

  5. The fact that the eagles organization felt the need to bring Peters back, cave into his demands and stick with him after he repeatedly got embarrassed before going down with injury speaks to their ineptitude in player evaluation. They didn’t see Mailata’s progress and they didn’t see Peter’s inevitable shortcomings. It’s a failure that’s been masked over the years and isn’t just at LT. If they had the ability to see talent, Avery and Sweat would’ve gotten more snaps. Jeffrey would’ve never gotten a long term deal after one half way productive year, Jackson wouldn’t be here, LJ Fort would still be here and a Peters would’ve retired 3 years ago. Perhaps we’d even have DK Metcalf. The longer this plays out, the more I’m convinced Howie and Doug have to go.

  6. I love his attitude, and the line about wanting to be judged as a football player and not a rugby convert is exactly what Eagles fans should want to hear. It’s not going to be easy against the Steelers, but I’m pulling for him to show he belongs in the NFL.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.