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Pederson talks Jordan Mailata at running back

Eliot Shorr-Parks
November 07, 2018 - 10:58 am

The question has been asked time-and-time again by Eagles' fans -- would the team ever put offensive tackle Jordan Mailata at running back?

On Wednesday, head coach Doug Pederson answered that question.

"He is definitely used to carrying a larger football. Very athletic guy. It is intriguing," Pederson said. "It is not out of the question.”

Although Mailata has experience carrying a ball while running from his days playing Rugby, Mailata said earlier this season that the size of the ball would be an issue if he was asked to carry it in an NFL game. 

“A rugby ball is bigger. It is actually easier to tuck it is, because you don’t need to flex your hand that much,” Mailata said. “You have the five points of contact with the football, and it would probably be the same with a Rugby ball, but it is much easier. It just sits like a baby in your arms. It is much easier to hold.”

Although Mailata wouldn’t exactly be running sweeps to the sideline, he believed the issue of ball security running up the middle would be an issue. 

“In football, defenses learn to hit the ball out. In Rugby, it isn’t really the same case,” Mailata said. “There are players that specialize in (knocking the ball out), but it isn’t as deliberate. In the NFL, guys come in and try to smack the ball out. That is where it is dangerous, because it is much smaller.”

Mailata has been extremely impressive since joining the Eagles as a seventh-round pick, going from having never played a snap of football to making the Eagles’ 53-man roster. He has not dressed for a game this season, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he competed for a starting job in 2019. 

Still, the question had to be asked — does he believe he would be able to run for a yard in an NFL game?

“I don’t know. I guess I’d have to be safe and tuck it,” Mailata said with a smile. “I’m just trying to learn left tackle.”

Based off of Pederson's answer, however, it might not be too long until Mailata is asked to learn another position as well. 

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