It can’t just a cool concept anymore, it’s something that MUST happen. There is a clear gap in this team, and a dire need for it to be filled. What am I talking about?
Jordan Mailata NEEDS to be utilized as a power running option.
As we are all well aware of, the Eagles have had running-back troubles this entire year. However, it has never been more apparent than it became on Sunday Night against the Cowboys. The entire running-back-committee of Josh Adams, Corey Clement, and Wendell Smallwood COMBINED for 14 rushes, and a “grand” total of 64 yards.
One extremely important play where the running game completely failed came early in the 2nd quarter. The Eagles were moving down the field and had the ball on the Cowboys 20 yard line. It was 4th & 1, and Doug Pederson decided to roll the dice and go for it instead of taking the points from a field goal. The Eagles failed to gain the yard and consequently turned the ball over on downs. All momentum from the drive completely escaped Lincoln Financial Field.
It’s a shame the Eagles don’t have a power-back option that could push through the line and gain tough yards..
Oh wait, THEY DO. His name is Jordan Mailata and he is a 6”8, 355lb BEAST that is more than capable of getting this job done.
Not only would he be extremely effective in short yardage situations such as the one above, he would also be a goal-line scoring machine and provide a clear intimidation factor to opposing defenses. No matter how you cut it, a 230lb linebacker and especially 195-210lb defensive backs are going to hesitate at least a little bit before choosing to run into a brick wall like Mailata. All he would need to succeed is for the offensive line to even get a little bit of a push off the snap, that’s IT.
You may argue, “Defenses will obviously catch on to the fact that when he comes onto the field, they’re going to try to run it up the gut,” this is not true. All the Eagles would have to do is bluff sometimes, or maybe even run a two-back set with a running back behind him and Mailata becoming an extra blocker leading the way for him. Any competent coaching staff would be able to manage this situation correctly.
Mailata was an absolute star in the world of Rugby and quickly made a name for himself by destroying the competition and providing endless highlights of him running right through those who were brave enough to try and take him down. He also has clear ball-security experience from the Rugby world as they constantly try to rip the ball out of the arms of each other as well. When you think about it, it may even be harder to strip the ball in American Football than Rugby because of the smaller ball and the benefit of sticky gloves. Here are some Mailata rugby highlights for your viewing pleasure-
It is also worth mentioning that he has been doing VERY WELL in his development as a OT. He was quite effective in the pre-season, despite only learning to play football 5 months before. He even received praise from some of the NFL media’s biggest names; including Brian Baldinger and Ross Tucker. Why not activate/use him every game as a power-back option, while also having a backup tackle ready to go if needed? I don’t understand.