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May 19, 2020

Eagles still talking to Jason Peters; also have 'a ton of confidence' in Andre Dillard

Eagles NFL
022920JasonPeters Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Andre and JP.

On Tuesday, Doug Pederson confirmed that the Philadelphia Eagles have been staying in touch with Jason Peters. Yet, they also have "a ton of confidence" in Andre Dillard. 🙄

"With Jason Peters, we've always said that we would stay in touch with him during the offseason, and we have," Pederson said. "Jason Peters is a tremendous -- not only football player -- but 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. I have a lot of respect for his game and what he has accomplished in his career."

Of course, as you're all aware, the Eagles traded up in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft to select Dillard to be Peters' successor. So what about him?

"But as we move forward, Andre Dillard was the player that we drafted to be that left tackle for us," Pederson said. "Andre played last year, and that kind of propels him into this offseason where he has 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.

"This is why we drafted Andre Dillard. You look at his skill set and what he brings to our offense, what he brings to the Philadelphia Eagles, it fits right in line with everything that Coach Stoutland talks about, teaches, preaches about, and what we are as an offense.

"He understands that, yeah, strength is a big part of playing offensive line, but that's something that can be worked on in the offseason, and that's what he's doing right now. But moving forward, I have a ton of confidence in Andre, and look forward to getting him back, and getting him into a huddle, on the grass. Our quarterback has a ton of confidence in him, and that's how we're proceeding moving forward."

The last sentence there is interesting. As reporters, in our Zoom meetings with the Eagles, you don't have the ability to jump right in to get clarity on an answer with a follow-up. You just sit there and wait until called on to ask your question. And since nobody asked what the phrase "And that's how we're proceeding moving forward" meant, well, um, 🤷

So that all sounds positive for Dillard. Except that:

  1. Pederson said Dillard played last season, but he didn't say that he played well.
  2. Pederson brought up Dillard's strength deficiencies, unprompted.
  3. They're still, you know, talking to Peters. If there were truly unanimous confidence in Dillard, the Eagles would have already had their big "We love you Jason Peters" social media send-off and wouldn't be keeping in touch with him about a possible return.

In other words, Peters could still be back, or not, and the Eagles probably remain unsold on Dillard. So nothing has changed. So I guess this isn't really an update. Sorry.


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