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May 20, 2020

Eytan Shander: If Eagles can't get Andre Dillard right, how can we trust them on Jalen Hurts?

Opinion Eagles
176_11032019_EaglesvsBears_Andre_Dillard_KateFrese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Andre Dillard gets some coaching during as the Philadelphia take on the Chicago Bears.

Do what I say not what I do. 

It seems to be the new norm at times with our professional football team, especially with this year’s draft. In the same offseason where the Eagles asked us to trust them with their Jalen Hurts pick, we see continued confusion about another “recent” draft pick, Andre Dillard. 

Doug Pederson spoke Tuesday and had some strong words of confidence about the former first round pick. But once again, Jason Peters came up, and once again the Eagles refused to shut the door. If they bring Jason Peters back, the Eagles cannot continue to ask us to trust them in the draft. How can they, when they don’t even trust themselves?

It might not add up on the surface with what Pederson said. 

"We have a ton of confidence — I have a ton of confidence — in Andre Dillard playing that left tackle spot," he told media members Tuesday. “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 talks about, teaches, preaches about and what we are as an offense."

Ok! Suit him up and let’s go! Right?

Not so fast. Why are we again dealing with this weird dynamic of the team not officially saying goodbye to Jason Peters? It’s like some weird dating analogy. The Eagles courted Dillard while still dating Peters, once they broke up with Peters this off-season, the team told Dillard they really only love him. But Dillard keeps seeing texts come in late at night on the Eagles phone, knowing it’s still their ex-tackle. Even in the press conference there wasn’t enough from Doug to say NO to Jason.

Pederson hinted at Dillard stepping in and taking over – as Peters is still an unsigned FA – but that only came after heaping more praise on Peters. It’s one thing to mention this at the end of the season, or as Peters became a FA. But to keep going back to him, even in reference, seems like they simply can’t quit him. But they better find a way, for two huge reasons.

The first is rather obvious: If this Dillard kid can’t play or doesn’t have the time to get better, it’s a bust of a pick. He showed improvements last year, but even his own teammate (Jason Kelce) and his head coach admitted Dillard needs to be stronger this year. If that’s their biggest concern, so be it. But if it’s big enough to warrant bringing back Peters, then it’s a failure all around.

The second issue is trust. They are asking us to TRUST them on the Jalen Hurts pick, something that continues to need explanations and won’t really be settled until we see action on the field. But this all factors into the same cake, just a different ingredient. You simply cannot take a major risk in the draft, by taking Hurts where you did, and turn around and totally botch another risk you took a year earlier. By messing up the Dillard pick, the team has ruined credibility in asking us to trust them moving forward. Only when someone new is in the position to ask for our trust will that truly go away.

Speaking of going away, that’s what happens if you don’t sign Peters. This all goes away and we look at the product on the field this year. Sign Peters? Then don’t ask us to trust you or hear you out when you make another risky move in the draft. There’s a lot more riding on this than simply answering the question if Dillard can play. For Howie, Doug, and the rest of the draft personnel, it’s their credibility that’s on trial.

Coping with the COVID-19 Virus from Wuhan

I want to keep this as open of a forum as possible. Please send any questions you have to my DM on Twitter.

Dr. Aryeh Shander MD, FCCM, FCCP, FASA

Director of TeamHealth Research Institute; Emeritus Chief Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, Englewood Health; Courtesy Clinical Professor, UF College of Medicine; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York; Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

Pop Culture Pick of the Week: The Match 2020

With the return of live sports comes a highly anticipated PGA event featuring two of the most recognizable faces in sports, and two other guys named Woods and Mickelson. There is actually some great value in betting this event, another thing that returns as more sports become live again. William Hill casino has the Tiger Woods/Peyton Manning team at -200 to win the 18-hole match at Medalist, whereas Phil Mickelson/Tom Brady are at +175. 

We know the first nine holes will only count the better ball of each group, essentially making it Tiger vs. Phil. Then the alternate shot kicks in on the back 9. The value comes in taking Tiger/Manning to lead after nine at -150, but the REAL value lies in someone melting down in the back nine.

There is a prop “one group wins three holes in a row” that is a heavy -650 on NO but sits at a juicy +475 for YES. That’s the bet. The difference between the PGA pros and the HOF quarterbacks will be quite evident when the teams need to alternate shots. 

A simple Woods vs. Phil match would be much more difficult to achieve this, but all we need is one – or more – bad shot by either QB. Woods/Manning win a hole, then on the next hole it’s a bad shot by Brady which puts Phil in a ridiculous position. They bogey out, but still lose. The next hole sees Phil put Brady in a perfect position to knock down a 15-foot putt, which of course he just misses, causing them to lose their third straight hole.

Here’s the real missed opportunity. I don’t want to see two guys in Brady and Manning – who already get whatever they want as super pampered celebrities – yuck it up with Tiger and Phil. Living vicariously through the two QBs is boring because they are boring. Throw two golfers who routinely shoot 110 out there to be paired with the pros. Watching Tiger’s reaction after his partner misses a 3-foot putt, or shanks his drive 100 yards into the woods, is the entertainment I want to see. Hearing Phil yell out, “Oh come on!” after his partner skulls another one of his approach shots would be way better than anything we will see on Sunday. Welcome back, PGA.

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