Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland talked to reporters today and gave a lot of insight into the makeup of the OL, including his relationship with Jordan Mailata, how Andre Dillard is handling his new role, and why he thinks the world of Isaac Seumalo.
He mentioned several times about how guys go out of their way to help each other, especially to help the younger players, and Stoutland specifically called out Jason Peters as being a guy who really worked with most of the guys on today’s line.
Here’s what else the OL coach had to say:
On his relationship with Jordan Mailata
“I would say that the match between Jordan and I is probably really perfect, because I coached in college for 30 years before coming to the National Football League, and had an opportunity to develop a lot of young players. And, so, when you do that from the ground up, you understand what it takes to do develop a player. It’s not like — and this was a guy that needed that. He’s coming from — doesn’t know anything about the game of football, and we had to go back to those times and really develop him from that standpoint, and he’s still developing, and he’s doing a wonderful job of it.”
Stoutland recalled Mailata’s pre-draft workout, and despite having to cancel his golf trip to meet with him, he couldn’t believe that a big person like that could move and change direction so well. He was so happy they had the workout with the inexperienced player, because Stoutland left that workout feeling like the sky’s the limit for him. He wasn’t sure if he expected Mailata to be the type of player to earn the contract extension he recently did, but he did feel like he could be special.
He explained that when he and Howie Roseman and the team are evaluating talent, they try and figure out what’s special about each player and whether that’s something that gives them a little more potential than someone else, and Stoutland felt like Mailata was extraordinary following their pre-draft workout. The coach remembered that they also had some classroom meetings — since he didn’t have any experience — and he drew something on the board, erased it, and told Mailata he’d be back tomorrow to teach it back to the him. Mailata later told Stoutland that after they left the room, he snuck back in to try and see some of the eraser marks. When asked how Mailata did the next day, Stoutland joked that it showed him that he needed to come to Philly so he could be coached.
The OL coach emphasized that there’s still a lot of room for improvement by Mailata, but he’s done a really good job of trying to understand the technique and angles. Stoutland also pointed to the players around Mailata who have helped with his development, noting that guys like Lane Johnson will pull him off to the side to explain things that Stoutland is trying to get through, but from another point of view.
“He’s very likeable, he’s just a real likeable guy. He’s very serious about what he’s doing. And, I think there’s a mixture of a lot of good stuff.”
Stoutland later said that they are a great matchup because Mailata takes things serious, but he still has that kind of personality that loosens things up a bit, and the OL said that he needs that a bit.
On Landon Dickerson
Stoutland pointed out a lot of similarities between Dickerson and Mailata, noting that the rookie is very big and very strong. But, he’s also Type A like Jason Kelce, with Stoutland noting that because Dickerson is the center, he’s careful and willing to put in the time to be sure he does his job and put his teammates in position. He said Dickerson is like the conductor of the band, and he’s also a really talented player.
On Andre Dillard
Stoutland admitted that Dillard was doing well in camp but then he got injured and that kind of hurt his chances for the starting job. He emphasized that Dillard really was doing well and Stoutland was happy with a lot of things he was doing.
“I said, ‘Andre, when you’re not one of the five starters, you have to play multiple positions,’ and he’s been great with that. He’s been playing right tackle, left tackle — some guys have a much easier time going to the right side, so he’s been working on that right now, and that’s been going pretty good.”
On Isaac Seumalo
Stoutland was asked if he’s starting to see the whole offensive line move together and in sync, and he said that he is seeing that and a large amount of credit goes to Isaac Seumalo for that. He mentioned that sometimes he’ll run into the meeting room to pick up something, and he always see Seumalo and Mailata going through film and Seumalo walking through every little detail.
“Our players know. The players in our room know the value that Isaac Seumalo brings to this organization. I’ve said this for a long time. The guys played every position on the offensive line, including tight end, he knows every position, he knows any pressure that anybody ever runs that we present in our meetings. He’s brilliant. He’s brilliant, he’s quick, he’s extremely explosive, he’s detailed — I mean, I can’t say enough about Isaac, I think the world of him.”