We all saw how disastrous the Eagles’ performance against the blitz was last year. It was embarrassing.
And Jordan Mailata for one is glad the Eagles now have a coaching staff that should be better equipped to prepare for it.
“I hope so,” Mailata said. “I hope so because that was not fun. It was not fun. Not having any answers? Not having people to block? That’s not cool.” Mailata spoke from Las Vegas in an interview on John Clark’s most recent Takeoff podcast on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
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The Eagles’ issues vs. the blitz grew worse as the year went on and were so bad in the regular-season finale vs. the Giants and the wild-card loss to Tampa that the offense couldn’t even function. The Eagles scored 10 points vs. the Giants – who blitzed 20 times - and nine vs. the Bucs – who blitzed 25 times.
Week after week, the offense looked like it hadn't even prepared for the blitz. It got to the point where every blitz turned into Jalen Hurts either getting sacked or hit or running to his right and heaving the ball out of bounds.
“One, we look stupid,” Mailata said. “Two, you risk your quarterback getting hurt and hit, taken to the ground. … Why are we going to risk getting our quarterback hit and hurt? So anytime you can protect the QB that would be great. So Kellen? G’day, mate.”
Kellen is Kellen Moore, who replaced Brian Johnson, fired after his first season as offensive coordinator. Moore, the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator from 2019 through 2022, built a reputation as a coach who understands blitz concepts and protections in a way that can turn blitzing from a liability into an opportunity.
Which the Eagles desperately need.
Mailata’s response to the coaching change?
“It’s a great thing,” he said. “Change is good. Change is good. Change is good. Change is good. It just depends on how people respond. You know how I’m going to respond. Change is good.”
We still don’t know the extent of the turnover on the Eagles’ coaching staff, but all three coordinators - Brian Johnson, Sean Desai and Matt Patricia - are gone and several position coaches as well.
Mailata said he thinks Nick Sirianni giving Moore complete autonomy over the offense will be a positive in the wake of last year’s late-season collapse.
“It takes a lot of accountability to be able to give the reins to somebody,” he said. “I understand that what he did wasn’t good enough this year, what the players did wasn’t good enough. I’ll always take blame from a player’s standpoint because it is a 50-50 game. Coaches got to put the players in position and we didn’t do that enough. And when the coaches did, the players didn’t execute. So it’s a 50-50 blame.
“Maybe we did become very predictable, but this is all part of learning, this is all part of growing, and I’m excited to see where Kellen takes the offense next season. …
“I’ve been hearing about that Super Bowl hangover and all that jazz, but I think if you’re not consistent and you don’t have any urgency to be consistent you’re not going to be playing this week.
“And I think that’s where we lacked this year. We lacked consistency, we lacked urgency, and that’s the name of the game. “It’s that old cat-and-mouse game of coaches not putting us in positions, and when they did players not executing. That was the name of the game. That’s a recipe for disaster. And that’s what happened.”