PHILADELPHIA - Alabama football was making news on Thursday when Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher went scorched earth on Nick Saban's incendiary allegations that the Aggies essentially paid for their top-ranked recruiting class through untoward NIL deals.
That ugly, unintended consequence spawned from the gates opening for high-profile amateur athletes to cash in on their own brands was surprising to only the incredibly naive.
The most striking part when it came to the Fisher-Saban blood feud, however, is that Fisher was an ex-Saban assistant at LSU in the early 2000s.
Typically, Omertà applies with those trained by Saban and Eagles fans who've listened to former Saban players like Jalen Hurts, DeVonta Smith, and Landon Dickerson over the past year understand the "rat poison" isn't being spread from within.
The always-guarded Dickerson spoke at a media availability on Wednesday and wouldn't concede the LG spot is his, even though the ascending second-year player was defined as such by GM Howie Roseman.
"I mean, I wouldn't say that I'm entrenched," Dickerson told SI Fan Nation's Eagles Today when asked about his status as the starter. "There are a lot of good guys in that room. We're all competing against each other, trying to make each other better."
Caution flags be damned, and barring injuries, the Eagles left side will be Jordan Mailata and Dickerson with All Pro-level players entrenched at center (Jason Kelce) and right tackle (Lane Johnson).
The only question on what is one of the top offensive lines in the NFL is whether Isaac Seumalo can handle the shift to right guard after missing most of last season with a Lisfranc injury and hold off the younger and less expensive Jack Driscoll.
"We still have a lot of time until the first game, so you never know what's gonna happen with the lineup, who's gonna be playing, so I'm just trying to get better every day no matter where they put me," Dickerson said.
Mailata, of course, has the personality to match his 6-foot-8, 380-pound frame and went more in-depth about the relationship he and Dickerson have been developing.“We have a good bromance going on,” the always engaging Australian said last week.
“If it’s not eating, we’re golfing. If it’s not golfing, it’s bowling. If it’s not bowling … shoot … I don’t know what else. If anybody has any suggestions of what we should do, let me know.”
The more understated Dickerson described things in a much more clinical fashion.
“It helps having a personal relationship with all the guys on the team,” Dickerson said. “With that type of relationship, you want to hold people accountable for what they do on the field and you respect each other a little more. Play a little harder.”
Fair enough. Alabama guys generally don't like to talk about themselves so how about Jordan Davis, the No. 13 overall pick brought in to help the Eagles' defensive line?
Dickerson was the Crimson Tide's center in 2020 as Davis and the Georgia defense were ramping up into what turned into one of the generation's best en route to a national championship last year at the expense of the Crimson Tide.
“Obviously, he’s a very good player,” Dickerson said of Davis. “I look forward to practicing with him and seeing him grow as a player now that he’s in the league."
As a whole Dickerson did admit he was excited about the Eagles' high-profile additions on both sides of the football.
“I’m really excited about where this team is at,” Dickerson said. “The guys we brought in, the guys coming back, I think we have a really good group of guys that love football, want to compete and get better every day. We’ll keep working at it.”
And reporters will keep working on Dickerson but we're unlikely to get a ton out of the starting LG when he's at the podium.
The good news for the Eagles, though, is that Alabama guys like to do most of their talking on the field.
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen