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Training Camp Thoughts Day 6: Jordan Mailata Takes Control at LT

The Eagles left tackle competition has been one-sided so far

PHILADELPHIA - The last holdout called it Tuesday at the Eagles' first padded practice of training camp when Jordan Mailata lapped the pedigreed Andre Dillard to presumably seize control of the team's left tackle competition.

I can say that because I was the last man standing when it came to Dillard, at least among the Eagles' beat writers, many who called the race in previous days.

There will be no decree from Nick Sirianni or Jeff Stoutland anytime soon but Mailata, a 2018 seventh-round draft choice, continues to outperform Dillard, the Eagles' 2019 first-round pick, on a daily basis.

The players have rotated days with the first team with Dillard getting the first opportunity. By the time the pads came on it was Day 6 and that fell on  Mailata's day.

The 6-foot-8 emerging Aussie star held his own against Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Even better than his own on one particular play when he pancaked Graham on a running play.

"He’s a lot more anchored than he was in the beginning," said Graham of Mailata. "I think it was just learning the technique. He was more raw in the beginning. Now he’s more polished.

"He knows what Stout (O-line coach Jeff Stoutland) is coaching and how he’s coaching it. I think that experience of just going through it. It’s all in his mind now … I think he’s playing faster because he knows what to do."

Dillard, meanwhile, was put on skates and into Joe Flacco's lap on one occasion by camp star Josh Sweat.

There are still three preseason games for Dillard to go to convince the actual last meaningful holdout - GM Howie Roseman - but this looks like a blowout so far.

To make matters worse for Dillard, trainers were checking his injured hand late in the session.

MORE FROM CAMP: Jalen Reagor: "That Was Like a Little Brother to Me"

MC-PBU

Eagles rookie cornerback Zach McPhearson had a great day in coverage, coming three different pass breakups and two that the fourth-round pick thought would have been pick-sixes if the plays were finished.

McPhearson's sticky coverage and ability to get his hands on the football has been a bit of a constant through the first week of camp. On one occasion, his PBU on receiver Andre Patton got defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon fired up.

The CB position as a whole, thought to be a weakness in the spring, looks quite a bit better thanks to the signing of Steve Nelson, the quick development of McPhearson, and the continued improvement from Craig James.

ON SECOND THOUGHT

The offense has been a little bit better recently and many reporters thought Monday's session was the first of the summer that tilted to that side of the ball.

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However, Nick Sirianni said that wasn't the case before Tuesday's practice, noting that the defense eeked out a win on his competition scale.

"You guys are going to hold me on that one," Sirianni laughed when asked who won the previous practice. "Defense won that one yesterday. I think it was like 27-24. It's tough now because it's not -- we're not tackling, right, and so some tap-offs are tackles sometimes and sometimes they aren't, and so we've just got to make those hard decisions sometimes."

HARDEST HITTERS

There were no live tackling periods but that didn't stop some of the defensive backs from getting a little physical. The biggest hits came from safeties Elijah Riley and Anthony Harris. The former was a nice little how do you do to undrafted rookie receiver Jhamon Ausbon, who had hauled in a pass down the left sideline. The latter was in team drills when Harris announced his presence to Travis Fulgham.

From an offensive perspective, the most physical play was Mailata pancaking Brandon Graham and the most exciting was the speedy Jason Huntley breaking a run off the right side and racing to the end zone for a long TD.

TAYLOR LEAVES

Davion Taylor was listed as limited to start the day but didn't get through individual work before leaving for the medical tend while trying to get what seemed like his left quad calmed down. After a few minutes, the second-year linebacker walked into the NovaCare Complex handing his gloves to a Cheltenham High School football player on the way, a clear indication he wasn't returning.

The speedy Taylor had been receiving plenty of first-team reps in the opening days of camp and seemed to be on his way to pushing for a starting job especially with Alex Singleton being shut down on the Reserve/COVID-19 list early.

Ryan Kerrigan, who left practice Monday after injuring his right thumb, had a wrap around it and did some stretching and light individual work. Kerrigan is listed as day-to-day.

DeVonta Smith, reportedly out two to three weeks with a sprained MCL, also was out before practice working with the JUGS gun and stretching a bit.

REP THIS

With Smith out, Travis Fulgham and Jalen Reagor got the first-team work outside with Greg Ward working in the slot. There was more 12 personnel than usual and Zach Ertz got plenty of first-team work. As for 21 looks, it was mostly Kenny Gainwell and Jason Huntley mixing in with Miles Sanders or working with each other.

On defense, Jonathan Gannon unveiled the overload stand-up blitzer role using both Genard Avery and Joe Ostman at LB on occasion. That could be a Kerrigan role down the line.

PRACTICE GAME BALL

Thought about rewarding Mailata or giving Huntley some love on the offensive side but three PBUs and two near interceptions for McPhearson carries the day.

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven 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 both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.