Former Washington State Cougars left tackle Andre Dillard was drafted in the first round to be an eventual replacement for entrenched starter Jason Peters, and it appears he’s going to get his first shot at doing so this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys.
Peters injured his knee last weekend against the Minnesota Vikings, which thrust Dillard into the lineup for 47 snaps. Peters is officially “week to week,” but all signs point to this being a week where Peters isn’t able to suit up.
Dillard’s performance was a little up and down, but it seems that most of the not great plays happened early, and that he settled in nicely as the game wore on.
“He had some good plays. He had some bad plays, quite honestly,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “He’s going against a great defensive end. (Everson) Griffen is a tremendous D-end and I have a lot of respect for him and his game, and there were times where Andre looked really good and then there were times when he got a little off balance.
“We have to do some technique work with him still some more. Just a young player in that atmosphere, but I thought overall, he did some really good things.”
“I think about what Big V (Halapoulivaati Vaitai) did in his first start (in 2016). It wasn’t perfect,” he said. “And I think about what Andre did last week in Minneapolis and it wasn’t perfect. He’ll learn from it, get better. Tremendous athlete ... smart. Got a lot of confidence in Andre and the guys around him.
“He’s not on an island, obviously. He’ll get a lot of help from the guys, starting with (center) Jason Kelce, and we go from there.”
How might his teammates help him?
“Stay out of his way,” said right tackle Lane Johnson, “because everybody’s going to be in his ear, trying to tell him ... all I can tell him, man, is it’s just like me, you’ve got to get off the ball and try to control the things you can control. Low hips. And a lot of that will solve a lot of problems.
“Aside from that, man, just enjoy it, because it goes by fast. Next thing you know, you’ll be (expletive) seven years in and ...”
His voice trailed off.
Hopefully a week of practice as the starter will help Dillard perform with more consistency in what will be an intently watched position — the game against the Cowboys is on Sunday Night Football (5:20 p.m. PT).
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Both teams have issues at receiver and cornerback, but Philly’s biggest problem is injuries to their longtime stalwart left tackle. If he ends up missing the game, Jason Peters will likely be replaced by rookie left tackle Andre Dillard, who would make his first start.
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Veteran left tackle Jason Peters' status as 'week to week'
Cougar Football Links
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Gardner Minshew Links
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Renderings of the project.
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