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Lane Johnson: 'I Think Big V Is Going To Turn Into A Great Player'

Posted Oct 29, 2017

Halapoulivaati Vaitai got his first taste of what starting at left tackle for the rest of the season has in store.

Despite the final score, the offense was a bit lackluster for the majority of the first half. Philadelphia mustered just 119 net yards total and 27 ground yards against the 49ers' defense.

Wentz was sacked three times including one possession where Vaitai was beat one-on-one leading to an 8-yard loss. But as the game went on, Vaitai improved and so did the offense. The team finished with 304 net yards and 112 yards on the ground in a landslide 33-10 victory.

“I’m still trying to get the mechanics down, technique down, but you know I’ve got great guys like Lane (Johnson) giving me a positive vibe,” Vaitai said. “I just need to work and stay calm and play with poise.”

As might be expected, Vaitai made a few mistakes. Early in the third quarter, he was called for a questionable holding penalty that pushed the Eagles back. The second-year tackle will get a chance to study his performance on film in preparation for next week against a tough Broncos front seven.

“I think initially, until I can watch the tape, it felt like he played OK,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “We went into the game plan, sending a back over his direction a little bit and helping both our tackles, but primarily over on the left side. He settled into the game and did a nice job. Again, I'll evaluate the film tomorrow and get a chance to make the necessary corrections. But I think, overall, he filled in well, and we'll get him ready next week again.”

Right tackle Johnson shared similar sentiments about Vaitai's outing.

“He did good. A couple of bad plays here and there but really settled in,” Johnson said. “Nobody’s going to be able to replace Jason Peters. That guy’s potentially the best ever but I think Big V is going to turn into a great player. I’m happy with how he did.”

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