- The team's seventh-round draft pick has no American football background, so he's got a lot to learn to play at the NFL level.
The goals are simple, yet so very complicated for someone new to the game of American football: offensive tackle Jordan Mailata, the team's seventh-round draft pick in the spring, wants to improve on one thing every day. One step at a time, you might say.
One step of about 2,000 needed to have a firm grip on what the NFL is all about.
"I'm making progress. I'm getting better," said Mailata after Tuesday's Training Camp practice at the NovaCare Complex. "There is still so much to take in. It's only been a week here after the spring practices. At some point I do think it will become second nature, but I know I'm a long ways away from that now."
The Eagles tuned in to Mailata during a pre-draft workout in Florida and figured a seventh-round draft pick was worth the risk for a player who has tremendous physical size at 6-8, 346 pounds, nimble feet, and great athletic skills.
He just doesn't know how to play football.
But it's coming.
"I'm going to keep working hard and learn something new every day," Mailata. "It's now a matter of piecing it all together. It really is a puzzle and it comes down to execution. You can have all the tools, but the challenge is to put it all in place on a consistent basis."
Mailata pointed out defensive ends Josh Sweat and Steven Means as those who have given him challenges, because those are the ends against whom he is working against the most. The use of hands and noticing body leans and tendencies – all of that is foreign to Mailata.
He's got a football game to play on Thursday, August 9. While the game won't count in the standings, it's going to be mega-huge for someone like Mailata to see just how far he needs to go before he earns a roster spot.
In the meantime, Mailata is keeping his focus. One play at a time. One learning experience to digest each day.
The goals are simple, yet so complicated.
"It's a very hard game and I'm loving the challenge," Mailata said. "I'm here to get better every single day. I'm working hard and I'm confident that it's all going to come together."