Left side’s his right side

Kick­ing from left hash mark, El­liott hasn’t missed an ex­tra point this sea­son

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Nick Fierro

PHILADEL­PHIA — For those who might be keep­ing track at home, yes, that tweak Philadel­phia Ea­gles kicker Jake El­liott has made to at­tempt all ex­tra points from the left hash mark is new this sea­son.

And it seems to be work­ing out well. El­liott is 10-for-10 on ex­tra points through the first four games after go­ing 33-for-35 last sea­son and 39-for-42 in 2017. He’s also 4-for-4 on field goals.

Un­til this year, all of his ex­tra-point at­tempts came from the mid­dle of the field.

“I don’t know if that’s good or bad yet right now,” ever-cau­tious spe­cial teams co­or­di­na­tor Dave Fipp said Mon­day of the ad­just­ment. “It’s a long sea­son.”

Fipp ex­plained the ra­tio­nale be­hind the change.

“At the end of the day, we’re on the hash so much in this game,” he said. “So for us to put the ball in the mid­dle of the field for a PAT, it’s like we’re al­most al­ways on the hash [for field goals], so why don’t we just throw the ball on a hash here? We’re kick­ing a kick that we end up kick­ing more of­ten and then we’re kick­ing the same kicks more fre­quently.

“So rather than tech­ni­cally hav­ing three kicks, one on the left hash, one on the right hash and one in the mid­dle — I know there’s vari­ance in the mid­dle, but let’s just call it three, though — let’s just take one of those out … and limit the num­ber of things we do. So now it’s more left hash, right hash and ev­ery once in a while the mid­dle.”

Fipp is not sure they’ll con­tinue with this ap­proach through­out the sea­son or whether the Ea­gles will try to get to the left hash mark when set­ting up the right-footed kicker be­cause they al­ways have to be ready for the right hash too, but he did point out that there’s data be­hind it.

“We track an aw­ful lot of kicks,” Fipp

said, “and not just the game kicks but ev­ery rep he’s taken since train­ing camp be­gan. So we have kind of a large vol­ume of in­for­ma­tion and where he misses and where he makes. So we do know the hash that he’s most ef­fec­tive on.”

As with all kick­ers, that can change over time, ac­cord­ing to Fipp. But for now, left is right.

Gi­ant set­back

Hav­ing to place tackle Jor­dan Mailata on the in­jured-re­serve list ear­lier this sea­son could stunt his growth, but be­cause of so many in­juries to other po­si­tion groups, par­tic­u­larly cor­ner­back, the Ea­gles could no longer af­ford to carry a de­vel­op­men­tal of­fen­sive line­man with a cranky back on their ac­tive ros­ter.

Be­ing on IR pre­vents Mailata from even prac­tic­ing. So what’s next for this gi­ant Aussie, who be­gan play­ing foot­ball only after be­ing drafted in the sev­enth round in 2018?

“Well, all I know is that he and I have talked, we try to max­i­mize the time that he has while he’s in the build­ing,” of­fen­sive line coach Jeff Stout­land said. “So his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, along with the way he han­dles him­self in the meet­ings — and I ba­si­cally told him this, I said, H`ey, while you’re in the meet­ings, I would ab­so­lutely pre­tend that you’re go­ing into the week like you’re the starter. Have this delu­sional ap­proach like you’re the starter and pre­pare like that. And then when the end of the week comes and the game hap­pens and you’re not in­volved. But keep do­ing that week in and week out.’

“So ba­si­cally that’s the ad­vice I gave him and then just to do the best you can in re­hab, fol­low the pro­gram that they have you on. And I think he’s do­ing a great job with that right now.”

Still, ev­ery­one has to know that time is run­ning out be­cause of a back in­jury that hap­pened in his rookie sea­son and could turn out to be chronic for some­one who is 6-foot-8 and 360 pounds.

For now, Mailata is pro­tected from poach­ers.

But the ros­ter would need to be in al­most unimag­in­able shape for the Ea­gles to carry him in 2020 if he’s not healthy and ready to be trusted on game days.

Rose­man does it again

Mon­day’s trade of safety Johnathan Cy­prien to the At­lanta Fal­cons for linebacker Duke Ri­ley will turn out to be a good one for the Ea­gles and gen­eral man­ager Howie Rose­man.

Doesn’t mat­ter how Ri­ley turns out.

That’s be­cause it also in­volved the Ea­gles swap­ping their sev­enth-round pick for At­lanta’s sixth-rounder in the 2020 NFL draft. So os­ten­si­bly they let a player with no fu­ture here go in or­der to move up in the draft and also get a chance to kick the tires on a young player with ex­ten­sive start­ing ex­pe­ri­ence who was a third-round pick in 2017.

At­lanta is off to a 1-3 start this year, the value of that pick in­creas­ing with ev­ery loss.

MARK TENALLY/AP

Ea­gles kicker Jake El­liott is per­fect on ex­tra points and field goals this year.

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