Every player in the National Football League remembers their "Welcome to the NFL" moment as a rookie. It's when their initial exposure to professional football resulted in a moment they would like to forget. Unfortunately for Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl offensive guard Landon Dickerson, he has to relive what was the first play of his NFL career on a regular basis: a 91-yard completion from quarterback Jalen Hurts to wide receiver Quez Watkins in Week 2 of the 2021 season against the San Francisco 49ers.
"The very first play, the only bad part is it gets replayed on our TVs [at the Eagles practice facility]," Dickerson said alongside Eagles teammate and All-Pro center Jason Kelce and Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce on their "New Heights Show" podcast. "We threw a ball to Quez Watkins, he went like 80-something yards, the longest throw-and-receive without a touchdown I think all year. We were backed up I think on like the 1 yard line. It was the first play after [offensive guard] Brandon [Brooks] got hurt. I came in, and I was like 'I don't know what the f--- I'm doing.' So, I just went back there and tried to do what I thought was right, and I ended up just getting pressed and thrown into the ground."
On the Fox television broadcast, the first replay following the big gain below reveals Dickerson getting WWE-style body-slammed into the ground by 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead on the play, just to the right of Hurts.
You can watch the can't miss play right here.
"My a-- cheeks are probably imprinted in the end zone still," Dickerson said. "Jalen Hurts throws a bomb to Quez like 85 yards down the field, and I'm like s---."
Dickerson was correct in that not only was the 91-yard completion, which began at their own 3, the longest non-scoring play of the Eagles' 2021 season, it's the second-longest, non-scoring passing play in team history since at least 1994, as far back as Pro Football Reference's regular season play-by-play data goes. Since that play stands as one of the best gains Philadelphia has ever had when backed up inside their own 5, Dickerson and his teammates have the privilege of re-watching the clip on a regular basis.
"I come back in the next Monday, and all I see is a highlight reel of that roll," Dickerson said. "Luckily, it cuts off right before I get put on my a--, but that was definitely welcome to the NFL."
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Jason Kelce elaborated on the frequency in which Dickerson and the offense sees this play: at least twice a year, so Dickerson gets to re-experience his lowest moment as a professional football player every season. An unintended way of keeping the 24-year-old Pro Bowler grounded.
"We install every situation at least twice a year," Jason Kelce said. "Backed up is a situation that'll always get talked about, and every time we install it since then they show that play because it was such a good play for the team. So, you never want to have a terrible play on one of the best plays because you're going to have to relive it."
However, Dickerson ends up seeing his fair share of highlights when the Eagles go through their run-game install each season, so it's a balance.
"Luckily though, every time we install counter, inside zone [runs], they got a lot of good plays of yours," Kelce said to Dickerson.
"There's a lot of up's and down's there, more ups than downs, I'm happy for that," Dickerson replied. "Me and [left tackle] Jordan [Mailata] sit beside each other in the team meeting as soon as we see that come up, he grabbed my hand and said 'I got you, it's alright.'"