Momah: I Can Grow In Eagles’ Offense

Ifeanyi Momah knew of Harold Carmichael before he arrived in Philadelphia for his workout with the Eagles.

At 6-7, 240, Momah had done his homework on other tall wide receivers, looking for a blueprint or two to follow. As he walked the hallways of the NovaCare Complex for the first time, he was stopped by Carmichael, the Eagles’ director of player programs.

“I already knew about him,” Momah said. “Obviously, me being a tall receiver, I know a whole bunch of other guys that have done it before me. I always knew about him, but I didn’t know he was physically here. And the first day I got here, he grabbed me and was telling me all about the things that I can work on after my workout. That was very exciting. And that’s when I realized, this is a very, very good connection to have.

“He went through the same exact things that I did, people telling him that he might not be able to play receiver like other shorter guys. And he showed them up and played receiver better than anybody else. Just to have him critiquing me and giving me feedback on things that I can work on has been a great advantage for me.”

Momah signed with the Eagles back in March, but it’s been while since he saw game action. He suffered a season-ending torn ACL in the 2011 opener with Boston College, applied for a sixth year of eligibility, but was denied. Momah has been spending his offseason at the NovaCare Complex and is excited about now being 100 percent healthy.

On March 20, he caught the attention of teams at his Pro Day performance, running a 4.45 40. That led to four private workouts with the Eagles, Saints, Steelers and Browns.

“With the offense, I wasn’t looking at the amount of receivers we had here,” Momah said. “I didn’t want that to be my decision. I wanted to look at the future and the offense and how I can grow in the offense. And just seeing the kind of offense that they’re running here, I feel like I can definitely grow and reach my full potential here. That’s why I chose Philadelphia.”

It didn’t hurt that the Eagles had a familiar face in the building. Outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern served as Boston College’s defensive coordinator from 2009 to 2012. And he was BC’s linebackers coach from 2000 to 2008.

While Momah eventually settled on receiver, he saw some time at defensive end in college.

“He [McGovern] actually physically came to my house when I was in high school and recruited me,” said Momah, a Long Island native. “He came and told me they were going to offer me a scholarship to college. That’s pretty exciting that he’s here now and I can have that connection with him and try to talk to him a little bit when I have a couple questions.”

As for fit, the Eagles have some spots up for grabs at wide receiver. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin will occupy two of them, but nothing is guaranteed for guys like Jason Avant, Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson. Momah and newcomer Arrelious Benn will have chances to stick.

Momah’s height/speed combination brings a different element to the group. And he played special teams in college.

Even though he has some tight end attributes, Momah said he’s being used exclusively as a wide receiver right now. But it doesn’t hurt that he has the skill set to move around the formation, run block and be a big target downfield.

“I’ve been here for about a month now. I’ve been really working my behind off,” Momah said. “And I feel like I’m getting back to myself. I feel like I’m fast again, and my knees are strong, no injuries plaguing me, so I feel good.”

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  • jmtyl

    We need a big WR that will go up and get a ball or run over a CB and safety. I like him already.

  • GumboGumbo

    I’m imagining Momah, Casey, Ertz, and Celek just eating defenses alive. “If they go three linebackers, we spread them out and if they go DB’s, we smash you. So, pick your poison.” – Chip Kelly

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      Kelly seems to make Football the simple game it was intended to be…….. I’m anxious to see if Ertz can pick up where Keith Jackson left off.

    • NickS1

      Don’t forget Arrelious Benn. He’s a big boy, too. That’d be 5 wide with no one under 6’2″. Every jump ball play at the end of a half better include these guys.

      • GEAgle

        If Benn is healthy enough to reach 80% of his ceiling…WATCH OUT!…Momah, i have no clue what level he is at. can he get on the field sporadically this year, or is he years away from being ready to contribute? But the fact that Carmicheal took him under his wing, is sooo exciting…Our offense really has the potential to be a nightmare for opposing DC’s…Will we be THAT nightmare in year 1, of the new era? Who knows…But these weapons are impressive…
        ……
        I have a MINDFUCK question for you all lol…If Peyton Manning didnt hit the free agent market til this year, I wonder how attractive playing for Chip Kelly with these weapons would have been? Would Peyton still be a bronco? lol
        …..
        Coming off a 4-12 season, I feel like we are actually a desired destination for players around the league, which is a testament to how Howie transitioned out of the Andy era

        • NickS1

          I actually don’t think it’s that much of a mindf**k question. Peyton would be a Bronco. While there’s no comparison whatsoever between Vick and Peyton, most conversation involving Vick involve his age and he’s not getting any better. I think that’s a fair way to gauge Peyton after this past season. He was great, but he’s not getting better, and he’s 36. The only attraction is ditching Vick and letting him mentor Barkley and Foles. He likely won’t be playing past the 2016 season, if he even makes that. From Chip’s standpoint, it’s not a bad situation having Peyton run his O and teaching Barkley n Foles. In fact, with Peyton’s arm not being great, it almost suits him. But then there’s the other factors. Does Peyton view us a playoff/SB contender this season or next. No one else does, why would he? How does Howie view this? Well, based on what we’ve seen post 2011 offseason, he likes to have all of the leverage and likes to use that leverage to get deal that can be escaped in the near-term if need be. While he has the near term leverage in Peyton’s case, since he’s not playing more than 3 more years including this season, he’s still never going to get the number he wants. Howie loves that carryover number, and in my opinion, he likes that number high while fielding what is a solid roster on paper. If we went into the season today there’s 24mil in carryover, just as a point of reference (this is prior to rooking signings, so it’ll be closer to 19 probably). I think he’s keeping a similar number, at least in the mid teens going into 2015-16 when it’s expected that the cap number significantly increases. Combine the increase with the carryover and we’ll be primed for some nice offseason maneuvering. So any deal with Peyton involves numbers that scare Howie. In summation, the numbers and age scare Howie, he fits with Chip, even despite only having 2-3 years left, but we’re not close to contention so Peyton wouldn’t go for it. That’s just my thoughts. Great scenario question though.

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    The thought of this kid brings back images of Harold Carmichael streaking down the right side line.

    This would be a throw back moment if this kid makes the team and contributes. He’s intriguing with 4.4 speed.

  • @EagleEyedPros

    @EagleEyedPros This move was intriguing from the start.

    After film review (though limited) I feel this will prove to be the unsung move of 2013.

    Momah moves very, very well for a man his size… Sets up low off the line (see: Micheal Irvin on ‘Mariucci’s Playmakers’ to understand the true importance of doing so), and has surprising fluidity for a receiver of his height. Much more of a true #1 WR talent, than a plodding, slow footed WR who is seeking to get position on a smaller defender. Momah should be able to gain real seperation. Marcus Colston (though less explosive, but extremely productive and accomplished, lets have no confusion) is the prototype of a big guy who is fluid and has excelled at this level. However, I believe Momah’s skill set is more of a very poor man’s (ahem.. throat clear) Megatron (I said it). We should hope to be so lucky

    Only true flaw is Momah seems to be a natural body catcher, which can be improved upon and corrected. This would negate his height advantage somewhat, because when you factor in wingspan, the QB could literally put the ball where only Momah can get it.. but only if he catches the ball away from his body.

    And all of the Post Reid red-zone trauma would be a thing of the past. It will be fun to watch and see

    • Warhound

      Is a bit disturbing that he (still) catches against his body. However, watching the ball into ones hands is coachable (unlike height and speed).

    • NickS1

      I couldn’t agree more with just about everything you said. Not sure what his route running ability is, or his ability to recognize zone coverage and get where needs to be, but based on the measurables, you almost have to think that his ceiling is Megatron. And although it’s highly unlikely he reaches it, (obv hoping he does) I think all of us would be ecstatic to see him become 60-75% of what Megatron is. Impossible to not be excited about this guy’s potential.

  • Token

    There no getting around being intrigued by a guy this size that moves so fast. One of the guys im really looking forward to seeing. Now with training camp private, preseason games are pretty interesting.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      this was the absolute worse year to move the camp, we’ll have to depend on accounts posted by the Phila Sportswriters. They’re anything but dependable when it comes to talent and player assessment.

      However, Sheil and Tim objective reporting is welcome and relieves the annoyance caused by the local writers and pundits

      Given the reports in the Phil Media in 2009, Kevin Kolb was the greatest Quarterback in the Eagles training camp since Sonny Jurgensen

      • Mr. Wu

        It’s about time they closed camp to the public…always thought, although fun for us, it was a bad Idea to be so out in the open .

  • tbird

    I don’t think Jackson and Maclin are locks to make the final roster. Wouldn’t, at all, be surprised to see one or both traded. This kid Momah may have a lot of upside to his game. Hoping he is the steal that some think.

    • Wilbert M.

      Package both for a 1st rounder next year. I don’t think either gives you the consistency you need to sustain drives.

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        I’m hoping your joking.

        • Wilbert M.

          I’m not kidding, although it would never happen. But, if someone offered me a 1st rounder for the two of them, I’d take it in a heartbeat. They are both one-dimensional receivers that play very small. In today’s NFL, you need size, speed and strength, like Megatron and Andre Johnson. A big guy on the other side to compliment Jackson makes a lot of sense. Maclin would be the odd man out because he lacks the toughness to be a slot receiver.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            And who would be your starting receivers this year? Damaris Johnson, Jason Avant and Momah? You make it sound like guys like Megatron and Andre Johnson are easy to find. They’re both once in a generation type players. Any team would kill to have either of those guys.

          • Wilbert M.

            An extra 1st round pick makes it easier to find a franchise WR. Pick up a Devery Henderson or Brandon Lloyd while you groom the young guys. Half of Philly wanted to let D-Jax walk and the other half was jumping for joy when the Colts-Maclin rumors were flying. Neither can block and both are averse to contact. They are both good complimentary players, but that’s all.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            LOL Devery Henderson? The guy who hasn’t had over 600 yards in a season since 2009. DeSean had more yards than him last year and he missed 5 days. Not to mention the age difference. Henderson is trash. Brandon Lloyd couldn’t even break 1000 yards with Tom Brady, plus you have to give him at least a 2 year deal.

            Fan perception means diddly squat to whether they stay or go. You haven’t even seen them in Chip’s offense. It would be a complete bonehead move to trade 2 of our top young players, and is not going to happen.

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            No only are those two guys terrible examples of a “franchise WR”, as Adam states below, but just to play your game….who even in this year’s draft fits that bill? And who would be our starters? And how can you predict how they’ll do with a new coach and scheme?

            Go ahead and look at the top 10 or 20 receivers in the league; how many Megatrons are on that list? The last thing this organization needs right now is to spend a 1st round draft pick on a WR. Keep that trade to Madden.

    • Justin

      You don’t think DeSean “Didn’t drop a catchable ball last year” Jackson isn’t a lock?

      • cliff henny

        his 10m in dead money makes him a lock. plus, he had a good year despite qb/oline play along w/ at best questionable play selection.

    • cliff henny

      think this year it’ll be both of them, but in near future(like next year), they are just too similar, think only one stays. maclin is FA and d-jax guarentee runs out at end of the yr, and sal bumps from 6m to 10m (he will be renegotiated if he’s going to stay). this year could be a case for best guy stays, other walks.

      • Warhound

        I think your right, but if they trade Maclin this offseason they would get something in return.

        • cliff henny

          think time to do it was before draft. so few trades in nfl, not really even sure when they typically happen.

  • Mr. Wu

    He got the speed and size….now let’s see if he can run routes and has hands…… definitely excited to see him play

  • Jack Waggoner

    We’ve got a few guys on this team that are major talents but are also extremely raw. That’s what we have here. It will be fun to see how he develops.

  • Michael Jorden

    If Harold Carmichael really takes Momah under his wing that really helps Momah’s chances for sure. I hope he does.

  • xlGmanlx

    Perfect candidate for Kelly to “coachem up”, imagine being able to put the ball 8′ in the air in the back of the endzone and tell this kat to go get it. If he can get his hands and mind right, you have to love the potential.

  • DunedinEagle

    I would love these two big guys to somehow make the team and excel. I’ve been screaming for physicality for more years than I can remember. With Jackson and Maclin basically in contract years there is hope.

  • Mugshot Magoo

    hope he’s not another Billy McMullen

  • Scott J

    Hmm, is there a difference between someone going to someone’s house and someone actually physically going to someone’s house?

  • Brian

    The guy’s 6’7″ and athletic enough to play DE. How the hell did BC not turn him into an offensive tackle?

  • eaglepete

    Seems theres little love for Maclin anymore in so many comments I read. I dont get it, Id prefer Maclin over djax if I had to choose but I agree they dont compliment each other well. I get he had a bad season last yr but before that a lot of fans bumped him ahead of djax. I just think he has the ability to do more but Desean is for sure a much better big play guy. At least Maclin can make some red zone plays where djax seems immune to any productivity inside the red zone. I think Maclin has a big comeback season and produces, I for one am not counting him out yet.