Shepard Moving On After Post-Draft Blunder

Russell Shepard is probably as happy as anyone to be through the draft process and onto an NFL practice field.

Not only did the LSU wide receiver go undrafted in late April, but got off on the wrong foot with the team that eventually scooped him up — the Eagles — by telling a Louisiana radio station that he signed a deal with Philadelphia while the draft was still ongoing. Teams are not permitted to  negotiate a contract until the draft concludes. A league representative told Birds 24/7 that they were looking into the situation to determine the facts. The Eagles had to put out a statement denying Shepard’s claims.

It wasn’t an ideal first impression.

“I just made a mistake,” said Shepard following the first day of rookie minicamp. “It was something that I was speaking too fast. One word changed the whole thing of it. But I learned from it and I am going to grow from it.”

Did he get a talking to from Chip Kelly?

“Actually, no. I didn’t have a conversation with anybody,” said Shepard. “They talked to my agent that next day and they told me what I needed to do. It was just kind of (slaps his wrist), ‘Don’t do it again.’”

An NFL spokesman, when asked if the league had reached a conclusion on the matter, only responded: “There is nothing further we plan to say.”

With that bumpy start in the rear-view the focus turns to what Shepard can offer the Eagles.   The 6-1, 195-pounder went to LSU as a dual-threat quarterback and saw time at multiple positions. He finished his career with 733 rushing yards and 565 receiving yards on 58 catches. Kelly, who recruited Shepard out of high school, is clearly drawn to versatile players.

“It’s amazing because I get to play a little bit of everything in this scheme,” said Shepard. “From slot to outside to running back. An opportunity for me to touch the ball in different ways. It’s a very diverse offense — very cool.”

During  that regrettable radio interview, Shepard also suggested that the Eagles were already getting packages ready for him to take advantage of his skill set. While that seems like a stretch, there is opportunity for guys like Shepard at the dawn of a new era.

“[Kelly] told us that everybody is going to get an opportunity. If you can play football — whether you’re a first-round draft pick or a guy that’s getting a tryout — you’re going to get a chance to play football out here if you can play,” he said. “That was a part of the reason why I came here.”

Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

  • GEagle

    I am suffering from Shepard fatigue already!!

    • Token

      I think this guy is gonna be a unneeded headache. Seems to think hes a big part of the offense, not a UDFA that will likely not make the team.

      • GEagle

        Right…the way this kid has acted since the draft, is just mind blowing. WTF is wrong with this kid? This kid is a headache already…How dumb do you have to be, to be an Undrafted long shot and talk like this?…no one cares how good you think you are…Head down, put in WORK!! We don’t boast and talk around these parts any more

        • Explorer51

          If you guys read what he actually said, he is excited to be given a chance in an offense that will take advantage of his talents…what the heck is wrong with that? And unlike drafted players, he may have been contacted by more than the Eagles and had a choice of picking what team gave him the best opportunity. Besides, he admitted his mistake; if you have ever done press interviews (and I’ve done plenty), it’s pretty easy to use the wrong choice of words on occasion!

          • ben

            Eagle skeptics are just tired of hoping for the best and seasons ending with disappointment. It is expectable to read doubts. I believe this Kelly era will be wonderful, but as the players must prove they belong and compete to play, so
            must Kelly prove his ability to build a winner. I believe he will, but understand the skepticism. GO FOR IT, EAGLES!!!

  • scrapplejoe

    practice squad at best, Arena league most likely.

  • GEagle

    Is there any way that I can post pics onto this site? Lol.

    • GEagle

      Felt like sharing something wit my haters today…lol oh well

      • Tom

        I’m sure it was some brilliant Russel Shepard meme. I regret that we cannot see it.

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    Tim from the headline I was under the impression the Eagles and Chip had decided to moved forward without this kid.

    Looks like Chip is looking beyond Shepard’s youthful anxiety and, giving him a stay. Apparently it is obvious Chip thinks there may be something in his kid’s tank that is useful to the Eagles.

    Judging by his stats and versatility, it seems he has talent as a receiver out of the backfield. Here’s to hoping he’s worth the chance he’s being given.

    .

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

    Not much risk letting the kid stick around for tryouts, even if he is a bonehead. What he did wasn’t even that big of a deal. He just spoke a little too soon. Not like he shot himself in the leg, or was in a bathroom alone with someone he shouldn’t have. Give the kid a break.

    • Warhound

      Hey, he wasn’t found with a dead girl nor a live boy. AND – Unlike Wing he hasn’t assaulted anybody!

  • ben

    Good man. Now prove yourself to yourself and perhaps you will have a career with the Eagles, though your chances are slim, luck is when opportunity and hard work come together.

  • Explorer51

    Kid made a mistake, in an interview with a local radio station…that was probably a combination of enthusiasm, ego, and excitement that he had a chance to go to the NFL. Remember, the Eagles were “competing” for his services, as every team does with undrafted players. Don’t you think it was possible that they could have implied that he would be a part of this seemingly unique offense? Implied words don’t cost anything, in dollars, when you are trying to convince Shepard, or any other available player, to sign. Let’s give him a break!

  • Jason N.

    I hope he’ll become out version of Randall Cobb. I love Cobb. He was amazing with Roders on the Packers.

    Could like up anywhere and be a weapon.

  • cliff henny

    wasnt guy i thought about when watching LSU game, but wen heard his name thought ‘yeah, like this kid’. les miles really only ran enough offense to rest his defense, so might be some factor in his stats. wouldnt surpirise me if it was shephard vs damaris johnson for hybrid rb/slot. d-jax/maclin have no business running those DAT plays.

  • PaoliBulldog

    It never hurts to put multiple (potential) pass-throwers on the field simultaneously. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lane Johnson throw a pass this year, much less Shepard.

  • Mugshot Magoo

    2015: Future SLASH QB for the Birds, backing up Barkley

  • oj

    he wont get past training camp along with many of these feel good storys,there are reasons why guys like this are not drafted,they are not nfl talent..