Jordan Matthews says he isn’t paying much attention to what is being said and written about him so far during training camp. He knows that buzz may only stick around for a news cycle before flying off to find its next host.
Rookie years in particular are filled with ups and downs. Today, for example, was a relatively quiet day for Matthews. Wednesday he was making plays all over the place. So it goes. The hype will swell and recede accordingly.
While it’s important not to get carried away, there’s no denying that he is making an impression early on in his time with the Eagles.
“Yes. A lot. A lot,” said LeSean McCoy, when asked if he’s been surprised by what Matthews has shown. “You don’t really get into it with the rookies, ‘Oh, who’s this?’ until you actually go out and watch them play. I’ve learned that from the older guys. That goes all the way back to [Brian]Westbrook, until those guys show you, OK, he can really play [you reserve judgment]. He’s showing it. His work ethic, he’s working like he’s a professional — a five, six-year, seven-year veteran. Sky is the limit for that kid, for sure.”
Michael Irvin is a believer. The Hall-of-Fame receiver spent the day at the NovaCare Complex, took in practice and spent time talking to various coaches and players, including Matthews.
“I like what I see out here. I like what I see physically as to body type, body size and everything. And then I like what I see internally as far as work ethic and most importantly, a strong desire to be the best,” Irvin told Birds 24/7 after practice. “He wants to garner all the information: ‘Mr Irvin, sir, whatever you see out here today, can you call me on it and talk to me about it? When you watch film can you tell me what you see?’ A young guy like that, man, that comes in with that perspective and those kind of thoughts, you can have some success with him.”
Does he compare to any specific receiver?
“He can be a combination of a few guys. You watch a big guy play the slot like a Marques Colston, he has that ability but he’s faster than Marques Colston. So now he gets outside he can probably do more things than a Colston can do. I look at him as a combination of a lot of good receivers in this league with an ability to be great.”
We are a ways away from that point, but it’s fair to say there is optimism internally. Pat Shurmur was describing what can make him a good slot receiver in this league, and mentioned his willingness to go over the middle and spacial awareness.
And then: “Once he catches the ball, he sets his hair on fire and runs,” said Shurmur. “If we didn’t have fences around here he’d run into the street. He’s one of the best finishers we have. He’s smart, he’s eager, he’s big, he can catch and he’s done a good job.”
Injury update, Wolff
Riley Cooper (foot), Chris Polk (hamstring) and Julian Vandervelde (back) did not practice again Thursday. Chip Kelly expects all of them back soon.
A day after running with the first team, Earl Wolff dressed but was held out of team drills. He gave a “no comment” when asked why he didn’t participate but said he would return and be “full-go” Friday.