Eagles Wake-Up Call: Randle ‘A Pleasant Surprise’

Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Rueben Randle, and Nelson Agholor. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Rueben Randle, and Nelson Agholor. (Jeff Fusco)

After some early interest in experimenting with Jordan Matthews on the outside, Doug Pederson has since concluded that the 23-year-old is best suited for the slot. Assuming that opinion sticks, the first-year head coach will look elsewhere to fill the ‘X’ and ‘Z’ receiver posts. Who will be the primary outside guys to start?

“Yeah, you know, Rueben Randle has really made an impact this spring,” Pederson began. “Chris Givens is another one. Nelson Agholor, of course, is another one. Josh Huff is another guy that can work both inside and outside — probably another one that’s going to be inside.

“And these guys have really, especially Rueben, has been a pleasant surprise. He’s a guy that’s a big, tall, sort of a smooth receiver that understands what we’re asking him to do. He knows his role and you’ve got three or four or five guys out there right now that are competing for that spot.”

A couple things stick out in that response. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Jordan Matthews’ Role

Jordan Matthews. (USA Today Sports)

Jordan Matthews. (USA Today Sports)

For your mailbag question to be considered, complete the form at the bottom of this post.

In the Reid/Pederson offense, what receivers do you project to generally line up at the X (weak side), the Y (slot) and the Z (strong side)? Do you project Mathews and Trey Burton as halfback and fullback? How do those positions line up? -Anonymous Fan

I’d be shocked if a healthy Ryan Mathews is not the starting running back. As for fullback, Doug Pederson slipped in a nugget about that during his media availability on Friday. When discussing the running backs, Pederson went on a brief aside and singled out Chris Pantale as the guy he wants to see once the pads come on to determine if he can become a fullback. Read more »

Matthews Explains Benefits Of Offensive Changes

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

It’s easy to pile on Chip Kelly now that he’s gone, and it’s even easier for players to praise their new head coach, but Jordan Matthews explained to reporters on Tuesday after practice why, exactly, he and his teammates have taken to Doug Pederson and the changes he’s made on offense.

“The biggest thing I’ve noticed that I think a lot of people don’t take into account that was different from last year is when you’re trying to go fast a lot, the snap count isn’t a huge factor. When you’re in this type of offense, the cadence has to be a strength of ours,” Matthews said. “We have to be able to go up there and be able to deceive defenses, get them in what they’re going to do and then put ourselves in the best position to make plays.” Read more »

Nelson Agholor And the Transition To Year 2

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Jordan Matthews pointed to one play in particular from Tuesday’s practice that signaled a return to form for Nelson Agholor.

“You can tell he’s back healthy. He caught a little short post today and the way he caught it, stuck his foot in the ground and got vertical? That’s the Nelson I’m used to knowing,” said Matthews. “Nelson’s transition from catch to run is crazy. I think he’s on a level that a lot of guys aren’t.”

In a sea of 90 top-level athletes, Agholor’s agility and burst stands out. It doesn’t take a trained eye to identify the elite physical gifts that the first-round pick out of USC possesses. They were equally evident last spring and summer, leading teammates and analysts alike to predict big things for Agholor in his rookie season.

Those predictions, of course, fell flat. Read more »

A Different View From the Inside On Bradford

Jordan Matthews, Sam Bradford

Malcolm Jenkins and Jordan Matthews reminded those gathered around them Tuesday of a fundamental truth about the NFL: it’s a business.

“There’s 52 guys in here that feel like they’re overworked and underpaid. That’s just the reality of it,” said Matthews. “Everybody wants more money. Everybody wants this and that.”

For proof, reporters simply had to shift their eyes down the locker room some to the vacant stall typically occupied by Fletcher Cox. The standout defensive tackle has been missing all offseason as efforts to re-up his contract continue. Darren Sproles, too, has been a no-show, which reportedly has something to do with trade discussions that were held over draft weekend. Yet there has been very little external blowback, particularly compared to the storm that Sam Bradford‘s recent actions created. Read more »

Morning Notes: Matthews, Barwin Speak To Bradford

Jordan Matthews and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Sounds like Sam Bradford‘s silent treatment is reserved for coaches and management only.

Two Eagles players recently told independent media outlets that they have spoken with Bradford while he’s been away from the NovaCare.

“A couple of us have been able to [talk to him],” Jordan Matthews told CSN Philly, “but at the same time, we understand that Sam is Sam. The way everybody else deals with certain things may not be the way that he does. Sam is a very private person. He’s going to do things on his time, and certain people do certain things on other people’s time, it’s just the way it is. You’ve got to understand that he’s not you, and he’s going to figure out what he wants to do. None of us can pull his arm and make him do something…You’ve just got to respect that. At the end of the day, we know we want him here so we just continue to reach out and whenever that time comes we can get it rolling.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Trade Talk, Division Outlook

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

Fletcher Cox. (Jeff Fusco)

To submit your mailbag question, fill out the form at the bottom of this post. Today, we’re answering a few quick-hitters from Dylan Csakany.

What would it take for you to trade Fletcher Cox?

For me to trade Cox, presumably in the context of moving up in the draft, I would have to be convinced of one of two things: I’m getting a franchise quarterback in return, or there’s no shot at retaining Cox long term. I’m not confident enough that Carson Wentz or Jared Goff will turn into a franchise quarterback, and I think the Eagles will sign Cox to an extension at some point this year. Read more »

Jordan Matthews: Eagles Have A ‘Family Feeling’

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

Jordan Matthews. (Jeff Fusco)

As Jordan Matthews walked around Sam Bradford’s house in Oklahoma last month, he noticed a few things: it was clean, it was huge, and the Heisman Trophy was just sitting out and about without a case.

“His house was crazy,” Matthews said. “I didn’t want to go home because I’m like, ‘This room that you put me in is bigger than my place in Nashville.’”

Matthews visited Bradford with Zach Ertz to work out together, but it wasn’t quite a business trip. The third-year receiver wanted to spend time off the field with his quarterback to strengthen their bond that he says is so important to winning. Read more »

Pederson: ‘I Don’t Know About’ Drafting A QB At No. 8

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

BOCA RATON, FL — After Jeffrey Lurie suggested yesterday that the Eagles will draft a quarterback next month, Doug Pederson confirmed this morning that he expects the team to do so as well.

However, the head coach was unsure about drafting a quarterback with the No. 8 overall pick.

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” Pederson said. “But I know that if you’re looking for that third quarterback, then there’s some good ones in this draft. Taking out, say, the top three, there’s still some guys in there you can develop and would be good fits at a No. 3.” Read more »

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