Twitter Mailbag: Wide Receiver Edition
Every Thursday we select a few of your Twitter questions and provide the long-form answers they deserve. For a chance to have your question published on Birds 24/7, send it to @Tim_McManus.
Eagles fans seem to have wide receivers on the brain on this fine June day. So let us talk wide receivers.
From @EaglesJake: who has a better chance to make the final roster: Avant or Cooper?
Tough one, but I would say Jason Avant.
I think both have skill sets that are appealing to Chip Kelly. Maybe they aren’t explosive receivers but they’re willing to get their hands dirty, whether that means blocking downfield or contributing on special teams. That will work in their favor with this coach. I’ve noticed Kelly and Riley Cooper interacting a good bit during practice; there seems to be a solid rapport there.
What separates Avant is his leadership. He has long been regarded as one of the top character guys on the team. I would imagine a new coach would want his young guys exposed to a veteran like Avant, who can set a good example of how to approach the game. We have already seen him take Russell Shepard under his wing.
“Anything I can do to help [younger players], whether that’s catching JUGS or showing them things in the film room, correcting ’em on the field, just life examples, all those kinds of things.”
Kelly is trying to establish a certain culture, and I think Avant can help him in that respect.
From @brookman_doug: does it seem like DJax is just messing around constantly?
DeSean Jackson can’t be painted with a single brush. He is a complex character and a pretty fascinating study. If you are just going off Instagram or Twitter, then you’ll probably associate Jackson with Jaccpot and Vegas and frivolous spending. If you see him in the locker room during the season, you may be greeted with a scowl and a cold shoulder. If you watch the documentary, you will see a kid that has been rigorously training for this job since he was in Pop Warner, and realize that his family pushed him really hard.
If you saw him at the screening of his brother’s movie a couple weeks back, you would notice that his scowl was nowhere to be found, and that his rebel image gave way to that of a considerate, thoughtful family man. You would have witnessed him throwing his arm around Tom Seagraves, who is in the middle of a battle with pancreatic cancer, while offering him words of encouragement.
So no, I don’t think Jackson messes around constantly. I think he messes around, sometimes too much. I think he is the rebel, and the family man; the kid who loves the game and the kid who feels burdened by it. He has all sorts of sides to him.
From @AdamSmith1814: what eagles reciever has the best looking hands/finger nails on the depth chart.
Avant has the best hands. Will Murphy wins the cuticle battle, without question.
From @KhandymanSports: Among the wide receivers lower on the depth chart (Momah, Shepard, Benn) who do you see making the team and where do they fit?
Out of those three, I would guess Arrelious Benn has the best chance of making the roster. As Sheil points out, he could distinguish himself as the best blocking receiver of the bunch. He is 24, has some versatility to his game and can be a contributor on special teams. Assuming he stays healthy, he might fit the bill for Kelly.
Shepard is interesting. I wonder if he can develop fast enough to claim a roster spot. I haven’t been wowed by Ifeanyi Momah yet, but who knows? Maybe he impresses at camp. It will be fun watching this group compete this summer.
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