Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Step Up For Huff?
“Last year, Josh had a problem getting off press coverage at the line,” explained Whitfield. “When he was lining up out wide, defensive backs were jamming him and it was taking him forever to get off the line…I’ve been working on a lot of press releases. I’ve been working on a lot of different footwork moves for Josh that can help him get open because once he gets open and gets that separation from the DB, everything else is history because he is so explosive and fast.”
In the weeks since, Whitfield has been posting snippets of his workouts with Huff to offer a glimpse into their training:
— footwork_king (@footwork_king1) July 8, 2015
— footwork_king (@footwork_king1) July 21, 2015
Whitfield’s assessment that Huff is looking “shredded” and “a lot more explosive” certainly isn’t hurt by the footage above.
What matters, of course, is how it all translates on the field starting in September. Huff, hampered by an early shoulder injury and a chronic case of impatience, had his share of stumbles his rookie year and totaled just eight catches for 98 yards. Chip Kelly says that he has noticed some differences in Huff heading into Year Two.
“I think he’s just more mature in terms of – he’s more comfortable; I shouldn’t say ‘mature’. I think he’s a mature young man to begin with. I think he’s just more comfortable in terms of all the things going on around him,” said Kelly.
“You see him helping out Nelson [Agholor] and some of the undrafted guys we brought in here. I think he’s done a real good job from that standpoint. I think he’s carrying himself in a different manner now just because I think he’s a year older.”
How Huff develops is no small matter. Should he step up and take a lead role alongside Jordan Matthews, it will help stabilize a generally green receiving corps. If he doesn’t, more weight will fall on the rookie Agholor and guys Riley Cooper.
Beginning August 2, we’ll start getting a better feel for just how much Huff has distanced himself from an underwhelming opening act.
“I think he’s made great progress,” said Kelly. “The biggest thing with Josh is just consistency. I think it is for most guys. When you come in as a first year player, he was obviously set back a little bit because of his injury, and then missing the first portion of the season, but then just flashed at times. Has a kickoff return for a touchdown, which was a heck of a return. Just a more consistent basis in terms of his performance out there. I think he’s really been a lot more consistent, and that’s what we’ve been trying to work on with him.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Sam Bradford reportedly plans to play this year out under his current deal.
A snippet of my piece on Jeffrey Lurie for the Eagles Almanac.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Darrelle Revis wasn’t very complimentary of Mark Sanchez when recounting his first stop in New York for Sports Illustrated. Dom Cosentino of NJ.com has the details.
At one point during his tour of New York, Revis mentions how this year’s Jets will have to win the same way those past New York teams did, with defense and an unproven quarterback, now Geno Smith. “We almost made it, and we didn’t have a quarterback,” he says of those ’09 and ’10 seasons. And then, perhaps realizing how that sounds—accurate but harsh—he adds, “Mark [Sanchez] was solid. He wasn’t elite.”
Andrew Kulp of the 700 Level looks at the state of the running back position.
A lot of you have been asking the wrong question. It’s not, “Would you rather have LeSean McCoy or DeMarco Murray? It’s “Would you rather have McCoy or Murray AND Ryan Mathews?”—and that question should be fairly easy to answer.
I would probably take McCoy over Murray, although it is very close. Give me Mathews, too, and it becomes a no-brainer. Two Pro Bowl-caliber running backs as opposed to one? And they can split up the workload as opposed to putting it all on man’s shoulders?
The latter has been an underrated concern for the Eagles the past couple of seasons. McCoy carried the ball 626 times between 2013 and 2014 compared to 189 for all other running backs. That’s 76.8 percent of the attempts, and doesn’t even account for receptions or total snaps. What would the offense have done if McCoy were unavailable for any reason?
Eleven days until training camp.