Eagles Wake-Up Call: Green-Beckham’s ‘Fresh Start’
PITTSBURGH — Dorial Green-Beckham doesn’t know why his time in Tennessee didn’t work out or why he was traded, and ultimately, he was surprised the Titans got rid of him just one year after selecting him with the 40th overall pick in the 2015 draft.
“Yeah, but you just got to stay positive. You got to keep a great mindset and still try to go out and compete. It’s not over, and you still got to do the little things right,” Green-Beckham said after the Eagles’ 17-0 win last night. “(Everything happened) fast, like a blink of a eye. Going from one offense to another offense, from playbook to playbook, home to home, you just got to pick up on it. You just got to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Titans head coach Mike Mularkey openly criticized Green-Beckham for his inconsistency, while reports out of Tennessee suggested the 23-year-old receiver wasn’t always giving complete effort, exemplified by him reporting to camp heavier than the coaches wanted him to be.
But according to Green-Beckham, that wasn’t the case.
“Condition wise, I came in great condition, under weight. I did everything I needed to do,” he said. “I stayed after, caught some balls, came in early. I feel like I did a lot of extra work there, and I’m still going to continue to stay on that game, and continue to keep doing those things.”
Green-Beckham, who led rookies last season in yards per reception (17.2) and ranked sixth in the NFL among all receivers, wasn’t surprised he played several snaps against Pittsburgh. Prior to the game, the Missouri native hadn’t participated in an actual practice with the Eagles, but he was targeted twice against the Steelers.
For his first play, Green-Beckham was inserted at the end of a drive in the third quarter once the Eagles reached the 5-yard line, when Chase Daniel under-threw a fade pass to him. In the fourth quarter, Green-Beckham dropped a pass from McLeod Bethel-Thompson, one play after Green-Beckham ran wide open unnoticed by his quarterback.
“Being in this offense, I could catch a lot of balls and score a lot of touchdowns. Being able to have my teammates have my back, and just being there to fight for those guys,” Green-Beckham said. “This is a fresh start; a new start. New teammates, a family, a great family atmosphere. I feel like this is a brand new start.”
As the Titans’ training camp neared its close, Green-Beckham found himself buried on the depth chart. He said it was “tough” to work with the backups after finding some success in his rookie year, as it became unclear whether he’d even make the team.
He also noted he’s a “whole different person” than his former self who was dismissed from the University of Missouri football team, and that he believes he did what he needed to do to make things work in Tennessee.
“I just feel like (Mularkey) saw potential in me and he wanted me to do more. I tried to do everything I could, and you never know, things don’t always work out as they should,” Green-Beckham said. “The off the field stuff in the past, that’s been in the past. That stuff hasn’t been (reoccurring). I’ve never heard anything since (being dismissed from Missouri) being brought up from anybody. That tells me that I’ve been doing the right things.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
Instant Observations from last night’s 17-0 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Check out our Open Thread from last night’s game in case you may have missed anything.
JaCorey Shepherd and Wendell Smallwood were late scratches, while Dorial Green-Beckham was activated for the game and took a few snaps.
“It’s been set in my heart for a while of how to go about doing it.” Brian Dawkins is happy to be back with the organization he spent 13 seasons with.
What we were watching for during the second preseason game.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Things may not be good for rookie linebacker Joe Walker, who left with a knee injury last night:
Source says Eagles fearing that Joe Walker sustained an ACL injury tonight. Would be a tough loss. Rookie Lb had looked good.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) August 19, 2016
Caleb Sturgis suffered a concussion after a punt hit his head, as Zach Berman of the Inquirer has more.
Sturgis missed the game, giving Cody Parkey all of the kicking duties.
Sturgis, who joined the Eagles after Parkey went on injured reserve last season, had been the top kicker throughout the summer. He was listed as the top kicker on the depth chart and would have been given the first opportunity to kick Thursday.
He will enter the league-mandated concussion protocol. The Eagles play next Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts.
Parkey connected on a 40-yard field goal and an extra point in the first half. He also took three kickoffs.
The first-team offense did not impress many, including Jeff McLane of the Inquirer.
The offense, though, is lacking in talent and depth – particularly at receiver and running back and on the line. Without [Jordan] Matthews, who has been sidelined with a knee bruise and could be out at least for the remainder of the preseason, [Sam] Bradford has very little at his passing disposal.
[Zach] Ertz is above average, but there’s only so much he can do within the confines of consistent double teams. Bradford advanced the Eagles to the 22-yard line late in the second quarter, but on his last pass, the Steelers anticipated a seam throw to Ertz and had him covered both high and low.
The Eagles have already gone about rectifying their receiving deficiencies, of course. They traded for Titans receiver Dorial Green-Beckham on Tuesday and had him on the field in the third quarter. Quarterback Chase Daniel lofted a corner fade to Green-Beckham in the end zone, but the pass was short of the 6-foot-5, 240-pound receiver.
We’ll have more from last night’s game.
Chris Jastrzembski contributed to this post.