Wake-Up Call: Eagles Happy With Nelson Agholor’s Response To Being Benched
Nelson Agholor’s numbers since being benched for the Eagles versus Packers game haven’t been great. The 2015 first-round pick had only four receptions for 23 yards against the Bengals. In Week 14, Agholor finished with two receptions for 22 yards. Despite this lack of production, the Eagles remain happy with what they’ve seen from Agholor recently.
“Couldn’t be happier with how Nelson has responded in both of these last two games,” said Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. “Just with a mental toughness and positive attitude. Even the big play – the pass interference call — you could just see his speed running by the guy. That was good to see. Again, it just continues to build that back one play at a time.”
Frank Reich on Nelson Agholor: "The big play — the pass interference — you could see his speed running by the guy. That was good to see." pic.twitter.com/q1yPqjYQzt
— Josh Paunil (@JoshPaunil) December 14, 2016
The defensive pass interference penalty that Agholor drew won’t show up on the stat sheet, but if he hadn’t been interfered with, he would have gained at least 44 receiving yards on the play. His final output against Washington would have been three receptions for 66 yards, which would be a new career single-game high for him.
Agholor had another impressive moment against Washington. This time, it was a catch that did count.
This is the route I mentioned during the game that I really liked from Nelson Agholor. Created 4-5 yards of separation on a 9-yard route. pic.twitter.com/3AL1j4GYKA
— Josh Paunil (@JoshPaunil) December 12, 2016
Sure, it’s only a nine-yard gain, but there’s a lot to like from Agholor here. Perfect route. Extending his arms and leaping to make a somewhat challenging catch above his head. These are the kind of fairly routine things Agholor has struggled with at times throughout his career.
No one will be mistaking Agholor for a star talent any time soon, but there’s no question the 23-year-old pass catcher has shown some NFL competency since getting benched. That shouldn’t be taken lightly considering how badly Agholor has struggled to this point in his career.
With three meaningless games left in 2016, the Eagles will hope to see more progress from Agholor before the season is over. The Eagles are essentially stuck with Agholor’s contract for the 2017 season so they might as well hope he can at least develop into a merely serviceable player.
Along with Agholor, Reich touched on several other Eagles offensive players. Read on for more updates.
ON ISAAC SEUMALO’S SECOND CAREER START
“It’s almost a little bit like what you saw with V [Halapoulivaati Vaitai], when V kind of came in and had an up-and-down first start and then settled down. You could see Isaac settle down and play pretty solid football. There’s nothing that can substitute experience and getting in there and playing. There’s nothing that can build confidence like playing, having a few good plays and building confidence one play at a time. When you’re playing beside other guys that got a little bit of juice, the guy’s got juice and you feel that support and practice goes well, I think those are all things that build confidence.”
ON THE PROMOTION OF PRACTICE SQUAD RUNNING BACK BYRON MARSHALL
“Byron – I’m not sure what action he’ll see – but I can just tell you, watching scout team this whole year, probably if you took the 10 most eye-popping ‘wow’ plays on the field this year, Byron might have three or four of them, where he’s running scout team and he runs a route or he makes a cut against our defense that just goes, ‘Whoa!’ We’ll look at each other and say, ‘That was legit.’ So, he’s got some explosiveness and elusiveness to him.”
ON WENDELL SMALLWOOD’S FUTURE
“I love Wendell. I’ve said this from the start: he’s got good aptitude in the run and pass game; I think he’s fearless; he runs hard; he’s got good explosion through the hole, but yet good patience to the hole. You know, even though he’s out for the year, we’re still thinking the arrow is way up and very positive on him.”
ON TREY BURTON’S DEVELOPMENT
“Yeah, I mean, Trey has been pretty consistent. This season has been normal in that as the weeks go, some guys come in and out of phase, and they get the ball and then they don’t get the ball. But we have seen all the way from training camp and before, that Trey is a play-maker. Carson has a lot of confidence in Trey and that’s why he’s on the field as much as he is. A lot of that is us as coaches and our quarterback having confidence in him. So I would anticipate that will continue.”
ON THE PROGRESS OF CONVERTED TIGHT END DILLON GORDON
“Dillon works hard. All those guys. That’s like one of those things, if you could win a prize to say, ‘Hey, spend a day in the room [with the] offensive line.’ A day with the offensive line, just hang with those guys for one day, sit in their meetings, it’s a really dynamic place. Those guys push each other, they’re coached very hard by Stout and [Eagles assistant offensive line/tight ends/run game coach] Eugene [Chung]. I think they’re very close-knit. I think those guys love coming to work every day. They love what they do. I think they love who they do it with. So Dillon is a guy who fits right in there. You can’t help but get better when you’re in that kind of environment.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
“Stats don’t mean anything. Wins or losses mean something.” Jim Schwartz dives in to some of the biggest plays from Sunday’s loss to the Redskins.
Where do the Eagles stand in this week’s NFL Power Rankings?
“[Doug] Pederson’s job will be tied to [Carson] Wentz’s progress, fairly or not, for as long as both are in Philadelphia.” What They’re Saying.
“If we can help him, I want to help him and make sure it doesn’t happen again.” Pederson says the Eagles and Brandon Brooks himself will try to find out why the offensive guard keeps getting sick on gamedays.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Mychal Kendricks is frustrated by his lack of playing time as well as the team’s failures, pens CSNPhilly’s Dave Zangaro.
The former second-round pick has played in every game this season, but he’s been on the field for just 29 percent of the defense’s snaps after playing just eight snaps against Washington.
While Kendricks is still technically a starter in the Eagles’ base defense, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham stay on the field when the Eagles go to nickel and Kendricks comes off. With how much teams in the modern era of the NFL pass, Kendricks has seen his playing time dwindle this season.
“I just do what I’m told, bro,” he said after Sunday’s loss. “The only time I play is when they’re in 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends), 21 personnel (two RBs, one TE), 22 (two RBs, two TES), big personnel. But this is the NFL and this is a passing league. They like to go 11 personnel (three receivers).”
For a linebacker who signed a four-year extension worth $29 million, the Eagles aren’t getting a lot of use out of Kendricks right now, which isn’t to say he’s played poorly when he’s been on the field. Still, Kendricks’ salary cap hit of $4.6 million this year jumps to $6.6 million next season.
Paul Domowitch of the Daily News ponders whether or not Dorial Green-Beckham will ever reach his potential.
But the problem with being a 6-5, 237-pound wide receiver with 4.49 speed is that people expect more than decent. They expect impactful. They expect dominating. They expect difference-making.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey became so frustrated with Green-Beckham’s attitude and work habits and lack of attention to detail that he threw up his hands and traded him to the Eagles this summer for a backup offensive lineman (Dennis Kelly) and a salami sandwich. OK, maybe the salami sandwich wasn’t part of the deal.
The Eagles were willing to trade for Green-Beckham because: 1) as mentioned previously, he’s big and he’s fast; 2) they got him for next to nothing; and 3) their wide-receiving corps, beyond slot receiver Jordan Matthews, was an underperforming mess.
Thirteen games into his first season with the Eagles, Green-Beckham hasn’t been impactful, dominating or difference-making. But he hasn’t been awful, either.
Doug Pederson will talk to the media at around 10:50.
Chris Jastrzembski contributed to this post.