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Andy Reid: Jason Avant is the best inside receiver in the NFL

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The Philadelphia Eagles have been without their top two wide receivers throughout training camp, as DeSean Jackson is holding out and Jeremy Maclin is missing with an illness. But Eagles coach Andy Reid says people are overlooking Philly’s third receiver.

Jason Avant, Reid says, is the best player in the NFL at what the Eagles’ offense needs an inside receiver to do.

“That son of a gun catches everything,” Reid said of Avant. “He makes these catches that are fun to watch. Even from a coach’s standpoint, those are fun to watch. He does some things I think are incredible. I would consider him the best guy in this league as an inside player. I’m not sure I’d want anybody else for what we do as an inside receiver. Then you can stick him outside and then he makes plays out there. He’s got great body control and understands leverage. He’s got great quickness.”

Avant, who averaged 11.2 yards a catch last season, doesn’t have anything close to the deep speed of Jackson, who averaged more than twice that at 22.5 yards a catch. But Avant has all the tools to be a valuable slot receiver.

And more importantly to Reid, talking about Avant means talking about the top receiver who is at camp, instead of the two guys who aren’t there.

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57 Responses to “Andy Reid: Jason Avant is the best inside receiver in the NFL”
  1. grandpoopah says: Aug 8, 2011 7:26 AM

    Unlike Rex Ryan, Andy Reid typically doesn’t lavish over-the-top praise on his players like this so I think this merits some attention. Avant is a dependable role player and an important cog in the offense, but he must really be stepping up his game in camp for Reid to gush like this.

  2. hotpappyjohnson says: Aug 8, 2011 7:28 AM

    best Avant memory is him banging out some sap on the Giants and knocking himself out while D-Jax diddled into the endzone. Miracle at the Meadowlands part Deuce (as in #2..poop..excrement..grumpy..etc.). Avant is Bernard Hopkins in pads

  3. seabreezes51 says: Aug 8, 2011 7:30 AM

    He missed a few key passes last year. Until then I would agree with Andy.
    He’s good, but he’s not perfect.

  4. birdobeamen says: Aug 8, 2011 7:31 AM

    Andy clearly made it clear that he meant at “WHAT THE EAGLES DO OFFENSIVELY” — which to be honest, I agree with him. All Avant does is make first downs.

    Of course, there are going to be morons who know nothing about football nor how to read thoroughly and criticize the fat man for what he said.

  5. 7to10for6allday says: Aug 8, 2011 7:34 AM

    I wouldn’t get carried away with avant. Def not a stud but he is a good slot guy… Having said that, welcome back djax! Go eagles!

  6. angrycorgi says: Aug 8, 2011 7:34 AM

    More hype from the coach of the all-hype team…

  7. eaglesfootballfan says: Aug 8, 2011 7:38 AM

    Jason Avant is a really good inside slot receiver. He catches anything that comes his way.

  8. myeaglescantwin says: Aug 8, 2011 7:40 AM

    yeah …

    Jason Avant is the best Pre-season receiver you will ever see..

    There were 3 games where Avant dropped TD receptions last year.. All in situations that would have either tied the game or moved us into the lead in the 4th quarter.

    Check out our last drive in the loss to washington.

    until this guy comes out and makes a huge play on a big stage, i’ll list him as “just another guy” on the hype squad.

  9. deangelo23hall says: Aug 8, 2011 7:46 AM

    Avant still won’t be on my fantasy team…

  10. dvdxtreme says: Aug 8, 2011 7:46 AM

    Nobody is better than the Giants’ Steve Smith on the slot… Coming from a Cowboys’ fan.

  11. thehaljordanproject says: Aug 8, 2011 7:47 AM

    Really Andy? The best inside/slot wr in the league? Really? I know you have to stick by your players but c’mon man! Ever heard of Wes Welker? How about Davone Bess? Mario Mannigham? I could go on forever. The only thing “best in the league” Avant is would probably be 3rd wr named Jason Avant

  12. zilla1126 says: Aug 8, 2011 7:48 AM

    When he is not on the sideline being asked topical questions, I’d say Austin Collie.

  13. cruzp23 says: Aug 8, 2011 7:49 AM

    looks like andy reid is taking the tag “dream team” the wrong way!

  14. jtownsfine5t says: Aug 8, 2011 7:50 AM

    Lol I believe davone bess is the best inside reciever

  15. jblah says: Aug 8, 2011 7:54 AM

    can anyone name me 3 slot receivers better than avant? Thanks.

  16. htotheb says: Aug 8, 2011 7:54 AM

    he’s no davone bess

  17. jetfanfolife says: Aug 8, 2011 7:57 AM

    Talk about envious…The very first comment had a remark on Rex Ryan for a report about an entirely different team, in a different conference.

  18. dfeltz says: Aug 8, 2011 7:58 AM

    It isn’t that interesting that a coach, thinks one of his players are the best at what they do. This would make for a better story if Reid said he was terrible. But he didn’t and this is just a worthless story.

  19. vickadelphiaphreedom says: Aug 8, 2011 8:03 AM

    Catching in practice is not the same as catching in games….Avant had a few HUGE drops in the playoff game last season….one wide open in the back of the endzone.

  20. melonnhead says: Aug 8, 2011 8:08 AM

    Unlike Rex Ryan, Andy Reid typically doesn’t lavish over-the-top praise on his players like this so I think this merits some attention. Avant is a dependable role player and an important cog in the offense, but he must really be stepping up his game in camp for Reid to gush like this.

    —————————————————————-

    Ya, because coaches never talk good about their own players. Remember when he said that Kevin Kolb was a championship caliber QB?

  21. jim12385 says: Aug 8, 2011 8:09 AM

    Um…Wes Welker. End of arguement.

  22. baldeaglejohnie says: Aug 8, 2011 8:11 AM

    Love this Guy!. great hands, tough inside player. And a great teammate. I can’t believe somebody actually typed but he’s not perfect. hey even the GOAT drop passes in his career and Montana and Unites threw interceptions in champtionship games no less. WTF! not perfect who the heck is!

  23. chowderhead12 says: Aug 8, 2011 8:12 AM

    i guess he never heard of wes welker what an idiot. avant has missed more key passes then any receiver in the league.

  24. briang123 says: Aug 8, 2011 8:17 AM

    Andy must have really liked those steaks and sausage Jason Avant sent over.

  25. tedmurph says: Aug 8, 2011 8:19 AM

    Avant isn’t gonna do much unless Reid gets his two wideouts to camp. Reid is just tweaking them with his comments, as if to say go ahead and hold out.

    Welker is the best inside receiver in the league, hands down.

  26. wryly1 says: Aug 8, 2011 8:19 AM

    I’ve always like and respected Andy Reid. There are few coaches of his era as knowledgable and successful.

    Historically and characteristically he has always played his cards very close to his vest. Now, after a decade in the same place without a SB win, he’s making the kind of public declarations he never would have in the past. That coupled with his orgy of free agency spending on aging veterans, suggests he might be feeling just a twinge of desperation in the autumn of his career.

  27. jimmygrahamchrisivory says: Aug 8, 2011 8:26 AM

    Lance Moore.

  28. jayslang says: Aug 8, 2011 8:33 AM

    I wonder what team he’s trying to pry a second round pick out of with that statement.

  29. mdd913 says: Aug 8, 2011 8:35 AM

    can anyone name me 3 slot receivers better than avant? Thanks.

    Davone Bess
    Wes Welker
    Lance Moore
    Percy Harvin
    Austin Collie
    Steve Smith
    Danny Amendola

    I’m sure there are more that’s just off the top of my head.

  30. laeaglefan says: Aug 8, 2011 8:39 AM

    Wes Welker was a nobody before he teamed up with Tom Brady and would go back to being one with a “normal” quarterback. All he really does is catch short passes out in the flat and use his speed to pick up yardage. You don’t see him banging heads with defensive backs in the middle of the field.

  31. deenice810 says: Aug 8, 2011 8:39 AM

    Always liked Jason Avant he does his job without being a diva. On another team he probaly would get more catches and TD’s. Glad he plays for the Birds!

  32. 28allday says: Aug 8, 2011 8:43 AM

    1.welker 2. Harvin 3. Moore

  33. 6ringnationsparksjealousy says: Aug 8, 2011 8:44 AM

    Andy Reid is a perennial loser

  34. thespeaker08 says: Aug 8, 2011 8:44 AM

    Knowing Reid, avant will be traded or released before season starts.

  35. jenniferxxx says: Aug 8, 2011 8:47 AM

    He’s channeling his inner Rex Ryan.

  36. stevemcguigan says: Aug 8, 2011 8:52 AM

    So, can we all agree that sixsteelrings is the worst thing to happen to the PFT comments section since Vox/Melon relearned how to type with his tongue?

  37. bleedgreen says: Aug 8, 2011 8:53 AM

    I’m an Eagles fan, and I’d still point to Wes Welker. Avant is top 3 though.

  38. boover3 says: Aug 8, 2011 8:55 AM

    Aug 8, 2011 7:54 AM
    can anyone name me 3 slot receivers better than avant? Thanks.

    Wes Welker
    Davone Bess
    Donald Driver

    need more?

    Kevin Walter
    Austin Collie
    Hines Ward

  39. Grulks says: Aug 8, 2011 9:02 AM

    Avant is very very good. This is coming from a Dallas fan.

    But I don’t think I would rank him ahead of
    Pierre Garcon, Wes Welker, Cotchery or even Davone Bess, in no particular order. Percy Harvin has an argument as a better slot receiver than Avant, so does Lance moore

    Avant has great hands, but I can’t really recall any plays he has made that -everyone- remembers, say like when Cotchery did when he pulled a groin and still “ran” one legged for 8 steps for a first down, or when he got “tackled” by NE but never touched the ground and then ran 30 more yards for a TD.

    As to Reid’s statement “Avant is the best player in the NFL at what the Eagles’ offense needs an inside receiver to do”, there’s nothing profound there. That’s like me saying “Chick-Fil-A makes the best Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwiches.

  40. ihavea2inchpenis says: Aug 8, 2011 9:07 AM

    Jblah I can Austin collie , Wes welker, Hines ward , jordy Nelson , davone bess, Steve smith , jerricho cothery, list goes
    On n on eagles fans get carried away I still remember when they said Michael Lewis was one of the best safties haaaaa.

  41. melonnhead says: Aug 8, 2011 9:18 AM

    So, can we all agree that sixsteelrings is the worst thing to happen to the PFT comments section since Vox/Melon relearned how to type with his tongue?

    ————————————————————–

    Obsess much?

  42. realdeal12 says: Aug 8, 2011 9:27 AM

    Andy needs to get over himself, if thats even possible for a man his size.

  43. titletowneric says: Aug 8, 2011 9:34 AM

    And Terrance Newman is a good corner.

  44. kevinwi says: Aug 8, 2011 9:36 AM

    Apparently Reid hasn’t watched Percy Harvin play.

  45. rooneyruleblues says: Aug 8, 2011 9:39 AM

    Andy Reid is one of the most overrated coaches in pro sports.

  46. rooneyruleblues says: Aug 8, 2011 9:43 AM

    Anyone remember Wes Welker laying flat on the turf after the pats choked away the undefeated season? Flat on his stomach crying his eyes out. Thats my favorite memory of one of the best slot WRs.

  47. sj39 says: Aug 8, 2011 9:48 AM

    Now that is funny Andy!

  48. mistrezzrachael says: Aug 8, 2011 9:49 AM

    Ummm Andy????

    Doesn’t Wes Welker play in NFL?…Maybe you meant NFC East?..Sorry, but not even close comparison.

    What was that????

  49. 6yardslant says: Aug 8, 2011 10:22 AM

    Wes Welker, Steve Smith (NYG), Percy Harvin…

    All 3 better than Avant in the slot.

  50. terripet says: Aug 8, 2011 10:31 AM

    Austin Collie hands down this guy never drops a pass if he stays healthy 15 td’s this season

  51. stevemcguigan says: Aug 8, 2011 10:35 AM

    melonnhead says: Aug 8, 2011 9:18 AM

    Obsess much?

    I’ll stop saying it as soon as you admit it.

  52. fcs34 says: Aug 8, 2011 10:58 AM

    Sounds like Andy got into his kids stash again.

  53. tedmurph says: Aug 8, 2011 11:16 AM

    @rooneyrulesblues:

    Never happened Mr. Memory. Prob thinking of Seau after Giant td.

    Even if it did, what does taking a loss hard have to do with being a great slot receiver??

    No choke, Giants just better that day and deserved to win.

  54. shamburg says: Aug 8, 2011 12:04 PM

    Avant definitely had some neurons missfire last year when he dropped 2 sure TDs that could’ve decided games. I think those were flukes and Ried is right about this man. Not only an excellent player in the slot, but he’s one of the best behind-the-scenes leaders this team has. Very well respected because of his attituce and toughness.

    He also made the miracle at the meadowlands last year with his block that set D-Jax free to the endzone, and sent the Eagles to the playoffs by selling out and giving himself a concussion in the process!

  55. pacash80 says: Aug 8, 2011 12:25 PM

    Avant is very good, but not the best in the league. He’s a great possession receiver though, and a great role player.

  56. dawkattack says: Aug 8, 2011 12:33 PM

    Wow Do You Guys Actually Read These Articles #1 Nobody Stays On Subject # 2 He Said At What The Eagles Do Keywords Are (What The Eagles Do) Not The Phins Pats Or Colts

  57. pjxii says: Aug 8, 2011 7:32 PM

    There were 3 games where Avant dropped TD receptions last year.. All in situations that would have either tied the game or moved us into the lead in the 4th quarter.

    ————————————————–

    This is just what I was thinking as I read The coach’s quote. Avant is okay as a slot guy but hardly the best.

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