The Eagles knew wide receiver Rueben Randle well from his time with the Giants, and the team should know Randle much better now that he’s gone through spring and training camp trying to earn a starting role after signing with the Eagles in free agency.
But Randle still feels like he’s not only proving himself as a player. He believes there were knocks on his consistency and work ethic that may have scared away some potential free agent suitors.
“I feel like I get read wrong because I do a lot of things naturally and it doesn’t seem like I’m giving much effort,” Randle said, per ESPN. “If I go out there and make a one-handed catch and make it look effortless, I get praised for it, but if I do all these other things effortlessly, it’s like I’m not giving much effort.
“It’s just kind of one of those things, you just have to go out there and just make some plays and see how it goes from there.”
The Eagles would like Randle to make a bunch of plays. Jordan Matthews, who led the team in every receiving category last season, has been out for the last three weeks and Randle is in a crowded group of wide receivers trying to make an impression. Randle, who caught eight touchdown passes last season for the Giants, has three preseason catches in two brief appearances.
Though Randle’s focus has been on getting up to speed with a new offense and earning a role in the starting lineup, he’s also playing for the future. He’s just 25 and is on a one-year contract, so he could be back on the free agent market next spring — or play his way into the Eagles’ long-term plans.
The Eagles expect Matthews back for the season opener, and in the meantime Randle and the other receivers are trying to stand out.
“If I didn’t [feel confident], I shouldn’t be here,” Randle said. “We all should feel confident in where we are. We just have to go out and prove ourselves.”