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Eagles ask Jason Avant to learn some new tricks, too

Jason Avant, DeAngelo Hall AP

It’s one thing to be versatile.

But when a new coaching staff which hasn’t worked with you walks in the door and asks you to change positions, it’s probably not a good sign for your future.

We mentioned earlier this week the report that Eagles tight end Clay Harbor was getting some work at linebacker, but coach Chip Kelly apparently isn’t finished tinkering.

According to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com, wide receiver Jason Avant got some work in the secondary as well.

The 30-year-old Avant has caught 259 passes in seven seasons, more than 50 in each of the last three seasons. So it’s not as if he lacks the ability to play the position at the NFL level.

“It’s one of those things that I work hard, I’m going to continue to work hard and whatever that may be, whatever the team wants to do with me, I’m going to do it as best as I can for the team, whatever that may be,” Avant said. “I don’t necessarily think it’ll cloud my future. I really think it’s an honor anyway for a coach to think you can do other things.”

Likewise, Harbor downplayed the notion he’s not a tight end any longer, or that he’s in jeopardy.

“I’m a tight end, and for emergency situations and versatility purposes, for me, I’m learning something new,” Harbor said. “If something happens in a game, you have 52 guys on the roster, 45 guys that can dress. If something happens where you do need an outside linebacker, it’s good to know something. I’m still a tight end. I’m not switching positions.”

Still, Harbor and Avant should also consider the possibility that their new boss thinks they’re topped out at their current positions or surplus to requirements, and that they might be plying their trade elsewhere.

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20 Responses to “Eagles ask Jason Avant to learn some new tricks, too”
  1. diegiantsdie says: May 18, 2013 2:16 PM

    i love avant. he has been nothing but a good player. he has great durability and hands. if it doesnt work in philly he will be picked up elsewhere that same day.

  2. absolutekind says: May 18, 2013 2:18 PM

    It’s all well and fine to experiment, but Jason Avant is an underrated receiver. He’s not a big play maker, but he catch’s just about everything thrown at him. Not to mention he’s about the only Eagle’s receiver who can stay healthy.

  3. dmasteradicator says: May 18, 2013 2:40 PM

    If Kelly really wanted to show that he’s forward thinking, he’d try Avant at guard.

  4. whosweetlou says: May 18, 2013 2:48 PM

    Good luck philly your offensive coordinator is the worst coach ive ever seen! I lost all respect for kelly after he hired the bum. Go brownies!!

  5. greymares says: May 18, 2013 3:11 PM

    I think you will see Ertz lined up mostly in the slot with Celek in tight and Casey as an “H” back with Benn and the big guy from Boston College in the red zone not much room left for Avant.

  6. captainwisdom8888 says: May 18, 2013 3:15 PM

    It is going to be very difficult for the Eagles to narrow down their receivers to just 5. Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are the only 2 guys whose jobs are safe and sound, with Avant and Riley Cooper expected to join them. The 5th spot will be a battle between Arrelious Benn, the speedy Damaris Johnson, and my personal pick…6’7 Ifeanyi Momah. I just don’t think the Eagles can pass up on a player with NBA height, runs a 4.4 forty yard dash, and provides a mammoth of a red-zone presence.

  7. orivar says: May 18, 2013 3:39 PM

    “but he catch’s just about everything thrown at him” Except for that one playoff that was the third game against the Cowboys. Still a fan of Avant but that’s what depressed me the most that game, everybody was dropping easy passes including him.

  8. eaglesince86 says: May 18, 2013 3:51 PM

    says a lot about our defense

  9. tominsonoma says: May 18, 2013 3:54 PM

    All those offensive skill players working on their tackling will come in handy on interception returns once Vick starts throwing picks

  10. icdogg says: May 18, 2013 4:19 PM

    I don’t think Avant will be out of a job long if released. He’s not a big guy, and he’s not a fast guy, but he’s got good hands and can work in traffic.

  11. icdogg says: May 18, 2013 4:23 PM

    I’d actually consider trying Ertz at the X receiver spot.

  12. dietrich43 says: May 18, 2013 5:14 PM

    Maybe they should try moving Vick from rb to qb.

  13. steves11 says: May 18, 2013 6:09 PM

    You’ve got to give Kelly credit for thinking outside of the box, but it will all fall apart when the Eagles are 0-3 or 0-4 and everybody is laughing at what a mess the team is.

  14. bobbyhoying says: May 18, 2013 6:14 PM

    Avant’s downside is getting picked up by the Chiefs and making the playoffs this year.

  15. jhkayejr says: May 18, 2013 7:16 PM

    Avant is a clutch receiver and a great locker room leader to boot. I’m all for letting him show what he can do on either side of the ball, but if Philly is looking to get rid of him, some other team is going to get a steal.

  16. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 19, 2013 4:12 AM

    It’s probably not a good sign for the whole team either. What is Chip thinking?

    These players are professionals at their positions and aren’t interested in playing both ways. It’s not college ball. This is very amateurish and “bush league.”

    Get ready Eagle fan, Chip is going for it on all fourth downs, going for two point conversions, and now NFL players playing on both sides of the ball.

    The Duck dynasaty has arrived in Philly!

    Now let the miserable haters do what they do best. …

  17. macjacmccoy says: May 19, 2013 4:12 AM

    I dont get the guy saying there’s no room for Avant. You got Jackson, Maclin, Avant, Cooper, and Benn at WR, and Celek, Ertz, and Casey at TE. That’s 8, a lot of teams including the majority of Eagles’ teams over the last decade have filled 9 roster spots between those 2 positions. The fact that Kelly doesnt use a FB means he could conceivably carry 10 . So along with the players I already named 2 more could make the opening day roster. Either Momah, Johnson, Harbor, or a suprise camp body.

    Besides all that Avant is the 3rd best (arguably 2nd and sometimes even very best) receiver the Eagles have. He’s not going to be the odd man out when his competition is Cooper, Johnson, and Benn. The only way hes not on the 53 man roster at the end of camp is if some team makes the Eagles an offer they cant refuse. Otherwise his spot on the roster is secure.

  18. myeaglescantwin says: May 19, 2013 5:53 AM

    i love how everyone talks up Avant.

    from a guy that watches every game at least twice, Jason does surely make some serious plays.
    But when the game is on the line, Vick/Foles better look elsewhere.

    I’ve seen this cat DROP , flat out DROP 3 game winning TD’s.

    we are not talking spectacular miracle catches or anything,.. just open TD’s dropped.

    also, there is no such thing as YAC with this guy.

  19. phuckingeaglesphan says: May 20, 2013 1:14 PM

    This “cat” is the only wide receiver that will go across the middle without flinching, pulling up short or aligator arming the ball. He also takes the hit and gets up afterwards. He plays the position like a man and how I would like to think I would play. Yes, 2 years ago he dropped a couple touchdowns but to say he doesnt have good hands is just ridiculous. And there hasn’t been any clutch situations for the past 2 years anyway

  20. dcbassguy says: May 20, 2013 5:55 PM

    Am I the only one that actually watches the games?

    Here are his “drops” stats for the last 3 years:

    2012= 0 drops
    2011= 1 drop
    2010= 3 drops

    4 total drops in 3 years….. Do some research before making stupid posts.

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