Eagles plan “a game-plan thing” for slot receiver work


The trade of wide receiver Jordan Matthews took a good friend away from Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and left the team without the player who was slated to man the slot receiver role during the 2017 season.

On Monday, offensive coordinator Frank Reich was asked about the plans for the position now that Matthews is plying his trade in Buffalo. Reich mentioned Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins and Marcus Johnson as players that will be in the mix and said tight end Trey Burton could also be a factor in what’s shaping up as a committee approach.

“I mean, I think it’s going to be — it’s a game-plan thing,” Reich said in comments distributed by the team. “Each and every week, when we put a play up, it’s what body type do we want in there for this play? Is it a crossing route where we want a bigger body type? Is it going to be one of these scat-back things where we want a little more fast twitch? Then you put somebody like Nelson in there. Is it a speed route? Do we need somebody to clear out for something vertical for [Alshon Jeffery] coming in behind him? Do we want a speed route running deep across the field to run by a safety on the back side? So it will be by committee, by play, each and every week — by coverage. Those things all factor in.”

The Eagles will only be able to keep so many receivers on their 53-man roster, so it would help the team from both a numbers and an offensive predictability standpoint to find guys who can handle a few of the responsibilities Reich laid out on Monday.

17 responses to “Eagles plan “a game-plan thing” for slot receiver work

  1. .
    The Patriots have a few promising young WRs (Lucien, Carr) who are unlikely to make the team. They’re also unlikely to pass through waivers to make the practice squad. Look for the Patriots to try to make a deal rather than lose them to the Jets in the waiver process.

    The Eagles and Patriots have a long history as trading partners.

  2. This is my only complaint about the trade. I know we weren’t likely to resign him because he wanted #1 money, and I know CB is our biggest weakness (still probably is), but here’s my only complaint:

    When you have a QB who you think could be “the guy” and he doesn’t prove you wrong in year #1 the way Wentz showed us potential, you gotta do everything within reason to help him develop for a few years. This means draft or resign Oline, help give him a few weapons, and don’t put too much workload on him. We essentially just gave away Wentz favorite target and his safety blanket. I really, really hope he’s ready after just 1 short year to face NFL defenses within Matthews.

    *says prayer, hopes Alshon stays healthy*

  3. I believe this to be called a “precision match up offense.” Moving players around the formations to create a favorable match up for the QB. While they are not the only team that uses this type offensive philosophy, the Patriots would be considered the most successful at running the precision match up offense.

  4. I’m surprised that it took Mathews AND a 3rd round to get Darby (and Darby is good), but I don’t believe JMatt was going to get an extension anyway from the Eagles so I suppose it made sense to get something now instead of waiting for a low comp pick in 2019. Plus I like Marcus Johnson. If he didn’t get hurt his Senior year at Texas, he would’ve been an early round pick

  5. BMOREPPSITIVE, well, if that’s your only complaint, then maybe you’ll feel better when i tell u that matthews wasn’t wentz security blanket. It was ertz. Ertz had more catches, yards and tds than matthews did last season. Especially during the 2nd half of the season. Matthews career stats look ok but he always had a ton of targets n didnt seem to have a whole lot of yards after catch. Im ok with letting these young guys step in n make plays.

  6. Ahem, I don’t think Reich is the one who has no idea here…

    I’m amazed @6ball is getting so many thumbs down, because he’s absolutely correct… NE & Philly have been VERY friendly for a VERY long time.

    @bemorepositive123: I hear you but safety blankets are not irreplaceable. ANYONE in the slot who catches the damn ball automatically becomes Wentz’s safety blanket at this point, you know? 🙂 Anyways, Matthews’ stats were pumped up because of the mediocrity surrounding him in the receiving corps… his relevance and importance the Eagles diminishes as the corps gets stronger.

  7. I do believe the issue with matthews was that Pederson wanted flexibility in the slot. Matthews was more like a tight end. My biggest issue is I have no faith in Nelson Aghorlor. No matter how good he looks in practice it just doesn’t translate to games. He could be completely wide open and it’s 50/50 if he catches the ball. In the Green Bay opener they tried a quick pass to him on a 2pt try and the ball was high but catchable and he couldn’t make the play. It’s crucial plays like that they just can’t rely on him. Yet on that socring drive, Matthews made two crucial tough catches to extend the drive on a 3rd down and a 4th down. While ultimately i see this as being a fairly big issue I still think Darby could end up being a bigger fix to a bigger whole at the corner position so I’m ok with the trade. I just don’t like the idea of Nelson Aghorlor in there as more than a deep threat who might occasionally find the defense sleeping on him and make a play.

  8. I KNOWITALL, this article has nothing to do with protesting. By the way, all the people that cant stand players protesting are welcome to watch other sports if they think protesting is so bad.

  9. I also think you could see Torrey Smith in the slot at times. I know he’s always been a prototypical #2 speed guy but I think they like Mack Hollins and Marcus Johnson a lot and both those guys are better on the outside. I expect to see a lot of different players in the slot throughout games.

  10. Iknowitall says:
    August 15, 2017 at 9:37 am
    All these protesters are welcome to go live in Iran if they think the USA is so bad

    Is that what you would have said to Frederick Douglas and anyone who opposed slavery? Is that what you would have said to Rosa Parks and anyone who opposed ‘separate but equal?’ Is that what you would have said to those marching for equal pay? Is that what you would have said to those who picketed at the unsafe factories?

    I am just trying to figure out this standard that you have set. Sounds like you support a dictatorship where one person tells you how it is and if you don’t like it, you get shot. We went to wars over these things. Unfortunately for you, the constitution– you know… that same document that you are quick to cite whenever someone “threatens to take your guns” tell me this is not how this country works.

  11. Iknowitall says:
    August 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

    All these protesters are welcome to go live in Iran if they think the USA is so bad

    If you don’t think people should have a right to protest, maybe YOU should go live in Iran, where that sort of thing ISN’T allowed.

  12. Okay we won’t call Jordan his “security blanket” we’ll just call him Wentz “favorite target” from last years preseason, last years regular season, and this years preseason so far…

  13. Oh – last week we heard that the Packers were bush league for running blitzes because teams don’t game plan in the exhibition season. I guess in the second week it’s okay to start.

  14. @mnrasslinggovjesse

    Who called out the Pack for that?

    I watched Reich’s presser and all he said was it was highly unusual in a matter-of-fact way.

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