Doug Pederson: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside can be explosive for us

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Josh McCown hasn’t been a member of the Eagles for long, but it seems he’s found a favorite target in the receiving corps.

Seven of McCown’s 17 completions on Thursday night were to second-round pick J.J. Arcega Whiteside, who finished the night with eight catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. McCown said the rookie’s “preparedness to play is huge” in creating that connection and head coach Doug Pederson also had positive things to say about what the wideout can do.

“One of the things [about] J.J. is [he is] a hard worker,” Pederson said after the game. “You see it in practice every day. He comes to work every day. He wants to get better. He wants to be taught. He wants to learn. He has a great mentor in Alshon [Jeffery] in front of him, so he’s learning from that. Being able to talk to Josh or talk to Carson [Wentz] during the week, talk about routes, talk about coverage, and that’s where he really takes it over to the field, and I think that’s what you saw tonight with him and his ability to make plays. The red zone we know he can be explosive. He was able to do that really not only there, but out in the field.”

How much the Eagles will call on Arcega-Whiteside this year remains to be seen. Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor are all on hand and they have Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert at tight end, so it may take an injury in order for the rookie to crack the lineup. If he does, it sounds like the team will have confidence in what he can do on the field.