Eagles news and notes for 11/2
ESPN's Ed Werder reported that the 49ers wanted a third-round pick for wide receiver Torrey Smith, and that the Eagles might be interested if they could give a fifth-rounder. Obviously, no common ground was reached.
Meanwhile, Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff's deadline-day celebration was interrupted by a Delaware River Port Authority officer, who pulled Huff over, allegedly for going more than 25 mph over the speed limit on the New Jersey side of the Walt Whitman Bridge at around 11 a.m. That problem escalated when the officer smelled marijuana, and ended up with Huff facing charges for DUI, a small amount of weed, a handgun he was said to be carrying without a New Jersey permit, and for allegedly having illegal hollow-point bullets. He also was cited for having dark-tinted windows.
In the short term - say, Sunday's game at the Giants - this doesn't mean much, but, in the long run, in addition to facing possible jail time, Huff will be investigated under the NFL's personal conduct policy. Unless this all turns out to be a hilarious misunderstanding and charges are dropped, Huff likely will find himself suspended for at least a few games, later this season or to start next season.
That adds even more long-term uncertainty to the team's shaky situation at wide receiver, where Jordan Matthews (38th) is the only Eagle in the top 40 in receiving yards. It's hard to imagine wideout won't be an Eagles focus in both free agency and the 2017 draft.
On Friday afternoons, with the Eagles' schedule finished for the day, Brent Celek grunts through push-ups alone with a trainer in the team's weight room. He goes to a massage therapist after the workout, ending a week without his favorite foods and with a 20-minute stretching routine before an early bedtime.
This is part of Celek's survival guide at 31 and in his 10th NFL season. Celek came to Philadelphia in 2007, and with Ryan Howard's Phillies career finished, Eagles long-snapper Jon Dorenbos is the only athlete in Philadelphia who has lasted longer than Celek. Celek signed three contracts with the Eagles, caught passes from 11 quarterbacks, missed only one game despite ailments all over his body, and has made his home in the area.
"I worked like I was going to be here," Celek said, "but you never think you'll be sitting here until you're sitting here."
So how has Celek lasted 10 years in the NFL? Here are 10 ways.
Celek has heard all the platitudes about his toughness, but even he admits he could have taken a helmet to the knee early in his career and not experienced any of what came after.
"You have to be lucky," Celek said.
One day after Doug Pederson said he was “disappointed” in Agholor’s comments, Brandon Graham joined TCN's Breakfast on Broad crew and added to what his head coach said about the remarks made by the Eagles' 2015 first-round pick.
“I understand exactly what he was saying, but at the same time it was the wrong place at the wrong time,” Graham said Tuesday. “If you clear your head, like the coach said, you probably won't feel as bad as you felt at that moment when they asked you that question because that’s all it is. They baited him into it and they got a reaction and what they wanted. For him, I know it’ll be a learning experience. I’m sure he don’t wanna get on Coach’s bad side just by media stuff.”
Agholor has had an underwhelming start to his NFL career in Philadelphia. On the heels of recording 23 catches for 283 yards and one touchdown as a rookie, Agholor has 21 catches for 216 yards and one touchdown in 2016.
Through the first seven games, the USC product has also had his fair share of drops, a common theme among the Eagles’ wide receiver corps this season.
“All he heard was drops,” Graham said. “That’s all he heard and it’s probably what he’s been hearing the last eight weeks. I know they caught him in a bad time. Not to make excuses for Nelson, that’s just my teammate and I’m gonna have his back. I just wish he wouldn’t have said that because you gotta be a professional at the end of the day.”
The offense has averaged just 16 points per game since the bye week, and Doug Pederson notes the team is still determining what their winning formula is.
“I think there’s some of that. I think we’re still figuring out,” Pederson said. “(Dorial Green-Beckham) is getting a little more work, obviously. We’re trying to figure him out. We kind of know what he can do, and his strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, our tight ends, I think we understand what they are and who they are and the magnitude that they can help us. The run game is probably an area that we can continue to improve. I know we can get even better there. Full confidence in our offensive line there.
“And Carson [Wentz] gets better every week. The more we’re around him and know what he likes and we understand what he can do, then we can tailor a game plan. So it’s a little bit of we’re still trying to figure that out, but at the same time, I think we have a good feel for who we are and what we’re trying to get done in these games.”
Although Wentz hasn’t improved statistically in the games after the bye compared to the first three weeks of the season, Pederson notes Wentz is protecting the ball better. He also thinks his rookie quarterback has a better understanding of how to spread the ball around and how to best use the personnel that surrounds him. Wentz’s understanding of the system improves by week as well, Pederson adds, and the communications between everyone on the offense is getting better.
While the offense has been sputtering as of late, the Eagles have only lost their three games by an average of five points.