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Mike Groh says Nelson Agholor’s effort should not be questioned

Plus, the Eagles’ OC talked about deep passes and Andre Dillard’s first start.

The Eagles’ offense was not effective against the Cowboys, and they still haven’t found success with deep passes. Offensive coordinator Mike Groh spoke with the media Tuesday afternoon and talked about these issues and commented on the Nelson Agholor missed deep ball.

Groh talked about how they have to do a better job protecting the ball, and that no one was happy about the two fumbles to start the game. And, while they were able to get on the board after that, they still need to start quicker.

Here’s what the offensive coordinator had to say:

On the deep passes

In past weeks, Groh has talked about how the deep passing game was close, and continues to feel that way.

“We were close again. And, obviously, we need to keep working on it. Again, we have another shot at it, and we weren’t able to connect. So, we’ll go back to practice again this week, and we’re gonna keep designing the plays, and keep working on it.”

He was also asked specifically about the missed deep ball to Nelson Agholor.

“I thought he gave tremendous effort, played with great speed down the field. I thought he located the ball, maybe a little bit later in the down than we would like, and it made it a difficult — because he located it late, he wasn’t able to catch up to it. Had he located it sooner, maybe he would’ve taken a little bit of a different course and would’ve been there.

I do want to say this, though, in terms of Nelson’s effort in our games and the things he does for this team, I don’t think that his effort should ever be questioned. And what he’s poured his heart and soul into this team over the past five years, and done everything he’s ever been asked to do. And because we didn’t connect on that one, I don’t think is a reflection on what he’s done for our team.”

Groh was asked if there was anything quarterback Carson Wentz could’ve done to make that play better. The OC said that Wentz made a good play, and was under some duress in the pocket, but he laid the ball out across the field to give Agholor a chance to track it.

He also agreed with Agholor’s comments regarding there being a fine line between being a technician at wide receiver and being able to improvise. Groh noted that there’s an artistry to the position, and you have to be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, but they were just a little off on the deep pass.

On the other receivers

Mack Hollins has lined up for a good number of snaps, but haven’t had a catch in three games.

“Mack is another guy that has just done everything we’ve asked him to do. The ball hasn’t found him. I actually thought in this past game, from a passing-game perspective, you look at the routes that he ran and put on tape, he was improved week over week from the week before. I think he’s put a lot into practice and trying to refine his technique and he’s done a good job.

I think you’ll continue to see both those guys, [WR] J.J. [Arcega-Whiteside] and Mack, in the game.”

On checkdowns

“Well, we want to utilize all available receivers, and you know when the play is designed, it’s designed to go through the progression. And we trust, certainly, Carson’s ability to get through the progressions and to find, whether it’s number one or the fifth guy in the progression, to be able to work through the progression and get the ball to the open guy.”

Later on, he didn’t have much to say about Zach Ertz having 19 fewer targets through 7 games this season, with the OC noting he’s still at the top of the league for tight end receptions. But, Groh did point out that he was No. 1 or 2 in the first few progressions and for one reason or another the ball didn’t get to him. He was also sure to point out that Ertz is a big part of their offense and they have a lot of confidence in his ability to contribute.

On the run game

Groh acknowledged that the blocking was correct and the hole was where they expected on the missed opportunity by rookie rusher Miles Sanders. The OC noted that Sanders found the correct hole, but got there just a little late.

“I think he’s done a lot of really good things for us over the first seven weeks, and we’re gonna continue to utilize him.”

On Andre Dillard’s first start

“Well, I think he did a really good job, commendable job under difficult circumstances playing against two really good rushers — or three really good rushers — the guys that he matched up with down there in Dallas.”

Groh also said that being run heavy early in the game was not to take some pressure off the rookie lineman. He said they always want to establish the line of scrimmage and a physicality about the game.

On the Buffalo defense

“I think this is a very well-schooled defense, one that’s very opportunistic. They’ve created turnovers and short fields for their offense and put their offense in a really good position.

They play really sound football. They play well together. They have great gap integrity. They do a good job of getting on the edge and creating pressure up front. They have good players and it looks like they play really well together. They all fit the scheme and the system really well.

So collectively they’re playing really good defense right now.”