WR Turner signed, Agholor eval on hori­zon

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bob Grotz bgrotz@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @BobGrotz on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Doug Ped­er­son opened his day-af­ter news con­fer­ence with a state­ment that didn’t men­tion Nel­son Agholor but had ev­ery­thing to do with the em­bat­tled wide re­ceiver.

The Ea­gles signed Paul Turner, the dar­ling of train­ing camp, to the 53-man ros­ter. He’d been on the prac­tice squad.

To make room for the wide re­ceiver, the Birds re­leased de­fen­sive back Aaron Grymes, not Agholor, who ba­si­cally stunk up Cen­tu­ryLink Field Sun­day in a 26-15 loss to the Seattle Sea­hawks.

How­ever the other shoe al­most cer­tainly will fall on Agholor later this week af­ter he speaks with Ped­er­son. Agholor es­sen­tially said he felt over­whelmed by foot­ball in re­marks af­ter the game.

Agholor’s per­for­mance Sun­day was un­der­whelm­ing as he caught one pass in 71 snaps, count­ing the two-point play he con­verted af­ter a late TD, and com­mit­ted an il­le­gal for­ma­tion penalty wip­ing out what would have been a Zach Ertz touch­down giv­ing the Ea­gles the lead.

“I will def­i­nitely have a con­ver­sa­tion with Nel­son and I’ll ad­dress that as we get later in the week,” Ped­er­son said. “Those are def­i­nitely con­cerns that I have, now that he’s come out and said that pub­licly. My con­cern is for him as an in­di­vid­ual, as a per­son. I want to make sure he’s in a good spot. Hey, lis­ten, put foot­ball aside, we all know about that. I want to make sure as a per­son he’s do­ing good. So we’ll have that con­ver­sa­tion.”

The Ea­gles (5-5) don’t play again un­til next Mon­day when they en­ter­tain the Green Bay Pack­ers (4-6), who have lost four straight games.

By then Ped­er­son will know what he wants to do at wide re­ceiver, the Birds hav­ing ad­di­tional days to get over their fifth straight road loss.

Then again, the de­ci­sion has all but been an­nounced based on the de­vel­op­ments. Ped­er­son, play­ers coach that he is, ba­si­cally is giv­ing Agholor a way out un­til the in­evitable.

“I’m go­ing to wait un­til af­ter I talk with Nel­son,” Ped­er­son said. “I’m go­ing to wait and see where we’re at dur­ing the week and make that de­ci­sion later in the week. I just want to see where

he’s at.”

Where the Ea­gles are at the wide re­ceiver po­si­tion is not good. The re­ceivers didn’t get open un­til late in the game when the Sea­hawks con­ceded un­der­neath throws in a pre­vent type of de­fense.

Though Jor­dan Matthews and Do­rial Green-Beck­ham com­bined for 10 catches for 113 yards, al­most all of it came with the Sea­hawks killing the clock.

Agholor didn’t catch a pass on three tar­gets from scrim­mage. One of those tar­gets re­sulted in a drop while he was open down­field.

Agholor is fourth on the Ea­gles with 27 re­cep­tions and 264 re­ceiv­ing yards. It’s been al­most all down­hill for the 2015 firstround pick out of USC af­ter he caught a 35-yard scor­ing pass to help beat the Cleveland Browns in the opener.

Agholor did him­self no fa­vors when he drew na­tional at­ten­tion

on the Ea­gles for be­hav­ior re­sult­ing in al­le­ga­tions he as­saulted an ex­otic dancer in a South Philly gen­tle­men’s club. No charges were filed.

Agholor fol­lowed his big game in the opener with dropped passes, missed as­sign­ments and in the loss to the Li­ons, a fail­ure to break up a deep ball thrown his way late in the game. It re­sulted in an in­ter­cep­tion seal­ing the game for the Li­ons.

It’s been such a tough sea­son for Agholor that Ped­er­son and the coaches have had to praise his block­ing, more than his re­ceiv­ing abil­ity.

“I think some­times as ath­letes, you put so much pres­sure on your­self to per­form,” Ped­er­son said. “Then when it maybe doesn’t quite work out in your fa­vor, the out­side in­flu­ences, i.e., the me­dia and fans, put more pres­sure on you to per­form be­cause you’re a top pick and you need to per­form.

All that pres­sure on a player is not good. So in Nel­son’s case, some­times like I men­tioned, some­times maybe you have to take a step back and maybe you have to see it dif­fer­ently and view it dif­fer­ently. These are all con­ver­sa­tions that he and I will have this week.

“And again, the well be­ing of the player and the per­son means more to me than as an ath­lete and re­ceiver.”

Turner (5-10, 193) is an un­drafted rookie out of Louisiana Tech who de­vel­oped chem­istry with Car­son Wentz in their short time to­gether in the pre­sea­son. Great hands. The ques­tion is whether he can get open reg­u­larly, a ma­jor is­sue for Agholor and his co­horts.

“We gave him some work last week in prac­tice,” Ped­er­son said. “We just feel this is a good op­por­tu­nity right now, not only for us but for him to see where he’s at, see what he can do, and give him

an op­por­tu­nity.”

For now, at least, Agholor can feel se­cure in the knowl­edge that he prob­a­bly won’t be cut. The Ea­gles would have to ab­sorb a salary cap charge of close to $7 mil­lion if they show him the door.

Pri­vately there’s a be­lief within the or­ga­ni­za­tion that Agholor might be worth some­thing in a trade af­ter the sea­son. Af­ter all, the Ea­gles be­lieved Do­rial GreenBeck­ham was worth an of­fen­sive line­man.

Just say it’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing to see who gets the first­team snaps when Agholor and the Ea­gles prac­tice this Wed­nes­day. Real in­ter­est­ing.

“We still have the four, and then we’ll in­ter­ject Paul Turner,” Ped­er­son said. “And much like we did last week, we just kind of got ev­ery­body equal op­por­tu­nity in there. So Nel­son will be a part of that, and then, again, I’ll eval­u­ate it later in the week.”

CHRIS SZAGOLA — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ea­gles coach Doug Ped­er­son talks things over with re­ceiver Nel­son Agholor prior to a pre­sea­son game against Tampa Bay in Au­gust.

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