Pederson delaying decision on Agholor
Struggling Eagles’ WR looking to get mind straight
PHILADELPHIA >> The more Nelson Agholor spoke Friday, the more you could feel the frustration bubbling inside the Eagles wide receiver.
There was no way a few days of practice could cure a season’s worth of anxiety that burst open in the wake of a brutal performance Sunday, helping the Eagles hand the Seattle Seahawks an easy victory.
Yet Agholor, who, among other errors, lined up incorrectly to negate what would have been a huge touchdown in an 11-point defeat, then tried to explain how he felt overwhelmed by the moment, was trying to explain how he’s back on the right track.
“Body language will show that I’m free and I’m prepared,” Agholor said. “And at the end of the day, regardless of body language, I have to really feel it. I’m getting there. And I’m going to continue to get that way. I’m in a good place right now. But we have another day Friday to prepare for a game, red zone, and also help our defense get prepared. “So that’s my mindset.” Waiving his HIPPA law rights, Agholor confirmed he met with a team psychologist.
“That’s one of the opportunities that the team gave me,” Agholor said. “They care about me as a football player and as a man. I’ve just been taking advantage of it.”
Agholor wisely kept details of the professional help privileged. There was nothing about the doctor saying, “How do you feel when you drop passes or are flagged for inexcusable penalties?”
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has shown real compassion toward Agholor, the 2014 first-round draft pick with seventh-round numbers; i.e. 27
catches for 264 yards and one touchdown in 10 games.
Pederson said he would delay a decision on Agholor’s status for the upcoming game. Subjecting Agholor and his butter-fingers routine to an aggressive Monday night audience at Lincoln Financial Field the week after a minimeltdown? It doesn’t sound like a recommendation the doctor would make.
“I think whatever the coach’s decision is, is something I have to respect,” Agholor said. “To be honest with you, he made a decision and every day as it churns in my mind, I feel like I’m growing. I respect it and that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve just got to respond. You talked about thinking earlier. It’s not about thinking. It’s about responding.
“He put me in a situation where I have to react. And my plan is to react the right way.”
Eagles offensive coordinator
Frank Reich gave no indication whether Agholor would, or would not, be in the plans Monday.
“We’re trying to get five receivers ready to play,” Reich said. “So honestly, you go into every game plan … Weird things happen all the time. Ultimately Coach makes a decision who is active, who is inactive. I honestly don’t know what that decision is going to be at this point, so in the meantime, we just get everybody ready to play.”
If Agholor sits the game out, it’s in the best interests of the Eagles (5-5), who at the least, need to jump over the Giants (7-3) or the Redskins (6-4-1) in the NFC East to get into the wild card playoff hunt.
The best interest of Agholor is to get back on the field.
“What I find gets guys out of it, is just make a play,” Reich said. “Just build confidence one play at a time. That to me is the key, you’ve just got to build confidence one play at a time.”
The Eagles likely will activate Paul Turner, the undrafted rookie out of Louisiana Tech, newly
signed off the practice squad. He would join receivers Jordan Matthews, Bryce Treggs and Dorial Green-Beckham.
Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz won’t have trouble finding someone to get the ball to. Tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey Burton are healthy. Running back Darren Sproles expects to play despite a cracked rib. Fellow backs Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood certainly won’t complain about increased workloads.
That doesn’t leave much room for Agholor, who nonetheless feels as if he’s in “a good place right now.”
The receiver is thankful for the chance his coaches are giving him.
“Obviously it’s the opportunity that came to me, which is like, ‘Hey, you’re not sure if you’re playing, you might be playing,’” Agholor explained. “Just to prepare not knowing and not worrying about the circumstances. Not worrying about the outcome. Just knowing that your responsibility is to prepare. It puts you in a good place.
“I’ll respect whatever happens. But I know I got better all throughout this week. And that’s what it’s about.”
Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor has had trouble holding onto the ball this season. Recent struggles caused the 2015 firstround draft pick to lose confidence in himself.