Ped­er­son de­lay­ing de­ci­sion on Agholor

Strug­gling Ea­gles’ WR look­ing to get mind straight

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

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.”

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE

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.

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