Tim McManus wrote a great piece on WR Ifeanyi Momah and his second shot at making the Eagles roster. Momah was a non-factor last year, but rather than give up or be in denial, he did something about it.
The message going out the door from the coaching staff was that he looked uncomfortable and unconfident. Momah agreed.
“I just felt kind of out of place. I wasn’t good in and out of my breaks, I felt slower,” said Momah, who showed plenty of rust after sitting out most of his senior year at BC with an ACL injury. “Last year I felt like I wasn’t pushing myself too much because I was in my own head.”
So he went back to Long Island to reflect and to train. And to teach. Brady was running the All Long Island Football Academy and brought Momah in to work with the receivers, which proved beneficial not just for the kids but for the 24-year old as well.
“When you’re trying to teach a seven-year old how to run, how to get out of their breaks, this and that, you have to break it down. It really helped him perfect the little things by teaching the younger kids,” said Brady.
The two would put in work before or after the academy sessions. Momah focused on the finer details — setting defenders up, using his leverage, getting in and out of cuts in different ways. Having some experience in a Kelly system, Brady had a basic understanding of what was being asked of him in Philadelphia, which helped streamline the process.
Momah put on a show at his Pro Day in 2013, but we never saw that athletic ability in his time with the Eagles last summer. This is a perfect example of how timed speed (and quickness) is different from real speed (and quickness). Workouts and athletic tests are designed. They have specific movements that you can practice and rehearse.
Football practice is very different. There is the play-call. There is field position/situation. There is the player you’re going against. All of these factors can change on every single practice rep. The player must be able to let his athleticism show naturally. That didn’t happen for Momah last year.
Momah has played much better this time around. He’s been all-in on football for about 18 months. That covers playing, practicing and even teaching. His comfort level is up, as is his confidence.
The next step for Momah is playing well in Training Camp and preseason games. He needs to run routes well. He needs to get open and catch the football. Momah also needs to stand out as a blocker. He is 6-7, 239. He should get the best of every DB he tries to block. It would also help for him to come up big on STs. Momah has the size and speed to be a factor on the coverage units.
There is no question that Momah is a talented player. It does remain to be seen whether he has NFL talent or not. He’s certainly making a much better case for himself this summer. I am looking forward to seeing Momah in action, but my expectations are realistic. I still think the roster is a long shot.
The ideal situation for Momah would be to win a spot on the practice squad. That would give him a full season of practice without the pressure of expectations from the fans and media. Momah could then make another push for the roster next summer and would be better prepared for it. He will turn 25 in October so this isn’t a do or die situation for his career.
I know some Eagles fans fear Momah looking pretty good this summer, then getting cut and being picked up by another team. I would prefer to see Momah make it as an Eagle, but more importantly is him making it somewhere. This is his life’s dream and I hope he’s able to have some success in pursuit of that dream.