More Reason to Love Matthews

Posted: July 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 22 Comments »

Rookie WR Jordan Matthews has yet to catch a pass in the NFL or even play a down of football, but he is already a popular player and someone the fans have high hopes for. Matthews stood out in the OTAs and minicamp. And then you read stories like this.

Pro Bowl is the mandate. We’re not here just to play football. We’re here to dominate.

That’s the motto that floated off the lips of Tom Bender when speaking of his Atlanta-based program, which trains anywhere from 25-35 NFL players at a time during the offseason. It sounds a bit bold until you consider that his clientele includes the likes of Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and Demaryius Thomas, arguably the top three receivers in the game.

This is the environment Jordan Matthews has nestled into for the past week, and where he’ll remain until the Eagles open training camp. 

“He’s learning a lot, he’s integrating well and we’re cleaning up some of his college issues,” said Bender with a laugh.

Issues? Like?

“That’s for us to discuss. It’s just a matter of getting him to move better, clean up his routes, just clean up all aspects of his game.”

We don’t know if Matthews will be good, let alone great. But we do know that Matthews is willing to do what it takes to maximize his potential. He made himself into a star at Vanderbilt. He then worked hard to stand out at the Senior Bowl. Matthews got drafted in the 2nd round, but isn’t resting on his laurels. He is still pushing to show everyone just how good he can be.

I think too often rookies don’t have the right attitude about the NFL. They work hard in college and the pre-draft process to get drafted as high as possible. That’s when they relax. Instead, they should realize that getting drafted is just the first step in a long journey. It is the beginning of your pro career, not just the culmination of your college career.

Matthews is willing to work. He’s also willing to listen.

Similarly, a connection recommended that Bender work with Matthews, and after a phone call with the Vanderbilt product, Bender agreed.

“He’s a humble kid. He said, ‘Coach, you’ll be happy with me.'”

For Matthews, it’s a chance to learn from some of the best wideouts on the planet during the lead-up to training camp.

“They’re having fun. Jordan’s a humble guy and he’s been in work mode. He approached A.J. probably the second day he was here and started asking key questions. One of the biggest things A.J. translated is that you really have to take care of your body during the season. Your production is going to relate to how you maintain your body. And as far as with Calvin, he is not a man of many words but he’s helping [Matthews] correct some of his route running.

“They’ve enjoyed him, they’ve enjoyed his work ethic. He’s come  out as far as conditioning…Some of the vets are like, ‘Slow down, young buck! Slow the pace down.'”

Chip Kelly is trying to build the Eagles with his kind of guys. Matthews could be a key piece for Kelly, on and off the field.

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  • ICDogg

    I don’t care what the radio guys are doing, I refuse to call him “Baby T.O.”

    • http://froogalstoodent.blogspot.com Froogal Stoodent

      Hopefully he has the production, without the attitude. I think it’s already established that he doesn’t have T.O.’s attitude–which will make all of us happy, Jordan Matthews included :)

    • TommyLawlor

      Interesting. I didn’t realize he even had such a nickname.

      • ICDogg

        I didn’t either, but I had 97.5 (The Fanatic) on early this afternoon and they kept calling him that.

    • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

      The Pope, Holy Hands, Second Coming, Prophecy. …all better

    • Insomniac

      Would you rather call him Keary Colbert II?

      • Ark87

        that one was a punch in the gut. Thanks Tom Bender.

  • Justin Tang

    Jordan Matthews > Jerry Rice and Megatron combined

  • ICDogg

    “He’s learning a lot, he’s integrating well and we’re cleaning up some of his college issues,” said Bender with a laugh.
    ———————————————————————————————
    Didn’t realize Bender was involved…

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a6/Bender_Rodriguez.png

  • Cliff

    This is the kind of stuff people are talking about when they question the antics (for lack of a better word) of Manziel. I’m sure Matthews is enjoying himself in Atlanta, but he’s hard at work too.

    • Media Mike

      I grew up near the trolley tracks. We used to watch cars speeding down my street to beat the trolley light and cheer the trolley when it took out a car.

      Manziel is the car and life is the trolley. He’s due for a totaling of his career sooner rather than later.

  • Baloophi

    I need some Matthews reprogramming… I still think “Casey” when I read the name so I almost snarfed tomato soup after reading: “More Reason to Love Matthews.”

    God help me if we ever draft another Mahe…

    • Ark87

      but….the conversations at the dinner table….aren’t they related?

  • Insomniac

    Wait…correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Matthews fail to stand out at the Senior Bowl game? Considering that he also looked good in practice for the Senior Bowl but played mediocre in the actual game. Perhaps it’s my memories of being more impressed by Kevin Norwood that game.

    The hype for the kid is borderline detrimental now.

    • Media Mike

      Anything over 40 to 50 catches for the kid year one would be a miracle. I think people are hyped up on his potential, but hopefully nobody is calling for crazy production in year one.

      And the quarterbacking in the senior bowl was a skid mark, I’m not sure how much you can take either way from what Matthews did in that game.

      • Insomniac

        I actually thought the QBing was pretty decent for the Southern team but yea..the North laid an egg that day.. I came away awfully unimpressed by Matthew’s lack of separation even though scouts were reporting the opposite in practice.

    • Anders

      “The hype for the kid is borderline detrimental now.”

      I have never so much hype for a 2nd round pick. Cant even remember this much hype for any 1st round picks.

  • Media Mike

    The ascension of this guy as a key player for the Eagles is important for two reasons.

    1) We lack anything close to a true #1 WR on this roster. Matthews taking over that stature in 2015 and beyond would be an awesome return on a 2nd round investment.

    2) I can break out my old TO jersey out of storage and get a Matthews name plate put on it instead.

    • Buge Halls

      I think Mr. Maclin would dispute point #1

  • Anders

    So by what game is Matthews inducted in to the HoF? (Not aimed at you Tommy, but the twitter people who are already crowning him)

    • Ark87

      Game? They just have to get him fitted for his coat and he’s in!

      I just hope people aren’t holding him to any standard other than a 2nd round pick. He’s a great kid, and we’re all getting familiar with that. But none of that is news to any of the 32 teams. It’s been scouted and Matthews advertises it quite well. It’s no secret and he still went in the second round. So we’ll just have to see. I don’t think it’s fair to expect him to over achieve year 1.

  • Dell24

    It is refreshing to hear a rookie is working so hard to do everything possible to put himself in a position to play well. Looking forward to seeing this kid’s game.