More on Matthews

Posted: August 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 40 Comments »

Jordan Matthews is the rookie getting the most attention this summer. The WR from Vanderbilt isn’t doing anything groundbreaking, but I think he caught people off guard with just how good he is. That’s funny when you think about it. He was the best WR at the Senior Bowl. He is the all-time leading receiver in SEC history. Matthews has great credentials. But he’s from Vandy. You just can’t help but have a bit of doubt when a WR comes from Vandy.

That doubt is gone. The question now is how good Matthews is. Are we looking at a solid starter or does he have star potential?

I don’t recall this kind of hype around a rookie since DeSean Jackson in 2008. Normally there are articles praising a rookie for picking things up quickly and impressing the coaches. This buzz goes beyond that. Tim McManus had a good piece the other day on Matthews.

Jordan Matthews says he isn’t paying much attention to what is being said and written about him so far during training camp. He knows that buzz may only stick around for a news cycle before flying off to find its next host.

Rookie years in particular are filled with ups and downs. Today, for example, was a relatively quiet day for Matthews. Wednesday he was making plays all over the place. So it goes. The hype will swell and recede accordingly.

While it’s important not to get carried away, there’s no denying that he is making an impression early on in his time with the Eagles.

“Yes. A lot. A lot,” said LeSean McCoy, when asked if he’s been surprised by what Matthews has shown. “You don’t really get into it with the rookies, ‘Oh, who’s this?’ until you actually go out and watch them play. I’ve learned that from the older guys. That goes all the way back to[Brian]Westbrook, until those guys show you, OK, he can really  play [you reserve judgment]. He’s showing it. His work ethic, he’s working like he’s a professional — a five, six-year, seven-year veteran. Sky is the limit for that kid, for sure.”

Michael Irvin is a believer. The Hall-of-Fame receiver spent the day at the NovaCare Complex, took in practice and spent time talking to various coaches and players, including Matthews.

“I like what I see out here. I like what I see physically as to body type, body size and everything. And then I like what I see internally as far as work ethic and most importantly, a strong desire to be the best,” Irvin told Birds 24/7 after practice. “He wants to garner all the information: ‘Mr Irvin, sir, whatever you see out here today, can you call me on it and talk to me about it? When you watch film can you tell me what you see?’ A young guy like that, man, that comes in with that perspective and those kind of thoughts, you can have some success with him.”

Does he compare to any specific receiver?

“He can be a combination of a few guys. You watch a big guy play the slot like a Marques Colston, he has that ability but he’s faster than Marques Colston. So now he gets outside he can probably do more things than a Colston can do. I look at him as a combination of a lot of good receivers in this league with an ability to be great.”

We are a ways away from that point, but it’s fair to say there is optimism internally. Pat Shurmur was describing what can make him a good slot receiver in this league, and mentioned his willingness to go over the middle and spacial awareness.

And then: “Once he catches the ball, he sets his hair on fire and runs,” said Shurmur. “If we didn’t have fences around here he’d run into the street. He’s one of the best finishers we have. He’s smart, he’s eager, he’s big, he can catch and he’s done a good job.”

Michael Irvin knows a thing or two about great receivers. Very interesting to hear his thoughts.

Reuben Frank also wrote a good piece on Matthews.

“It’s really easy to stay consistent,” Matthews said. “People who are inconsistent, that makes you average. If you’re good one day and bad the next day, you’re essentially going to ride that line of being average. But if you’re consistent each day, if you can stay up here [holds hands near head], you don’t even have to do anything extraordinary, you just got to stay right here.

“If you continue to play at that level, then you’re going to end up being great. So that’s all the older guys tell me. Jason Peters. Malcolm [Jenkins], I work a lot with Malcolm and talk to him and look to him for guidance because he’s actually going against me and sees me in competition each day, and he always says, ‘Stay consistent, stay consistent,’ so that’s something I’ve always tried to do.”

If Matthews sounds like a dream come true for his coaches, yeah, you’re right.

“He’s good against bump-and-run coverage,” Shurmur said. “His spacial awareness is good. There are different combination of things that can happen when you’re inside as opposed to outside. He kind of has a good feel for that.

“You’ve seen throughout camp he’s been able to get open and make plays. Then the other advantage is he’s young and he’s got courage, so he can run around in there and catch the ball with people around him. I think that’s important. He’s smart, he’s eager, he’s big, he can catch.”

Matthews is told of the high praise he’s been getting not just from Shurmur but from Nick Foles, from Chip Kelly, from anybody who’s asked about him.

“It’s good, but at the same time, that’s just who I’m trying to be each day,” he said. “If I can go out there and make my coaches proud, that’s huge, but at the end of the day, this is practice, that’s what I’m supposed to do. Supposed to come out here and give my best. Supposed to come out here and give my all.

“If they weren’t saying those things, I wouldn’t be taking care of my job. So it’s good, but at the same time, it’s the requirements. It’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Matthews may look and play like a WR, but he sure doesn’t sound like one. Here is a short interview segment from PE.com. He sounds way beyond his years. But he is still a rookie.

Due to some injuries, Matthews got some snaps with the starters this week. He had a couple of drops and struggled to get open at times. There is always going to be an adjustment period when you face the starters and you’re not used to it. Matthews is working through that and getting better each day.

Expectations for this season are a bit simpler. Matthews is spending most of his time with the backups for now, but most feel that he will be the starting slot receiver before too long. If he can put up similar numbers to Jason Avant from last year, that would be a good rookie season. Avant was 38-447-2. That is 2.5 receptions per game. I feel comfortable that Matthews could post those type numbers in the Eagles offense.

I’m in wait and see mode in terms of how good he’ll be eventually. Heck, let’s at least see Matthews play in a preseason game or two. I am intrigued and excited by him. Sure sounds like the Eagles hit a home run with their 2nd round pick.

_


  • ICDogg

    A player with that kind of work ethic will gain the coach’s trust and the trust of his teammates very quickly, so I wouldn’t be him surprised to have a larger role than you might expect for a rookie wide receiver in this offense.

    • TommyLawlor

      Very possible. I want to see him in the PS games. That will give us a big hint of what he can do.

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

        Especially with Sanchez throwing 89% of his passes Matthews’ way.

        • GEAGLE

          James Casey, is Matt Barkleys version of Jordan Mathews.

        • SteveH

          Hah, watch him finish with 15 receptions or something stupid.

    • GEAGLE

      Don’t sleep on Maaaaarcus Daaaarling. Got to watch him up close twice this week, and I was really surprised to see that he didn’t at all look lost. Watch that kid drop back in coverage, and it’s almost like Dion Jordan…
      ..
      We had a fantastic draft… Only regret is missing out on a ILB who can cover WRs, Christian Kirksey….browns got a player considering the league is trending towards LBs who can run and cover to counter all the freak TEs… I absolutely expect Marcus to be part of the rotation this year… Barwin looks really really good. Lost weight, and is chiseled. Cox looks like a friggin monster….and Jenkins really showed his value this week. You can tell Chip loves him
      ..
      Excited for tomorrow’s open practice….

  • Anders

    For me the doubt with Matthews had nothing to do with him comming from Vandi, but some specific problems on his game film. One of those things was separation from even crappy college CBs, but that shouldnt be a problem in the slot

    • GEAGLE

      His lack of separation may actually be a good thing for us… Harder to seperate In the NFL, and the kid already had to get used to making contested catches…

      At the very least, Mathews will max out to give us the type of production we got from coop last year(different styles tho)…but I think he has potential to be much more..

      Our screen game should be a serious improvements this year. Desean was terrible in the screen game, and Mathews is pretty darn experienced at making something happen off screens…of course Sproles is the real screen weapon this year

      • Anders

        Sorry, its not a good problem been slow on routes ever.

        Also Matthews wasnt super good at contested catches in college either as he would often drop them.

        and last Matthews had problems on screens because he is not a guy to run over guys like Sammy Watkins or juke em like Cooks or Lee was in college, so Matthews needed perfect blocking on screens.

        • GEAGLE

          Lol.. Yeah he just bullshitted his way to leading WR in SEC history…ok. It’s not like entire SEC defenses were focused on stopping him…oh wait… Lol
          ..
          Mathews wasn’t my fav WR. I wanted Moncreif and A-Rob….considering this was a stacked WR class, and Chip passed on some quality WR to trade up for Mathews, I’ll take chips word over my WR evaluations

          • Insomniac

            SEC DBs are overrated just like college stats.

          • Anders

            Can you name me the guy who is no. 2?

            There is 1 good name in top 20 SEC history.

            http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/conferences/sec/leaders/rec-yds-player-career.html

          • A_T_G

            Is the one good name Julio Jones or Alshon Jeffery?

          • Anders

            I totally missed Jones, but my point still stands, that leading the SEC does not equal quality

          • bdbd20

            I do agree that we have to be careful about career college stats. Leaders stay 4 years so they’re probably not elite talents. If they play for crappy teams, they may be down by double digits in most games so stats may be inflated.

            With that said, I still have high hopes for him. We’re not expecting him to be the savior. If he just steadily improves, we’ll be just fine.

          • anon

            jordan has 2 of the top 10 best single season receiving years in SEC history.

          • Anders

            Again what does that prove? Michael Sam just lead the SEC in sacks and was picked 7th round because of that what his talent is.

            Not like leading the SEC in receiving is very impressive consider the amount of crappy guys on the list

          • hokieduck

            That is not why Sam dropped to the 7th and you know it. No way an SEC Co-defensive POY goes in the 7th but for the baggage.

  • GEAGLE

    Barrett brooks was a treat on the radio today, but it was a nice kick in my balls to hear him talk about SPYGATE…he said 100% Pats cheated..he thought we should have played the steelers in the Super Bowl, and In the AFC title game, their back up QB was signaling calls to the QB who would then relay the calls to the rest of the offense…he said the Pats were calling out every one of their plays, routes before the QB could even relay it to the offense…said it was literally impossible for a team to be THAT prepared…. Hope Belleicek gets hit by a train!…,who knows what did Belleicek had to make Goodell burn the tapes so quickly

    • SteveH

      My favorite little tidbit about spygate was how they destroyed the tapes because they were afraid “Someone might get ahold of them and gain an advantage”. Really now? Was the CIA going to break into NFL headquarters, steal the tapes and then send them along to their favorite NFL squad? One things for sure, the NFL didn’t want anyone to ever see the extent of what went on.

      It really is a miracle that Belicheck didn’t get suspended, for as much mud as the NFL got on its face over the whole thing.

      • GEAGLE

        Some assume, Bellicek was blackmailing Goodell, and had evidence on other teams doing stuff like this… I wouldn’t be surprised, because the way they reacted to SPYGATE, burning the tapes so fast, was the most guilty reaction possible… Ridiculous to be cheated out of a Lombardi…
        ….
        If barret brooks is right that they cheated to beat the steelers. I wonder how an eagles vs. Steelers Super Bowl would have played out.. “To this day Joey porter still wants to fight every member of the patriots”-brooks…

        He also alluded to how a few years ago Rodney Harrison basically admitted it! but said they would have won anyway. Anyone know what he is referring to?

        • Reef215

          Listen to my recording of it. I think its Egregious that 97.5 doesn’t have that on its website. What if I didnt record my little part….see my post above for the recording

    • Reef215

      I recorded part of it because it was so amazing! the beginning part got cut off because of my damn phone ringing…but it was AMAZING here about that. I heard now Marshall Faulk,

      its a .wav file but anybody can download it….to listen to it.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/h58nhcacxxgzo3m/My%20recording%20%231.wav

  • GEAGLE

    Niners NT Glen Dorsey, torn bicep, out for the season…..
    ..
    Eagles will be the 2nd best team in the NFC… We are going to destroy the Niners. Glen Dorsey, tore bicep, out for the season. Navaro won’t play against us, Aldon smith prob won’t play against us. Oline hold outs, bunch of arrests this offseason…new secondary… Facing them and the Colts in the first month of the season is a HUGE opportunity for us..your puppies beat two teams like that, it can really spring board them to a BIGTIME year… Can’t wait to face Seahawks, and panthers…Seahawks is by far the home game I’m most excited for

    • Anders

      Still think Green Bay and Saints are in front in the NFC as well

      • GEAGLE

        Could be..
        ..
        I like our chances with the saints, think the two teams were pretty even in the playoffs, Their offense was one of the oldest and they had been together for years. No way will they improve more than we do with a bunch of young bucks in the second year of our schemes…

        Greenbay, is tricky. Depends heavily on their defense and whether they can stop us from scoring.

        Going into the season I would say I’d rather play the saints than Green Bay… Niners have one of the oldest rosters in the league, too many injuries, and so many distractions, that I can’t expect them to be the same powerhouse..
        ..
        Panthers entire passing game is counting on Kelvin Benjamin
        ..
        No idea what to think of the falcons..

        I’m more worried about our games against the Rams and titans than I am about Colts, Niners….. If we are going to have to go thru Niners or Seahawks, I like knowing our coach has given them problems in the past, where as the Andy era we rarely beat the top coached teams

        • Anders

          Saint has Graham, Stills and Cooks and the 2nd year LT who owned Cole’s ass and their defense should be better on paper (Byrd and another year in Rob Ryans scheme)

          Last year we hardly won against Scott Tolzien, healthy Rodgers will tear this defense apart like swiss cheese

    • hokieduck

      Finally! Villanueva/JJ Watt comparison. That has been my thought since I first heard about V. A guy who can sky up and slap balls away. I would love to see the guy make the roster. At least the PS…

  • GEAGLE

    Saints have a young kicker who surprisingly is hanging with Shayne Graham in their camp battle…if Shayne gets cut, how do we not add him? I didn’t notice him costing his team during our playoff lost…in a cold Philadelphia January night

    Anyone see any Donnie Longball updates? Is he still kicking like a stud? Haven’t heard a word about him

    • A Roy

      From wiki: Guy was a unanimous All-American selection in 1972 as a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, and was the first pure punter ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 1973.[2]

      A 6-time NFL All-Pro, Guy is widely considered to be the greatest punter of all time and has been a 7-time finalist as a modern era candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On August 21, 2013, he was selected by the Seniors Committee as a finalist for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.[3] He was elected to the Hall of Fame on February 1st, 2014, becoming only the second kicker (after Jan Stenerud) and the first pure punter so honored.[

    • hokieduck

      Ray Guy was phenomenal. He won many a field position battle for the Raiders and having that kind of weapon makes an defense breathe a little easier. Make that a lot.

      He totally deserves the HOF.

  • 76mustang

    Albert Breer wrote a great piece on Lurie, Chip, and the Eagles Organization. Some of my favorite insights:

    “He has a very full-scale vision of winning big, and it involves preparing players, preparing them in every possible way to reach peak performance,” Lurie said. “A lot of it has to do with camaraderie. A lot of it has to do with their own personal nutrition, training. All the sports science stuff, it’s real. But he also assembles people, whether it’s coaches, players, to work well together. The whole is greater than the sum of all the individual parts, but he wants every individual player to be extremely well prepared and trained.”

    “He wants to supply everything he can to make players better,” Lurie said. “Who are the players that are gonna make the most of that? If you’ve got some guys who don’t value that, who are you kidding yourself with? You gotta surround yourself with people that want to be great. It’s hard to describe in a few words. It’s more of a total program. … It’s a lot of commitment. He asks a lot, and it’s to benefit them. It’s a great test of who wants to maximize their own potential.

    “If you do, how can you not love the situation?”

    This year holds so much promise – the Eagles are building something special – what a great time to be an Eagles fan…

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

  • nopain23

    Nolan Carrol nad M .Jenkins are having great camps as far the reports have indicated. Carrol may push Fletcher for a starting job. Even if he is not a starter he will be a more than competent back up….see Roc ” cant make a tackle” …ughhh.
    Is it way too early to get excited about a much improved secondary or will we all be on suicide watch on every 3rd and long like we were last season..??? yikess…

  • A_T_G

    Interesting to see Malcolm Jenkins’ name mentioned again in a mentoring role, this time with a WR. Either that guy talks a good game or we found an exceptional leader in free agency.

    Also, Mathews seeking out criticism from Irvin seems incredibly mature. Again, either this kid talks a great game, or he has the best attitude I have ever seen in a rookie.

    I am hoping for the latter in both cases.

    • GEAGLE

      I doubt he scammed his way into captain of such a respected veteran team like the saints. Two different defensive coordinators had him as captain.. Just hear Meco talk about him! being that one missing piece we were lacking.If Meco is happy to have you behind him…works for me. So far he has backed it up. Came in, learned our defense quick enough to already be making the calls, mentors young players…by the end of the year, philly will view him like they now view Barwin. Adding both Jenkins and Carroll, with Wolff and Nate progressing in this scheme!and Brad and Cary being able to press, I expect the secondary to show the most improvement
      ..
      Think everything starts with Fletcher Cox’s coming out party up front, Vinny Curry turning up the pressure on first down, and by mid season Marcus will be contributing. Kendricks should have a BIGTIME season, with the puppies up front being a year more mature

  • GEAGLE

    Started to also get ready for the college season…some things that jump out at me:
    1) Next year looks like a strong ILB draft, to get Meco a youngin to mentor.
    Obvious name would be Mykal Kendricks brother Eric coming out of UCLA but he is small 6’0 230lb and we may want someone beefier for Meco to mentor in the thumper role… In chips fav conference, the most intruiging ILB is probably the kid from Washington Shaq Thomson 6’2 240lb, so athletic they may play him some at RB this year. Right now the highest rated ILBs are prob the kid from Miami Denzel Or the Big athlete from OL miss 6’5, kid can move

    2) Next year looks like a pretty good year for edge rushers. Keeping an eye on Marcus Smiths team mate Lorenzo mauldin but there should be some nice edge rushers if we want to add another.

    3) Lazy Mockers will have us drafting Ifo Oregons CB, but I just don’t see a team with bOykim and Jalen Watkins spending a first round pick on a 5’10 CB who may measure shorter than that at the combine…think the more obvious Oregon pick is Hroniss Grasu! experienced, G/C who can move. Ideal backup to Kelce, but can move to OG if he adds some weight to his 295lb frame…take the guess work out of looking for fat dudes that won’t die playing at chips insane pace..

    4) by now, we should know to look at charecter, commitment, graduation intelligence in prospects the eagles will consider. By now it’s probably safe to assume Chip won’t touch a knucklehead WR HEADCASE like OU’s Green-Beckham no matter how talented he is at 6’6 225.. Kids with multiple arrests and suspensions probably won’t be drafted by the eagles, so we will pass on rare size/speed like him and go with a WR like TY Montgomery, 6’2 215lb from Stanford..
    ..
    5) FSU seems like it has 37 top prospects in next years draft. Very curious to see what his off the field behavior does to his draft stock. Which team will be too tempted by the talent?

    6) next year is supposed to be a good safety year, but the top guys like Landon Collins or Cody Prewitt don’t really do it for me. Anyone see any quality safety prospects that could really interest us? I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t even draft any..

    I’m about ready for some type of football, preseason. College, give me something

  • Toby_yboT

    I am still highly skeptical. I think I have a natural aversion to hype, especially before someone has played in a game.

  • ACKID38

    We will see a very vanilla offense during pre-season. More than last years. Last year it was all brand new. I might go as far to say, the Eagles go 0-4 in the pre-season.

    I hope they let matthews run with the 1s mainly in the PS, i feel other teams will try to take him out. This is the reigning #2 offense. Now having weapons like sproles, and matthews it could even be better. Let Huff and the other back ups and hopefuls get some major time. Prevent injuries is the main goal.

  • Mark F

    Mac’s gonna end up being injured, Eagles don’t re-sign him, Coop and Matthews are your Twin Towers for 2015.