Wide Receiver Position is Wide Open

Posted: May 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 84 Comments »

I’ve talked about the WRs a bit over the past couple of months. The Eagles have a veteran group, but with the new staff and new offense, there is more uncertainty than you might think. I wrote about that for PE.com. Here’s a snippet:

“The Eagles will only keep five or six receivers and you have 10 guys really pushing for those spots. This should make for some interesting camp battles. Jackson and Maclin are still the most talented receivers on the roster, but for the first time since they were rookies, they can’t just relax and know the starting jobs are theirs for the keeping. New coach. New system. New emphasis on size and blocking. The jobs are wide open. It is up to the players to earn them.”

Think about Howie Roseman’s comments about players falling by the wayside. That feels like a LB/DE comment, but could apply to WR. If Jeremy Maclin doesn’t start blocking and stop going down when DBs simply approach him, Mac is going to lose playing time. If the DeSean Jackson of 2012 shows up, he’ll be fine. If the timid player from 2010-11 shows up, he’ll lose playing time.

I’ve talked about Jason Avant quite a bit. Some people think I’m being dismissive of him. You have to understand the question isn’t about talent, but rather fit. Coaches need players who fit their schemes. If a player is talented enough, the coach adjusts for him. Avant is good at what he does (getting open, catching the ball), but he’s very limited after that. I tend to think Chip Kelly will want players that can turn short passes into big gains. That just isn’t something Avant does. His big plays seem to come when he gets lost by the defense. Those are nice, but you can’t count on them. Kelly is more likely to prefer players with serious RAC ability. Avant is still here so maybe I’m wrong, but I think he’s got a tough road ahead of him.

The WR I’m most excited about is Damaris Johnson. He could steal the primary slot role from Avant. Check out this Yards after catch stat, per ESPN:

Jason Avant – 53 catches – 167 yards after catch – 8 receptions of 20 or more yards

Damaris Johnson – 19 catches – 104 yards after catch – 4 receptions of 20 or more yards

Avant is averaging 3.15 YAC per reception.  Johnson is at 5.47.  Which guy do you want with the ball in his hands?

* * * * *

Jeff McLane wrote a good piece on Johnson.

Dave Spadaro interviewed Johnson for PE.com.

Both Dave and Jeff made mention of Johnson looking good in practice. He should, since quick, elusive players thrive in non-contact practices. Remember the legend of Lorenzo Booker?

The other note of interest is that Johnson is getting work at both PR and KOR. He was a dynamic KOR in college.

* * * * *

Rebuen Frank’s article on Brandon Graham should get you fired up.

“I’m ready to erupt, man,” he said. “I’m ready to erupt. Start strong and finish strong, and let’s go try to do something this year. Because the last couple seasons haven’t been good for us. Neither of us. The organization or myself.

“All I know is you’re going to get 100 percent from me, like I say every year, and it’s going to show out there this year.”

Love the mindset. I really want Graham to pan out, both for us and for him.

* * * * *

When Jimmy Bama rips on the Cowboys, we all win.


84 Comments on “Wide Receiver Position is Wide Open”

  1. 1 D3Center said at 4:47 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Tommy- Do you see Momah as a guy who spends a year on the practice squad or is the risk of him being claimed by another team too risky if the coaches see some potential (but not enough to make the roster) in him?

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 5:05 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    If he plays well this summer, you have to keep him on the roster. If he struggles, you can take the chance of putting him on the PS. Really depends on how much the Eagles like him and are will to risk losing him. I don’t have a good feel for that quite yet.

  3. 3 D3FB said at 5:31 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    What’s the exact rule with practice squad players? Do they have to go to another team if they initially clear the waiver wire? I know the team payed Thorton rookie minimum to keep him on the PS and not go to another team a couple years ago.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 8:15 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Players with under 4 years are subject to waiver claims when cut. The team that claims them, gets them (order is based on record).

    Players on the PS have the choice of signing with a new team or not. They pass through waivers before being signed to the PS by their current team. Once on the PS, it is their choice to stay or go (unless the team decides to release them).

  5. 5 D3FB said at 9:47 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Thanks, kinda what I figured.

  6. 6 GEagle said at 6:44 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    can you clarify the IR dynamic?

  7. 7 Dominik said at 12:15 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    I’d find that very interesting to know, too. Especially if it’s possible that the player practices on a regular level, since it wouldn’t make sense to have a raw guy like Momah just sitting there. He needs to be coached up.

  8. 8 deg0ey said at 4:47 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    I hate to come straight into a new thread and go off-topic, but Disqus is blocked from work so I couldn’t comment earlier in the discussion about LBs. If, as suggested, some ‘good players fall by the wayside’, they’ll obviously need to be replaced somehow and I got to thinking – are there any other teams in a similar situation?

    Are there other guys best suited to 3-4 OLB that might fall victim to a drop in performance as a result of their team switching to a 4-3? Dallas is the only place I can think of that has recently changed to a 4-3 (and presumably a straight swap of Cole for Ware is out of the question) but maybe there are other teams that could make better use of Cole/Graham in exchange for a guy that doesn’t fit their system?

  9. 9 TommyLawlor said at 5:14 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Good question. Dallas is the only team I know of going from a 3-4 to a 4-3.

    Anyone else know of another team going 3-4 to 4-3?

  10. 10 theycallmerob said at 5:58 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    According to this article, we may want to look at some camp castoffs from: OAK, BAL, PIT, NE, SEA, ARI

    ***this article was written at the end of january, and I did not look too far into these individual team situations. Will wait until the summer for that.


  11. 11 hotcakes33 said at 4:52 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Crazy thought – trade Maclin to the 49ers for a pick in next year’s draft?

  12. 12 EaglesJRL said at 4:55 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Thought the same thing yesterday when I saw the Crabtree news..they have a ton of defensive depth too, perhaps a pick plus some NFL ready talent? Not saying I’m ready to get rid of him by any means but certainly a possibility if he doesn’t fit the “Kelly mold”

  13. 13 D3FB said at 9:49 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    They also are very deep at RB. Could be another position to look at when examining at trade w/ SF.

  14. 14 GEagle said at 8:36 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Still pissed at them for stealing Lattimore

  15. 15 micksick said at 12:08 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    steal lamichael james from them?? lol but nah i wouldnt rtade mac at this point.

  16. 16 D3FB said at 6:04 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    Kendall Hunter and DJ Harper are also both on the roster and would be dope ass 2nd or 3rd backs in our system as well. If would could flip Mac for a 3rd next year and James, Harper or Hunter I would be very very happy. Next year has some very good WR prospects to replace Mac with, and I think a cheap young WR with high upside plus one of the backs would be a superior use of resources than extending Mac to a big deal.

  17. 17 micksick said at 7:20 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    not a big hunter fan and certiny dont want DJ Harper lol… but for right now i wouldnt trade mac, if we start the season bad then id be willing to trade him before the deadline

  18. 18 TommyLawlor said at 5:16 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Thought crossed my mind. Gotta see how some other receivers look the OTAs. Also want to be careful with Mac. If he ever plays up to his full potential, could be a star. Does Chip and the staff think that will happen in 2013?

  19. 19 xlGmanlx said at 8:59 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Personally I think that he would benefit from a 2 TE set allowing him to work the outside hashes with outs/bubble screen and the occasional slot route to keep the D honest. If we have some TE’s that could put pressure in the middle of the D, I see DJAX and Mac hopefully having improved success outside the hashes, they simply aren’t big bodies and hopefully Chip/Shumur’s O highlight that instead of forcing it.

  20. 20 GEagle said at 6:51 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    My beef with Maclin isnt really his ability, or his play on the field…My beef is that its a contract year, we never played good money to TWO WR’s…and I simply dont think there are enough balls to go around for him to produce up to par with how much he wants to be paid…With limited balls t o go around, I dont see how Maclin can be worth to us, what he could be worth to a team on the open market, especially since Mike Wallace FUCKED THE GAME UP!!!

    Is it even possible to offer him an extension comperable to what a team will throw at him in FA?

  21. 21 holeplug said at 10:19 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    “I do not think that mike Wallace has been that much better than Maclin”

    I know wallace sucked last year but the 3 years prior he was great. maclin isn’t exactly a bust but has been disappointing relative to where he was drafted.

  22. 22 xlGmanlx said at 5:12 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    I get the impression Wallace is pretty much just a “fly/9” guy, which would lead to the over paying on Miami’s part.

  23. 23 xlGmanlx said at 1:54 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    In Howie we trust. He has negotiated recent contracts with Shady and DJAX that made the players happy and were team friendly. If Chip decides he wants maclin, I have confidence in Howie to not put a bad contract on the books.

  24. 24 GEagle said at 7:58 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    I agree,….just trying to project. but like you, Im also giddy about having trust in our decisions makers!

  25. 25 RC5000 said at 6:10 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    You have to figure in that you’ll probably get a decent comp pick if he leaves in free agency.
    You also have young QBs you want to have success.

  26. 26 TommyLawlor said at 8:16 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    You only get a Comp pick for him if he leaves and you don’t sign anyone big. People always forget that part of it. If you lose a big player and sign a big player, they cancel each other out.

  27. 27 RC5000 said at 8:34 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Sure if that is what you decide to do. You could sign Maclin, sign a comparable starter or get a comp pick if Maclin signs somewhere else.
    By trading Maclin for a pick, then you have Jackson and a big hole opposite him.

  28. 28 TommyLawlor said at 11:49 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Kelly had more of a WR corps at Oregon than a couple of stars who carried the passing attack. He might prefer that in the NFL as well. You then split Mac’s reps between Benn, Cooper, Johnson, and whoever else makes the team.

    There is risk in both keeping Mac and the notion of trading him.

  29. 29 RC5000 said at 1:50 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Good points (possibly). Kelly may look at it that way and especially with the TEs. Also if the offer is good enough, I would think about it. Still a relatively big hole from my perspective going from Maclin to reserve quality receivers.

  30. 30 GEagle said at 6:56 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Cant wait to see Celek,Benn,Ertz,Casey all lined up as WR’s..with Desean coming out of the backfield!!!

  31. 31 GEagle said at 6:55 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    The defense is far from being in place. I expect to be aggressive in FA once again, which is the reason Im probably pushing for him to be traded….there arent enough balls to go around for us to offer him anything close to what he can get on the market, and I expectr to be active in FA(defensive side of the ball)…so Id rather get value for him now

  32. 32 xlGmanlx said at 9:00 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Why not the Lions? They could use some WR help and might have some nice mid round picks to be had for next years draft.

  33. 33 holeplug said at 10:22 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Megatron is making a ton. They cant trade for maclin and also sign him to a huge deal. Lions already have enough cap problems coming up since all those top 5 picks they have to pay came before the rookie wage scale.

  34. 34 xlGmanlx said at 1:52 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    I mean to say trade Avant to the lions

  35. 35 micksick said at 12:07 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    they have some young players who could filla role, they got quinton patton (who i really like and think he could be productive) and they have a new TE in vance mcdonald. Plus they still have that rookie WR from last year waiting to get some snaps.

    Plus i wouldnt trade maclin now, we need him, the time to trade him was before the draft so we could of drafted his replacement

  36. 36 EaglesJRL said at 4:52 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    So the way I see it..Jackson, Maclin, Johnson, Benn, and then perhaps Momah over Cooper and Avant (if they only keep 5)? This is obviously just a fun guess. I think this is going to be a fun battle to watch in training camp for that last 1 or 2 spots. I also was wondering if the fact that they had Avant as one of the “hosts” of the draft party means anything about their feelings on him. I guess only time will tell, is training camp here yet!?

  37. 37 GEagle said at 6:57 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I would keep 6…your 4, and Momah and Cooper(had nice chemistry with Foles, good ST play)

  38. 38 SteveH said at 5:08 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    I kind of hope we keep Avant. Sometimes you just need guys to make the tough catch. Remember the Vikings playoff game a few years ago, where we were backed up on our own goal line on 3rd down, and Donnie Mac threw a bullet over the middle? Avant went up and got it, took a huge shot in the back, held on, first down. Sometimes NFL films shows the camera angle from behind Donovan on the replay, it was such a tough throw and catch. That team was fun to watch. That was a big play in that game. The next week Avant had another huge play against the Giants where we were backed up deep in our own territory and I think we had 19 yards to gain and Avant went for 20. Both plays were huge for momentum and giving us some breathing room. Big plays in tight games.

  39. 39 TommyLawlor said at 8:21 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    There is value in that, but how much?

    You can try to develop Cooper, Johnson, Benn, and those guys to be the reliable, clutch receiver. You can’t develop Avant into a playmaker.

    You are taking a chance, but based on the scheme we think Kelly wants to run, I think it makes sense.

  40. 40 xlGmanlx said at 8:55 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    I think they thank Avant for his service, try and trade him to a contender and move on. 2 TD’s in the last 3 years, and 0 when his play increased, for last year.

  41. 41 GEagle said at 7:00 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I have NEVER seen a fan that didnt like AVANT…With that said, a good GM should be capable of trading away his own children if its whats best for the Team…Im not trying to give up Young Talent that could contribute on ST, for a couple clutch catches….I would want Benn and Damaris, playing ahead of him anyway…and Avant doesnt contribute enough on ST(the hands team) to warrant being kept as a 5th reciever….

  42. 42 xlGmanlx said at 8:54 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Here is who I hope wins the day for the igg’s
    1. DJAX
    2. MAC – looking for a bounce back year
    3. Benn
    4. Momah
    5. Shep

    I just don’t see the point of keeping Avant, Coop and D Johnson on the roster. Hopefully Shep can beat out Johnson at KR/PR and be a 4/5 WR.

    Career stats
    Cooper 46 REC/5 TD’s/3 YRS
    Avant 259 REC/10TD’s/7 YRS

    Avant’s cap space is $2.75M for a guy who probably is a 3/4 WR and probably isn’t going to play much ST. I hope they try and do right by Avant and trade him to a team that is contending (Detroit?) for a low round pick maybe next year.
    Cooper – what exactly does he bring that can’t be found on the street, rookie, UFA, FA?

  43. 43 Neil said at 11:32 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    I think you’re selling Cooper awful short. He has the physical skills to be a good roleplayer or decent #2 WR playing on the outside. He’s similar to Eric Decker. Solid in every facet but spectacular in none. He’d have to really drop the ball (hohoho) to fall below 5 on the depth chart.

  44. 44 xlGmanlx said at 2:36 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    So an average of 15/1 per year and I’m selling him “awfully” short? I don’t get the love affair with Cooper, especially on this site. His 15 catches per season are more than likely going to go to either Ertz, Celek or Casey. Also, Decker has almost 3x the TD’s in one season than Coop total, and that was before Manning got there. That was with Kyle Orton and TT throwing him the ball. Coops a scrub

  45. 45 Neil said at 2:45 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Most of the people who like him would tell you he was underutilised, and for the first time he got significant playing time last season the offense was a wreck on account of the offensive line and the inexperience of the QB. That’s why his numbers aren’t great. Watching the film, I see the player I described.

  46. 46 GEagle said at 7:02 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Riley stepped up and showed good chemistry with Foles when one of our so called leaders, Celek, packed it in and played like a bitch! Starting QB goes down, the rest of the troops need to rally. Cooper did, Celek didnt…Im not ready to give up on Riley…Can ball on ST as well

  47. 47 GEagle said at 8:06 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I think Damaris is going to show alot of improvement. Liked his interview the other day, and the muscle he packed on is obvious

  48. 48 xlGmanlx said at 1:58 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    I just see Kelly going in a different direction with the measurables. Not to say he won’t have any smaller players, but when you think about everything that Kelly talks about, if he can sacrifice a little to gain length, I personally feel he is going to go with length. I don’t see Johnson being a special kind of talent, but I could be wrong. I listed who I hope wins the jobs, but I feel Kelly will pick the best players, which I’m okay with. I just post comments on a forum!

  49. 49 GEagle said at 8:15 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    you dont think Damaris makes the team?

  50. 50 xlGmanlx said at 8:37 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    All that matters is what Kelly thinks, but if it were up to me, I would roll with the players I listed and take my chances. IF you don’t like your WR corps outside of 1-3, you could always run 2/3 TE sets instead, especially with Ertz supposedly being a superb route runner.

  51. 51 GEagle said at 9:01 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    I think Kellys oppinion is the only one that matters is a given, and when talking about one of the most secretive organization in sports, its a given that none of us reallyknow anything..and we are all just giving our Hypothesis and interpretations of how we read between the lines…

    Damaris is a young player who flashed some ability last year. What do young players that work hard do? they improve. How much he improves? Who knows. I do think Measurables are very important to chip, but we have a ton of pass catching size between our TE’s and Benn,Cooper,possibly Momah, that there is definitely room for a few quick small guys..Yes, big people beat up little people, but when building a WR corp..the goal is to have a bunch of very different recievers. You dont just want 5 guys who are the same style..You might be right. I certainly Dont see how I could call Damaris a lock to make the roster, but I do like his odds..Especially if Avant doesnt make the roster.

  52. 52 DJH said at 9:44 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Off topic question for Thomas or anyone: Will Chip be able to use team scrimmages during training camp to get an accurate idea of whether his offensive scheme(s) will work? In other words, if Davis and the first team D are shutting things down in team scrimmages, will Chip alter his plans?

    Is this something offensive coordinators do? Or does it really take real game situations to determine if a scheme/play will work?

    I’m just thinking about heads like Jaws saying NFL defenses are too fast. Well, Kelly now has his own NFL D to test his schemes on, right? (Or wrong?)

  53. 53 xlGmanlx said at 9:53 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    How many offensive or defensive coordinator positions has Jaw’s ever held? I do agree, he might get feedback from running it against his own players, but it isn’t like he selected some one with zero NFL experience. I think we won’t see what it will look like until they pare down the roster. Not saying they don’t have an idea, but right now I think they are just putting the team through the paces to see what kind of football players they have to get the personnel locked down.

  54. 54 Neil said at 10:11 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    The whole cacophony about Chip’s ideas working or not working is absurd. It assumes that Chip is struck with the same hubris Steve Spurrier was or else is just dumber than other NFL coaches. Chip can watch the same film as anybody else. He knows exactly what works in the NFL. That includes the readoption, which has already been demonstrated as a functional set of plays, devastating with the right players, but not something you could make the foundation of a running game. He’s going to create a system using all of the already established concepts as suits his taste and philosophy, but his philosophy of taking what a defense gives isn’t new, and to some extent it’s the philosophy of every single coach who’s ever worked at any level. Chip is exceptional and “innovative” in how little emotional investment in any type of offense he has; he just wants to win and has a great analytical mind for solving the problem of how to.

    Even if his initial ideas don’t work, Chip will just rework his ideas until they do, or else find players to make it work. And hey, he may never find the right combination of ideas and players, but that’s different from pegging him to some things he ran at the college level and assuming he’s unaware of the fact that those ideas were designed to work specifically at the college level.

  55. 55 DJH said at 10:23 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    After posting my initial question, I imagined Chip studying up on “NFL passing concepts” and then revolutionizing them over the next decade.

    I think coaches do have styles and schemes they are comfortable with. Complex passing isn’t Chip’s thing, at least so far, it seems.

    However, the addition of Shurmur, the hoarding of TEs, and all his comments so far speak of new things from Chip. I can’t wait.

  56. 56 Neil said at 11:39 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Chip would be the first to say he isn’t going to revolutionise anything as far as the specifics of plays. And even with tempo, NE beat him to the punch. But that’s OK. What makes Chip unique is how he sees the big picture of offensive design. He’s almost fanatical in his devotion to attacking wherever the defense isn’t rather than relying on impeccable play design. And because of his use of tempo, that fanaticism works because the defense must declare what it’s going to do presnap.

  57. 57 James said at 11:56 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    How could he be beat to “the punch” when Chip was never in the NFL to test it?

  58. 58 Neil said at 12:10 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    That’s just semantics. All I meant was he won’t be the first NFL coach to have implemented it. I would be surprised, just thinking here, if Belichick was the first himself, but I couldn’t name who was.

  59. 59 RC5000 said at 12:19 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Bills in the 90s with Kelly , Bengals with Esiason, Manning and the Colts.

  60. 60 Neil said at 1:11 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Thank you sir.

  61. 61 RC5000 said at 10:20 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    GENERALLY, I don’t think Kelly will greatly alter the installation of his plays much once they get to a certain point (probably at the end of OTAs, maybe a little into training camp) period. This is because they need to practice the plays over and over and over and it’s about execution. He’s not going to tear much up based on what defenses do. Just what I think after reading his stuff. Although some of what fishduck guys say also has seeped into my head, I’ve also read what Kelly himself said (some of it may have been a while ago but I’m talking a lot about his philosophies so I don’t think he will change that a great deal).
    He’s more about precision, practice, repetition and running a lot of different plays out of the same exact formation and look. His plays and formations aren’t that complex but the execution and practice of them are and also the players need to be able to read extremely well (skill positions especially – RB needs to read the holes which could be anywhere in the zone reads, Qb MUST get rid of the ball quickly generally, WR and QB will need to read if it’s an option route).
    I think he will alter some to the NFL but not his fundamental philosophies.

    Doesn’t mean a few plays won’t be interchanged or used less or more based on success. That’s not to say he will never come up with new plays or wrinkles or never not use a play.

    He is big on spreading the defense out and executing whether its run, pass, IZR, OZR, read option. He believes if he spreads the defense out, if they execute his offense can’t really be stopped in an overall sense.

    As for Jaws comments, he was partly right and partly wrong anyway. He just didn’t say it very well and it was kind of an old commentary to me like it was the week Kelly was hired.

  62. 62 Flyin said at 11:31 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    Tommy, did you catch Trent Cole saying he will probably play defensive end at the beginning of the video you posted at eaglesblog.net ?

  63. 63 TommyLawlor said at 11:58 PM on May 23rd, 2013:

    I think that comment is in reference to being the pass rushing LB in the 4-3 Under. Essentially, he’s a stand up DE.

    Totally agree on his comments and the Johnson speech. I also made that connection.

  64. 64 Flyin said at 12:36 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Which would be more of the predator role, at the same time, going against TE’s in different offensive looks for when that is called upon?

  65. 65 Flyin said at 1:11 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Every coach and every player is in it to “win the day”.

  66. 66 GEagle said at 7:04 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    wait..im lost. Can you guys clairfy the JJ speech comments?

  67. 67 Iskar36 said at 12:35 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I definitely agree that it is important for Jackson and Maclin to not simply relax, and long term, this offseason is very significant to both of their careers, but focused on this season alone, does either guy really have any competition for their spots? In other words, if we end up seeing 2010-2011 Jackson and/or “Self-Tacklin” Jeremy Maclin who doesn’t block, who on the roster right now is a legitimate option to take their playing time? The only guy that in my opinion that can even enter the discussion is Cooper, and with him, there is a chance he could not even make the team (I think he is likely to, but the point is that he is certainly not a lock). Johnson probably is limited to a slot WR role with his lack of size and speed. Benn has only 59 catches and 862 yards in his three year career so far. Momah has a challenge to make the team or practice squad, so he certainly is not going to take a starting role.

    I’m certainly not saying that Maclin or Jackson can or will relax, but I just don’t think anyone really can legitimately push either guy for playing time this year. Obviously, if Maclin doesn’t play well, he will be gone next offseason. If Jackson doesn’t play well, at least according to Jason at Overthecap.com, based on the structure of Jackson’s contract, he would likely be traded or released. So there are plenty of incentives for those guys to play well, but I don’t see who they would lose playing time to if they don’t play well?

  68. 68 atb124 said at 10:18 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I think Benn has a shot to push for a top-2 WR position. From what we heard when we acquired him, he’s an above average blocker and injuries have had a significant impact on his produciton.
    Watching him play in college, he was like a man amongst boys. I’m excited to see him play in green.

  69. 69 Iskar36 said at 11:11 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    From Tommy:

    “Unfortunately Benn has not panned out so well in the NFL. His best year was 2011, 30-441-3. He may never become the player that I anticipated when I saw him in college. Benn can still be good as a role player and STer. He averaged 23.5 yards per KOR in 2012. He also had 7 tackles in coverage (in only 8 games).

    I would love for Benn to come here and suddenly turn into a top shelf WR, but that’s unlikely. He can be part of the WRs corps and a good STs player. I do think Chip will let Benn fight for a spot. I’ve just not seen enough from him in the NFL to make me think he can seriously challenge DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin.”


    This is a guy we traded for by moving from the 6th to the 7th round plus a conditional pick next year (likely a 6th or 7th round pick). Obviously the Bucs did not see him as a top 2 WR.

    He had a good college career, but expecting him to compete for the top-2 WR spots this year is not very realistic. It’s certainly not impossible, but I just don’t think he will be pushing Jackson or Maclin at all, especially this year.

    As for injuries, they affected him last season because he only played 8 games, but he played in 29 of 32 games his first two seasons. His limited production can’t simply be dismissed because of injuries.

  70. 70 atb124 said at 11:26 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Exactly… He said, “not impossible”. 🙂

    We hear all the time about the light coming on for someone who just needed a change of scenery. I think this has as good a chance as any of being one of those situations.

    It’s more likely that he simply is exactly what he’s shown, but I don’t think the less likely, better scenario is so unlikely as to discount it.

  71. 71 Iskar36 said at 11:31 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Fair enough. I guess in the context of my original comment though, I don’t see him really taking time from DeSean or Maclin this year. I just see it as being highly unlikely, although, I would obviously love for Benn to prove me wrong.

  72. 72 GEagle said at 8:48 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    Im extremely high on Benn. He is probably one of my top 3 favorite aquisitions…I know he is far from a guarentee, but I think he has a shot at being an absolute steal..for a young WR with an average at best QB, trying to play through alot of injuries to be top 11 in YAC 2 years in a row, so early in his career was impressive to me. Its not like he was playing with a precise top QB like Brees who will lead his recievers masterfully where only they have a shot at catching it..No player can be written off after only 2 and 1/3 seasons. Some great players didnt come into their own til their 4th season. IMO he still has an extremely high season. Low risk/High reward…If he can stay on the field, and get a little continuity under his belt there is a chance that change of scenery was all that the doctor ordered.

    Also, lets say he is just average as a reciever, he could still have an impact blocking and playing Special teams. I think Benn Dwarfs Sunshine Cooper in terms of potential. If just one of those two elevates their game in 2013, it would be a trendous addition to an already potent Arsenal

  73. 73 GEagle said at 6:43 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I got really pumped listening to the assistant coaches yesterday…really like what Billy Davis said

  74. 74 Rage114 said at 7:29 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I understand all the comments on Avant and what he brings to the passing offense: solid route running and hands but not a “homerun” threat.

    However, I wonder if Kelly doesn’t look at this or any other position in terms of the total offense, not just the passing offense.

    Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t Oregon run the ball over 50% of the time? If so and if he plans on being run heavy in Philadelphia, I would think that there would also be a premium placed on how effective a WR is in the run game as well.

    Avant is a good blocker for a WR, as is Riley Cooper. If they are going to run a run based offense, they will need all 11 guys involved and capable of contributing.

    Running behind the down-the-field blocking of Desean Jackson and Damaris Johnson probably has little chance of being a “homerun”.

    I suppose this is where the tough choices have to be made. But I tend to believe that if you are establishing your offense for the first time, you need the base to be established first. If the base of your offense is running the ball, then that could dictate his direction in year one.

  75. 75 GEagle said at 7:31 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I would say that Benn and Cooper are comperable blockers to Avant..or atleast they xcan learn to be

  76. 76 holeplug said at 10:45 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Oregon ran around 65% of the time. gonna have to be more balanced in the pros tho so i dont think receiver blocking will be as important. gonna need guys that can get open against nfl defenses.

  77. 77 Mac said at 2:30 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    Avant is credited with the fierce “double block” on DeSean’s walk off homerun punt return vs the Giants if memory serves correct.

  78. 78 GEagle said at 7:33 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Nice hearing what Dennis Kely says about Lane(since we havent got too much intel on how Lane looked):

    “He’s good. He’s quick. Very explosive,” he said. “He’s picking it up pretty quickly, which is really impressive. There’s no arrogance or anything like that.” Dennis Kelly on Lane Johnson

  79. 79 austinfan said at 9:08 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    Some thoughts on WRs:

    Chip threw to a bunch of WRs at Oregon but usually only one would have more than 30 receptions, and he had a mix of big run blocker types and slot WR types. So I don’t think he’s gonna want to use a big chunk of salary cap on his WRs, when he can get cheap role players to fill most slots.

    Not sure either DeSean or Maclin are good fits, DeSean is a deep threat, but really isn’t elusive underneath (Demarius is better out of the slot), he’s more of an explosive burst than slippery eel kind of runner. But as a deep threat he’s short, which lowers his value in that role (i.e. can’t win jump balls, must have a couple steps and the pass has to be on target). Maclin is a smooth route runner, but isn’t an explosive player, better on intermediate routes than the short routes Chip likes. And neither is a good run blocker – it isn’t that they can’t contribute, but are they worth $8-10M a year to Chip. I predict one will be traded, because both will not be on the 2014 roster.

    Cooper is running out of time, he’s a perfect fit if he can play more consistently, both as a receiver and run blocker, the skills are there, this is the year he has to step up.

    Avant is a funny fit, he’s too slow outside, lacks YAC inside, and is expensive as a 4th/5th WR. I think he’s a lock to be traded for a late round pick.

    Benn like Cooper has to prove it, mostly by staying healthy.

    D Johnson is what Chip likes in the slot, quick, dangerous, able to play STs and cheap. A roster lock.

    Momah has to show he can run routes, and more importantly, high point the ball. He’ll be buried at the end of the roster if he makes the team, but has to show the potential to climb the learning curve.

    Salas isn’t getting a lot of attention, but he’s a good fit for Chip, where quickness and agility with size is more important than speed, if he shows he can run block, he can replace Avant.

    Cunningham is similar to Salas, less athletic, more polished.

    Sheppard will only get a job on STs, probably PS bound.

    If they keep 4 TEs/H-backs, they’ll probably only keep 5 WRs. And one will be a return man.

  80. 80 GEagle said at 9:30 AM on May 24th, 2013:

    I cant disagree with a word you wrote..and logically, I also thought Maclin and Avant are locks to be traded..but when is that going to happen? the timing of it is what concerns me. colts owner was making all this silly noise, promising the fanbase they were trading for a Wideout a month leading up to the draft..I thought there was a chance that Maclin was in the mix, but nothing happen…If Vegas offered odds on whether the Eagles would trade atleast 1 of its players away on draft day, I would have seriously bet on it. I never would have expected us not to trade away anyone…and draft time is typically when you get value…If Im a team thats going to aquire a serious weapon like Maclin that will be expected to contribute, wouldnt I want to get him into OTA’s/Camp ASAP?..

    There is always the school of thought that someones player will go down during camp, and thats when trades will start to occur…and its certainly true. But I dont think Maclin is that type of player. Maclin is a very talented 1st round pick who is far from a bust. He might of not had the classic breakout season yet, but them man has pretty much consistently produced at an acceptable rate. Doubt a team would aquire Maclin without negotiating an extension first…So, would a team who’s top reciever that got injured in camp, be willing to trade and extend a first round pick who has produced and wont be cheap? Presumably their reciever is injured, not dead, and will be returning the following year..Basically what Im trying to say is, I dont see Maclin being a stop gap guy that you trade for if one of your big guns goes down. He is a young player that if you trade for, you will probably be willing to commit to…Trading for Maclin wont be cheap, neither will the extension, so Im Im a team trading for him and making that type of commitment, I would want to get him with enough time for him to learn our offense and be ready to roll in 2013…..

    So, If Maclin is going to be traded, what is the timeline for when its going to go down?

    Im extremely excited for Damaris and Benn in 2013

  81. 81 RC5000 said at 1:36 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    I’m not really into predictions. You may be correct in yours but Kelly will make his decisions, it’s meaningless to say Avant will be traded or Damaris is a lock although I think Damaris has a good shot to be the 3rd/4th WR and making the roster. He could get injured, someone else could have a great preseason. We don’t know what will happen.
    Cooper isn’t perfect for Kelly. He might be a good WR for him one day but he isn’t someone you would ever say is a smart and instinctual WR and he really hasn’t even had much of a route tree in 3 years. He’s also always had problems getting in and out of his breaks quickly although it has slowly improved a little. Separation is also an issue with him as it probably is for every WR on this roster (yes even Desean, he has separation speed but he does not get separation nearly as often as he should) to some extent. Of course previous coaching may also play a part so the coaching change could do any one of these guys MUCH good OR MUCH bad.
    We have to wait and see. For instance Kelly and the offense and the installation and practices and overall offense could help Maclin immensely.
    I do agree with a lot of the commentary on a lot of the receivers you have there. I TEND to think they will make a decision on Jackson/Maclin in the offseason or maybe at the trade deadline.
    Kelly may want as many good experienced players as possible. They did not draft a WR. They did not trade Avant or Maclin prior to the draft or at the start of the calendar year. So I think it will depend on how the camps and preseason go. At any time Kelly could decide to let Avant go if they really want to give him a shot to latch on but that hasn’t been determined so he is still in the mix.

  82. 82 micksick said at 12:02 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    Love damaris!! Really like his potential on offense being able to play every position and do it well and be a threat from slot to outside and the backfield. Idk about KR, PR? yes for sure, but KR? He might be too small, i know trindon holiday is a good one and is small if not smaller, but trindon has that pure speed. I dont think damaris has that speed, hes def more of a PR with his short area quickness.

    Couldnt avant fit since chip seems to like the short to intermediate passing game? Thats where avant thrives esp with a QB that can anticipate and throw to where avant will be. I thought him and foles had a good connection last year.

    And for graham, i have always loved the way graham talks and the way he comes off, but i cant listen to what he says anymore cause i know hes gonna get me fired up, i just want to see him play great.

  83. 83 Damaris Johnson Hype is Ramping Up - NY Superbowl Insider said at 3:36 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    […] Tommy Lawlor followed with an article on Iggles Blitz entitled “Wide Receiver Position is Wide Open,” expressing his […]

  84. 84 GEagle said at 9:03 PM on May 24th, 2013:

    if Maclin were to get traded, when would be the time frame for the trade to go down?