Nov. 23, 2016
How Should the Eagles Approach Nelson Agholor
Yesterday the Eagles had to make the long flight back home to Philadelphia after a very disappointing 26-15 loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. While yes the Seahawks are one of the best teams in professional football, it was very evident that this Eagles team is not quite yet ready to compete just yet. The biggest issue with this team is that they cannot seem to get out of their own way. Countless and countless mental mistakes across the board that shows a tremendous lack of discipline. When a team does not possess the firepower needed to excel on offense, than you must stay very disciplined and take advantage of every opportunity. This was just one of many questions the Eagles have to answer after another disappointing loss.
On a third and six play midway through the second quarter the Eagles lined up trips receivers to the far left and had Zach Ertz to the right. On the play Wentz and the Eagles offensive line was able to set up a quick screen to Zach Ertz, which Ertz went on to take 57 yards for what looked like a go ahead touchdown that would make the score 14-6 Eagles. Instead, there was a flag all the way back at the line of scrimmage. The flag, was for an illegal formation because Nelson Agholor was not up enough on the line of scrimmage and was not covering the left tackle. So what would be a huge touchdown in a game where every positive play mattered, was called back because of an undisciplined mistake. It was seen on the sideline Greg Lewis, the Eagles receivers coach, and Doug Pederson were both yelling at Agholor to move up onto the line. And usually receivers check with the referee to make sure they are far up enough on the line, but that did not happen and it cost the Eagles greatly. Undisciplined mistakes like that, especially from Nelson Agholor have shown to cost the Eagles throughout this season.
On the very next drive, Carson Wentz hit Nelson Agholor wide open for what would have been a huge gain, and possibly could have been taken inside of the Seattle redzone, that is how wide open Agholor was on this play. But, instead of making Seattle pay for this lapse of coverage, the ball fell right through Nelson Agholor`s hands and onto the turf. It was not even that the ball was poorly thrown, Carson Wentz threw the ball to perfection and Agholor flat out dropped it. Fans around the Delaware Valley watched that play in absolute disbelief as Nelson Agholor just cost the Eagles yet another big play.
Carson Wentz was two Nelson Agholor plays (a drop/penalty) away from putting up 300 yards and 3 touchdowns on the Legion of Boom. #Eagles— Cody Swartz (@cbswartz5) November 21, 2016
It is plays like that, that signal that something is not going on right in Nelson`s Agholor`s head. It seems ever since he was drafted in the first round in 2015 he has been a bust. There have been very small flashes, which have been extremely few and far between, but Agholor has not shown to be the same guy that he was when he was a star at USC.
The question of what is wrong with Nelson Agholor and what to do with the second year player, is one of the biggest questions looming around the Eagles this week. Agholor`s play has hurt the Eagles terribly and Agholor, along with his coach have spoken up about this. After the game Agholor admitted that his confidence was shaken and it was playing a huge part in his play this season.
“I did it to myself. I started getting in my own head and just trying so hard to think about being perfect, and when miscues were there and they were exposed, I just let it eat at me.” Agholor said.
Very different from the comments he made a few weeks prior for the fans to stop being so hard on him. Comments he later took back. Agholor has apologized to the Eagles fans for his performance, but as we all know, Eagles fans are tough and they want to see their team win.
In his news conference on Monday, Doug Pederson once again voiced his support for Nelson Agholor. But at the same time admitted something was wrong with the wide receiver, and that he would sit down with Agholor and discuss what was going on and possible courses of action to take. Pederson also voiced that he has always tried to remain positive with Nelson Agholor as it is the coaches’ job to try and get the most out of his players. But later on changed his tone a bit at a possible approach for what could happen with Agholor.
“Sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward. That way you can begin to clear your head.” Pederson said during his news conference Monday.
The time has come for the Eagles to give Agholor a mental break. What he is going through right now is something no athlete ever wants to experience. It may be best for the team and for Agholor as a person and as a player to take a mental break. He has gone week in and week out of constant pressure from the fan base and most of all from himself. Some time off of the field is something the Eagles need to really consider with Agholor.
Right now keeping Agholor on the field is costing the team greatly. Having him off of the field will take that liability away. But, most of all allow Nelson Agholor to take a step back and look at the game from a different perspective, and give him a chance to clear his mind. A similar situation is what the Flyers recently did with second year defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere, they gave him a game off to watch from a different perspective and clear his mind. An approach the Eagles should really consider taking.
As many athletes can tell you, this is something that is very hard to overcome. A guy like Agholor was so used to dominating the competition throughout his whole life and has now come to the NFL and started to experience terrible growing pains. And so many times, these problems multiply in magnitude because these players are so hard on themselves. Believe me, Nelson Agholor wants to succeed and he wants to please the fans. But, the issue is at this point he is just pressing too much and it is hurting him way more than helping him. When players struggle some of them just tend to be way too hard on themselves and all that does is make the issue worse.
It is time for Doug Pederson and Nelson Agholor to take a big step back and look at the big picture. Agholor needs to take a big step back and recoup himself. And it may mean the Eagles not playing him for a week or even more while he gets himself right. Whether he is here next year or not is irrelevant at this point. There are six games left and the Eagles need to win most if not all of them to make the playoffs. For that to happen the Eagles will need everybody to be mentally and physically there, including Nelson Agholor. But, for that to happen, it may be time for Agholor to take a step back before attempting to take a step forward.
Believe me, all Eagles fans want the members of their team to succeed as long as they are here. And that is no different with Nelson Agholor. All we can do is hope for the best from Agholor and he can get this issue straightened out sooner rather than later, because if Agholor can do well than it can go a long way in helping this team succeed and help Wentz come along. The talent is there, but until it is shown nothing will be given for the second year player. And for right now his role will need to be reduced.
A key piece of evidence that Nelson Agholor`s role will be reduced is that the Eagles signed Paul Turner off of the practice squad today. Turner, a fan favorite, had a great preseason, catching everything that came his way and even added a punt return touchdown.
At this point it cannot hurt giving Paul Turner a chance. When everything has went south for this Eagles receiving corps this season, they need a spark, and giving Turner a chance cannot hurt. While he does not have the best measureables, measuring in at only 5 feet and 10 inches and runs a 4.55 forty yard dash. But back in the preseason Jordan Matthews said about Turner,
“Football is played on a five inch field.” Matthews said that as he was pointing to his head.
The mindset a player brings to the field is so much more important than his measurable, as we have seen this season. Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham both have the tangibles to be great receivers, but do not possess the mindset at this time to succeed. Paul Turner has that mindset and has heart, and those are qualities that cannot be replaced by speed or size. When a guy has the mindset that he can make plays, than he is worth giving a shot. And most importantly he can catch the football.
So while Nelson Agholor works on his mental side of the game, it gives Paul Turner a chance to prove to the Eagles what exactly he has. As stated earlier, at this point it cannot hurt to give the kid from Louisiana Tech a shot. And hopefully, Agholor can get better as a result of this, Turner can show what he`s got, and most importantly the Eagles can be better because of this. And we will see how all of this unfolds starting this Monday night against the Green Bay Packers.
Let us know what you think about this whole situation in the comments below.
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