Pressure makes diamonds. This upcoming training camp will be monumental for the Philadelphia Eagles and Jordan Matthews.
This will be the first time since 2008 where the Eagles won’t have DeSean Jackson in training camp after their public divorce from him in March. With Jackson’s departure, this leaves big shoes to fill.
Who better to fill these shoes than the SEC’s all-time leader in receptions, Jordan Matthews who was also a second round pick just like D-Jax. The former Commodores wide-out is a 6-foot-3 possession receiver who brings leadership and great character to the locker room.
Some Philadelphia media outlets asserted that Matthews will be the second coming of Terrell Owens. Not only does he wear number 81 like T.O, but they also seem to share the same mental drive to become the best.
In his down time, Matthews has gone down to Atlanta to train with the likes of Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green, arguably the top two receivers in football. You need pressure to make Diamonds, and training and picking up pointers from these guys, Jordan Matthews should be sculpted in no time.
The Eagles also decided to part ways with long time slot receiver Jason Avant who had 70 plus targets the past few years. With the return of Jeremy Maclin who missed all of last season with a knee injury, and Riley Cooper coming back, Matthews is in prime position for some good playing time.
Coach Chip Kelly said that Jordan Matthews primary role this season was going to be as the slot receiver. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they move him outside later in the season to utilize him as a big play threat.
The biggest question mark for the Philadelphia offense is who will step up at wide receiver and fill the void of DeSean Jackson this season? Riley Cooper is ever improving but is not a pro bowl caliber receiver. Jeremy Maclin apparently had a great mini camp despite not playing for a year, but health will remain to play a big factor.
Nick Foles loves spreading the ball around, but would really benefit from having a security blanket, aka a go-to receiver that he can depend on to make the big play. Jordan Matthews wants to be that guy.
Chip Kelly is a schematic scientist, and they traded up for Jordan Matthews for a reason. Kelly will know exactly how to use him by the end of training camp. Don’t be surprised if Jordan Matthews is in contention for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors by the end of the season.