Alshon Jeffery will be going up against his former team this Sunday, but he isn’t interested in looking back. The Eagles' wideout is happy with where he’s at now, and there’s only one thing on his mind.
“It’s a regular game,” Jeffery said Tuesday. “We’re just trying to win.”
Jeffery spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the Bears before signing a one-year contract with the Eagles in March. Needless to say, the change of scenery has been beneficial so far. Not only is he on pace for his most productive campaign since 2014, but the sixth-year veteran is likely headed to the playoffs for the first time as a pro.
The Bears may be second-guessing their decision to let a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver depart in free agency. For Jeffery, the move was a no-brainer.
“I’m here in Philly,” Jeffery said. “I’m happy with that. It was the best decision for me. I love it.”
At this point, the tough questions for Jeffery aren’t really about the Bears at all. That’s in the past, and he’s fine with leaving it there.
The real questions are about Jeffery’s future, specifically whether he’ll remain a member of the Eagles beyond 2017 after his current deal expires.
To which Jeffery replied, “I hope so.”
“I let my agent take care of that,” Jeffery said. “He and (Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman) do a great job. Whatever they have going, let them talk about that. I just play football.
“Philly is a great city, great town, everyone has welcomed me with open arms. I’m having a great time here.”
It’s easy to understand why Jeffery is enjoying himself.
For starters, Jeffery is beginning to pile up the numbers. Over the Eagles’ last three games, he has 12 receptions for 213 yards with four touchdowns.
Jeffery is heating up, and he’s getting on the same page with quarterback Carson Wentz. As for the Eagles, they like what they’ve seen all along.
“Even early on when the ball wasn't going to him as much, totally unselfish, hard-worker,” Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “These things take time — the chemistry, the opportunities — and so the confidence level grows.”
Jeffery is up to 38 catches, 567 yards and six scores — plus a league-leading three two-point conversions — on the season. With six games remaining, a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown season is not entirely out of range.
Then again, statistical milestones don’t seem to be what drives Jeffery.
“As long as we get the division and that ring, I don’t care what happens,” Jeffery said. “That’s all that matters. Winning a Super Bowl, that’s all that matters.”
The Eagles are 9-1 right now, with the NFC East all but locked up and a chance to do some damage in the playoffs come January. The Bears are 3-7 and had only one winning season during Jeffery’s tenure, as a rookie, and still managed to miss out on the postseason that year.
The ball is coming Jeffery’s way, and his team is winning. Most of all, the 27-year-old says he’s having fun, and his Eagles teammates are a big reason why.
Jeffery can be a man of few words, but really opened up about why joining the Eagles has been such a great experience.
“It’s the guys in the locker room,” Jeffery said. “Everyone makes you feel like you’re part of the family, and everyone is together.
“Everything else is a bonus. Being on the football field, having fun, that’s a bonus, but what’s most important is the locker room. You have to have the right guys in the locker room. Everyone has to be able to feel like they love one another. It’s a brotherhood.”
So, no, Jeffery is not going to get caught up in the hoopla over going against his old team. He admits he still has some friends in Chicago, and some trash talk “comes with the territory,” but his focus is solely on the Eagles’ season and the task at hand.
As long as Jeffery and the Eagles continue down their current road, the future — Sunday included — should take care of itself.