Eagles Film Review: Bryce Treggs opens the field for other receivers

Eagles Film Review: Bryce Treggs opens the field for other receivers

Bryce Treggs played just 15 snaps against the Giants in Sunday’s 28-23 loss on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, but he made his presence felt.

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said having Treggs active for the first time provided the Eagles’ offense with “an injection of speed.” (Treggs ran a 4.39 time in the 40 at Cal’s pro day last spring.)

It’ll probably take Carson Wentz some time to get used to playing with someone that fast. Wentz’s college teammate at North Dakota State, C.J. Smith, said Wentz has never had a receiver with this type of straight-line speed.

Treggs, the rookie from Cal acquired by the Eagles off waivers from the 49ers just before the season began, finished his first NFL game with two catches for 69 yards and showed off his blazing speed on a 58-yard catch.

Not only did Treggs catch a deep ball of his own, his downfield ability also already started to open up underneath opportunities for the Eagles against the Giants.

“It helps immensely,” Reich said. “The longer you go, the more games you play and don't stretch the field, the field starts shrinking on you. That's a real bad feeling as a quarterback when you feel the field shrinking. So you've got to continue to push the ball down the field.”

For Wentz and the Eagles’ other targets, the addition of Treggs could be a big deal as he gets worked into the offense more frequently.

“I think going forward now, we have shown that he can stretch the field, that he has that capability,” Wentz said. “I think that will help us to open up some things underneath.”

Here’s a look at what Treggs did for the Eagles in his first NFL game:

This is the seventh snap of Treggs' career and it's about to be a huge play out of a somewhat unusual formation. The Eagles are in 13 personnel with offensive lineman Matt Tobin and Brent Celek as tight ends on the right side of the line and Zach Ertz motioned to the left side. Treggs is the only wideout and he has veteran Janoris Jenkins on him.

The Eagles wisely run a play-action pass, trying to get the Giants to bite hard on what obviously looks like a running formation. But Jenkins is a savvy vet and he doesn't get fooled.

Treggs gets some help from Ertz, who is running a deep out. Jenkins hesitates in case he needs to tackle Ertz after a pass goes his way. In the meantime, Treggs turns on the burners and is about to speed past a slowed Jenkins and safety Nat Berhe.

Treggs has no problem getting past both defensive backs. Wentz has a strong arm but actually underthrows his speedy widoeut. Treggs has to come back for the ball. If Wentz hits him in stride, this is a 70-yard touchdown.

This next play comes with two minutes left in the first half. Off the two-minute warning, the Eagles come out in the pistol formation with Darren Sproles in the backfield. Nelson Agholor is the receiver to the right, while Treggs is wide left and Jordan Matthews is next to him in the slot.

Treggs — no surprise here — runs a simple go. But because of how he burned the coverage earlier in the quarter, the safety on that side of the field has to respect him. In the meantime, Sproles comes out of the backfield, which draws Matthews' man away from him.

Both of those things create a huge pocket of space for Matthews to catch the ball and he does. The Eagles picked up 16 yards and a first down on the play, which helped them set up the field goal attempt that was blocked.

This last play we’ll show you was a huge one in the game. This was the 4th-and-9 in the fourth quarter, when Wentz hits Matthews for a 25-yard gain.

The Eagles come out with four-wide and three to the near side. Treggs is closest to the sideline, followed by Agholor, then Matthews. Agholor runs a hitch short off the sticks, Matthews runs a deep out and — again, no surprise — Treggs runs a go.

Now, you can see the play developing. Agholor’s hitch has drawn the attention of the corner on Treggs. But because of Treggs’ speed and the ability he already showed to make a big play down the field, the safety has to respect him and pick him up.

Again, Matthews is the benefactor of Treggs’ threat. As the slot guy, Matthews should love having Treggs around. Ertz will eventually find the benefit, too.

Sure, Treggs played just 15 snaps on Sunday, but he offered the Eagles something they haven’t really had this year. He opened up the field.

Quite a Christmas present coming for Jordan Hicks

USA Today Images

Quite a Christmas present coming for Jordan Hicks

It won't be a surprise, but Jordan Hicks is going to get a pretty great Christmas present this year. 

He won't find it under his tree either. 

Hicks, who has been recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and surgery, will hit another big milestone in his recovery on Dec. 25. That's the day the walking boot comes off of his right foot. 

"Real good present, right?" Hicks said. 

Hicks, 25, tore his right Achilles on the second play from scrimmage against Washington on Oct. 23. Having already torn his left Achilles in college, Hicks knew immediately that his season was over and a long recovery was ahead of him. 

But Hicks has no doubt he'll return to being the same player he was before. He thinks he'll be even better. 

"Oh there's no question about that," Hicks said on Friday, speaking to a group of reporters in the Eagles' locker room for the first time since the injury. "There's no question about that. I'll be fine. I did my left Achilles in college and came back better. I know more, the advancements are better. There's no doubt in my mind I'll be a better player when I come back."

Hicks said the normal recovery time from an Achilles rupture is six to nine months. The six-month mark will be April. He expects to be back for training camp and be completely ready for next season. 

Before suffering this Achilles tear, Hicks had been dealing with an ankle injury on his left leg. Hicks, who has been labeled as an injury-prone player since college, was very proud of playing all 16 games in 2016. So when that ankle injury popped up earlier this season, he tried to play through it. That ankle injury led to a calf injury in his right leg and then the Achilles popped. Hicks thinks overcompensating for the initial injury led to a more serious one. 

"I think a couple weeks could have helped me, but it's always easy to look back," Hicks said. "Hindsight is 20/20. I wouldn't change anything just because it's my personality. It's who I am. All I want to do is be there for my teammates. Every time I step out there, the biggest goal for me is to have my teammates know that I'm their leader and I can be accountable. For me to sit here and say I shouldn't have been out there those weeks, it's hard for me to say that because all I want to do is be out there."

Hicks lasted just a couple plays in that Washington game before his Achilles popped, which put him right back on that road to recovery. And initially, it wasn't easy. Jason Peters joined him in the locker room a quarter later with his own season-ending injury and tried to raise his spirits, but that didn't change the fact that Hicks' season was over.

And for the second time in his three-year career, he knew he would end the season on injured reserve. 

"The grief set in," he said. "For the first week or so, it was tough, but man, there's no time for that. There's no time to sit here and sulk. There's no time to think about what could have been. ... All I'm focusing on is making sure I'm better and ready next year for my guys. That's all it is. For me, it's about accountability."

While Hicks made a rare appearance in the Eagles' locker room during media time on Friday, he's been around the building plenty. He and the Eagles' other injured players have remained involved despite their injuries. In fact, every week, Hicks studies opponent film to see how they handle blitzes. And every Friday, he gets in front of the defense to present it. 

After the injury, Jim Schwartz came to him and asked him to do this. 

"It's easy to isolate yourself in situations like this," Hicks said. "For him to come up to me and ask me to do that was big. I try to keep guys' spirits up and share my perspective." 

For the last month and a half, Hicks has been around the team but has been forced to watch games on TV, which he said is really tough. He hopes that's about to end. He'll be in North Jersey this weekend for the Giants game and hopes he'll be back on the sideline. 

"It's tough," Hicks said. "It's never easy to go through something like this. It tests your patience, this tests your character. You learn a lot through these times because it is so difficult. You have to really grind through some hard times. Put your head down and I think your character is really shown through this."

Nick Foles may not have full protection vs. Giants


Nick Foles may not have full protection vs. Giants

The Eagles will have a new quarterback this weekend, but they might not be able to protect him as well as they hope. 

Starting left guard Stefen Wisniewski will officially be listed as questionable for Sunday's game because of an ankle injury. 

Wiz had to leave the Rams game in the first half and did not return. He missed practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday. 

"We'll see where he's at today," head coach Doug Pederson said on Friday. 

After Wisniewski came out of the Rams game, he was replaced by Chance Warmack, who was then replaced by Isaac Seumalo. 

It sounds like Warmack will have the first chance to play this weekend if Wisniewski can't go. 

"We've worked Chance at that position this week," Pederson said. "Isaac has obviously gotten some reps really at all the positions but that would be the most logical."

Seumalo actually began the season as the team's starting left guard after he won the position in the offseason. From there, Warmack got the first crack at replacing him when he was benched, but Warmack couldn't keep the job, eventually giving way to a rotation before Wisniewski simply took over. The line has been much better since Wiz took over the starting job in Week 3. 

Alshon Jeffery and Steven Means, who both missed Thursday's practice with illnesses, will be back on the practice field on Friday. Both should be fine for this weekend's game. 

The Eagles will practice outside in 28-degree weather on Friday as they prepare for Sunday's outdoor game at MetLife Stadium. 

No word on the condition of the recycling can Jason Kelce kicked inside the bubble after getting cleated on Thursday. At least the outdoor practice will give it another day of rest.