Eagles

Nelson Agholor on nightmare vs. Seahawks: 'I got to get out of my own head'

Nelson Agholor on nightmare vs. Seahawks: 'I got to get out of my own head'

SEATTLE — It’s gotten this bad for Nelson Agholor.

He stood at his locker Sunday after the worst game of his career — which is really saying something — and basically psychoanalyzed himself for 10 minutes in front of a sea of TV cameras and microphones.

It was not easy to watch.

Agholor achieved the triple crown of wide receiver ineptitude in the Eagles’ 26-15 loss to the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field (see Instant Replay).

He committed a penalty that negated a touchdown. He dropped a pass that would have gone for at least 40 yards and maybe a touchdown. And he finished with zero catches for zero yards (see 10 observations).

Agholor was already struggling terribly.

And now this.

This was a nightmare.

“I got to get out of my own head,” Agholor said at his locker. “Pressing so much and worried about so many things. I got to go out there and (just) try to catch the ball ... because I’m thinking too much and got so worried.

“And it’s such a selfish thing that I need to stop. I need to give my energy to my teammates and this organization and not myself. I’m feeling so much pressure to make every single (play). Just have fun.”

Agholor, a first-round pick last year, has just 50 catches for 547 yards and two touchdowns to show for his first 23 NFL games.

No full-time starting wide receiver in the NFL has fewer yards than Agholor over the last two seasons.

But this was bad even for him.

With six minutes left in the second quarter on a 2nd-and-6, Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz appeared to hook up on a 57-yard touchdown play. The PAT would have given the Eagles a 14-13 lead.

But Agholor was called for lining up improperly — not covering the line of scrimmage.

Head coach Doug Pederson was yelling for Agholor to step up, but he never heard him and never moved.

“I should have checked with the ref,” Agholor said. “It’s usually the first thing I do when I line up. But I was just focused on what the coverage was, and I just didn’t do it. 

“That was disappointing because that was a big play and a mental error like that you can’t have. And I know better than that.”

On the first play of the next drive, after a Seahawks field goal made it 16-9, Wentz spotted Agholor crossing from right to left, as open as he’ll ever get.

Wentz put the ball right where he wanted, but it bounced off Agholor’s hands to the ground.

And that was pretty much it for Agholor and for the Eagles.

Agholor was asked how he got to this point.

“I did it to myself,” he said. “I started getting in my own head and trying so hard to think about being perfect, and when miscues were there, I let it just eat at me.

“I need to continue to work better at letting things go and just playing hard and practicing hard and letting the way I practice translate into Sundays.”

Agholor caught a 35-yard touchdown pass against the Browns on opening day but doesn’t have a touchdown since.

Which means Russell Wilson has more TD catches than Agholor over the past nine weeks (see standout plays)

Agholor has three career receptions over 21 yards. He has never had more than 65 yards in a game. 

The last five games, he’s averaged just 16.6 yards per game. The last two games, he has seven receiving yards.

Agholor was asked if he realizes how upset Eagles fans are with him.

“I apologize for that,” he said. “It’s just something that’s tough. They love this team and I love this team and they want this team to win games and because I’m a part of this team, I have a responsibility to them.

“Right now, I need to find a way to let go of my mental block and focus just on the moments that I have.”

Agholor was asked if he needs a change of scenery and he didn’t hesitate to say no.

“Football is a tough game for tough people,” he said. “No matter who I play for or where I’m at, I need to focus on understanding that it’s tough.

“I’m meant for this. My parents raised me for this. My other coaches I had before this, Coach (Doug) Pederson, Coach (Greg) Lewis prepared me for this moment. And I need to embrace that and take advantage of that.”

Agholor said he’s confident he’ll get through this.

“When you get through the storms, things clear up, and I really believe it’s going to clear up,” he said. “I just have to continue to fight. One thing I can’t do is give up.”

Eagles careful to maintain team culture through NFL draft

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Eagles careful to maintain team culture through NFL draft

Measuring their speed, strength and verticle jump, that’s the easy part.

The far more difficult aspect for NFL teams preparing for the draft or free agency is finding guys who can fit into what they want to do on the field, but who can also fit into a team’s culture.

And for an Eagles team coming off a Super Bowl championship, it’s one of the big challenges of the offseason.

The Eagles have built a powerful chemistry and culture over the past two years that was pivotal in their drive to the franchise's first championship in 57 years.

It was a remarkably close team, a remarkably unselfish team. And now the Eagles are in the process of trying to add talent without ruining that unique chemistry.

Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said Thursday the Eagles’ scouting department spends a tremendous amount of time and resources not just evaluating players’ physical attributes but trying to determine whether they’re good fits for what the Eagles have built.

“I think that’s one of the conversations that we probably have the most,” Roseman said. “Background’s really important. We’ve had some guys who’ve come here, who’ve maybe had a (bad) reputation and fit really well, and there’s also the flip side of that.

“So you try to balance all of those and really rely on coach (Doug) Pederson and his leadership council and the ownership he gives them.”

Roseman revealed that he, vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas and Pederson actually involve players already on the roster in the decision-making process.

“We talk to our players about a lot of things, and we talk to them about guys that we’re going to potentially bring in,” Roseman said. “We try to pick their brain.”

It’s not a perfect process. Every team has been burned by a Darryl Worley. But the Eagles clearly are doing a better job than most teams getting 53 unique individuals to mesh together.

“I accept responsibility for the mistakes we made, that’s on me,” Roseman said.

“But we try to get a lot of information and then also talk to our players so a lot of these moves that we’ve made the last two years … and that’s probably not the norm in the National Football League, but that’s really from the leadership of coach Pederson and what he wants us to do.”

Roseman mentioned something called the “Co-habitation Matrix,” devised by Douglas and Eagles director of football administration Jake Rosenberg — "and Keanu Reeves," Roseman joked. That’s basically a way to connect anybody in any role within the organization that has had any previous experience at a previous spot with potential new additions.

It’s all a part of minimizing the risk of shattering the franchise’s powerful culture.

“That’s something that we work so hard to build and it could be the hardest thing to build and it could be the easiest thing to lose and that’s something that we have been working hard on, is just pinpointing the guys that can come in and just add to our culture,” Douglas said Thursday.

“Chemistry really isn’t a thing you can quantify. It’s not an objective thing, but you know when you’ve got it and obviously for us to do what we did last year we had it. So now it’s us trying to keep adding to it.”

Eagles-Jaguars London game time and date set

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Eagles-Jaguars London game time and date set

Now, everything is official.

After finding out in January the Eagles are headed to London, the NFL on Thursday morning confirmed the time and dates for its three regular-season games overseas this season.

The Eagles will square off at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 28. Kick off is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.

It will be the Eagles' first London game. Jacksonville has been playing in London in each of the past five seasons.

The other two games are the Titans and Chargers, played on Oct. 12, and the Seahawks and Raiders, set for Oct. 14. 

The NFL will announce its 2018 schedule Thursday night at 8 p.m.