Eagle Eye Podcast: Concern over Carson Wentz's health?

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Concern over Carson Wentz's health?

On this edition of Eagle Eye, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro react to Carson Wentz saying he is not fully healthy yet. How much should fans be concerned with that news?

Jason Kelce played through several injuries last season. Zach Ertz has big expectations for himself. Jalen Mills was arrested over the weekend.

Also, the guys give their first-round mock draft.

0:30 - Dave's birthday weekend.
2:00 - How worried should we be about Wentz's health?
12:30 - Kelce was playing through numerous injuries last season.
16:00 - Ertz wants to be the best.
18:00 - What to make of Mills' arrest?
23:00 - Roob doesn't like mock drafts ... so the guys give you their first-round mock draft.

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Nelson Agholor picking up the pieces after another disaster

Nelson Agholor picking up the pieces after another disaster

If anybody’s an expert around here on bouncing back from adversity, it’s Nelson Agholor.

He's had plenty of opportunities.

His five-year career with the Eagles has been marked by some pretty wild highs, like three straight first-down catches on the game-winning drive in the Super Bowl, and some pretty grim lows, like getting benched during his miserable 2016 season.

Here we go again.

“Man, I’m a professional,” Agholor said. “I know I work hard and at the end of the day no one feels sorry for me and they don’t need to. I’m in this position because I’m a tough player and I’m a tough person and I’m just going to keep on fighting.”

By now, you’ve probably watched Agholor's pectacular whiff Sunday night 100 times.

Slowed down. Sped up. Coach’s tape. End zone angle. You name it, you've seen it.

It was the latest in a series of unfortunate plays — drops, misses, fumbles — for the Eagles’ $9.4 million former first-round pick.

“Most important thing is to stand and fight and that’s something I’ll do,” he said. “I’m going to stay in the ring, keep throwing punches, keep working. My confidence doesn’t waver at all in terms of what it takes to win football games. Practicing hard and having great focus and to execute on game day.”

The numbers are ugly.

Agholor is 55th in the NFL with 25 catches, 71st with 254 yards and 91st with 10.2 yards per catch. 

Of the 54 wide receivers who’ve started at least five games, he ranks 47th in receiving yards.

He does have three touchdown catches.

The Eagles are 3-4 and go into Buffalo this weekend coming off back-to-back miserable blowout losses.

What’s next for Agholor

“Honestly, just keep fighting,” he said. “I went into that game vs. Dallas very confident and ready to play fast and make plays. I watch that tape and I thought I play very hard. I would have liked to have connected on the play we missed on. But I didn’t leave that game with a lack of confidence or my skill set. I thought I made plays in that game in the passing game and the running game and only can build on those.”

Agholor spoke about the ill-fated bomb after the game Sunday night in the Eagles’ locker room at AT&T Stadium (see story).

On Tuesday, after watching the play extensively in film study, he explained what he believes happened:

“When I located the ball all I could do from that point on was to dig, was to try to run as hard as I could, and I was running, running, and I don’t feel like I was in position with the way my stride was to leave my feet, and for those that think that they would have done that, I think that’s respect to them,” he said. “I asked one of the best deep-ball players in DeSean Jackson what I could have done to be better, and he said, ‘Nelly, if you see it earlier, you may be able to run under it perfectly.’ … If I could do it again, I probably have would sold the corner a little less so I could get out of it and be able to track the ball a little earlier.”

At least nobody catching babies out of a burning building has mocked Agholor for his latest mishap.


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Mack Hollins seems unbothered by lack of production, criticism that follows

Mack Hollins seems unbothered by lack of production, criticism that follows

It’s been nearly a calendar month since Mack Hollins last caught a pass. 

That wouldn’t be a big deal if Hollins wasn’t playing a lot, if he was just a gunner who occasionally found his way on the field for an offensive snap or two. But since DeSean Jackson has been out, Hollins has played a ton. 

In the last four games, Hollins has played 138 snaps. He has one catch for 13 yards. In the last three games, he’s played 98 snaps without a single catch. 

Speaking at his locker on Tuesday afternoon, Hollins seemed generally unbothered by his lack of production or the criticism that’s come with it. 

“I’ll take whenever a ball comes my way, make the best of it,” he said. “If I’m not getting the ball, so be it. Obviously, you go into a game plan and you want everything to hit. But sometimes in real life, not everything is going to hit 100 percent.” 

Hollins said it’s more frustrating to him that the Eagles are losing. If he didn’t have a catch and the Eagles were winning, he wouldn’t care at all.

The problem is that the Eagles are losing now. And his lack of production and a lack of production from the entire receivers group is a big part of the problem. 

In the last few weeks, Hollins has heard some of the criticism about him. He tells his family and friends to avoid reading or watching things about him, but acknowledged it’s impossible to completely ignore everything. 

“You can’t avoid that type of stuff,” Hollins said. “It’s like avoiding the sun. It’s not going to happen. But if you’re basing what you’ve worked on, what you’ve done on other people’s opinion, that’s your own prerogative. Me, I could care less.”

What might be most frustrating for the Eagles is that Hollins was productive earlier this year. Against the Falcons and Lions, Hollins had nine catches for 112 yards in a two-week span. Since then, he has just the one catch. 

Through seven games, the former fourth-round pick has 10 catches on 21 targets. His 47.6 catch rate is fourth-lowest in the league among players with 20-plus targets. 

How does Hollins think he’s playing? 

“I think you can always do more as a player,” Hollins answered. “Maybe there’s a block backside that I could have gotten a little more on, whether the guy made the play or not. Even encouraging a guy that made a mistake or didn’t do something right, or encouraging somebody who did do something right. Little things like that matter a lot. For a team to be great, everyone has to think like that. How can I make myself better and make everybody body else better and push a little more?”

Well … catching the ball would help too, right? 

Hollins said that aside from catching the ball, the Eagles’ receivers are graded on effort, route discipline and technique. It’s not like Hollins has been jogging around the field. It seems like he’s giving full effort and it’s still not enough. 

“Mack is another guy that has just done everything we've asked him to do,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “The ball hasn't found him. I actually thought in this past game, from a passing-game perspective, you look at the routes that he ran and put on tape, he was improved week over week from the week before. I think he's put a lot into practice and trying to refine his technique and he's done a good job.”

There you go. Hopefully, you’ll sleep better tonight knowing Hollins ran good routes when the ball didn’t find him. 

It’s not like anyone expected Hollins to suddenly turn into a Pro Bowler this season. But without Jackson since Week 2, Hollins has been playing a significant role on offense — which has also taken away his role on special teams — and the Eagles have barely gotten any production from him in the last month. In that time, second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside can barely get on the field. 

“There’s three or four receivers out on the field,” Hollins said, “so you obviously can’t always get the ball.” 

You’d just think he’d occasionally get one, though. 

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