If Jalen Reagor doesn’t succeed in the NFL, it won’t be for a lack of confidence.
Speaking to a horde of local reporters for the first time since the conclusion of his disappointing rookie season, the 2020 first-round pick made that clear. He’s heard what some folks have said about him and seems singularly focused on coming back with a vengeance in 2021.
“People can say whatever they want to say, but if you respond, you’re wrong,” Reagor said. “It is what it is. I know what I can do better. That’s why I attacked this offseason the way I did. We’ll see if everybody has the same energy after this season.”
Reagor, 22, is a frequent, yet erratic user of social media. All of the tweets from his Twitter account are currently missing, but it’s cyclical. Reagor will go on tweeting sprees, then delete. Earlier this offseason, his 75K+ followers witnessed some exchanges with fans who criticized him after his rookie season.
Maybe it seems like an immaturity issue. Just stay off the phone. But maybe Reagor is also using those critics as fuel. Fine line.
Whatever the motivation, Reagor vows to get better. Reagor on Tuesday didn’t want to get into the specifics of his offseason workouts other than to say he attacked them in an effort to improve every facet of his game.
“Honestly, you’re just going to see a whole lot of improvement,” Reagor said. “That’s all I can say. Incline.”
In what areas did Reagor want to focus that improvement?
“Everything,” he responded. “Being a complete wide receiver, mastering the things that take no talent and then fine-tuning the details, doing everything with intent and just knowing that I’m blessed as well. Letting my God-given ability take over.”
Reagor speaks through a scowl during interviews. You could argue that’s because of the critics of his rookie season but I’d quickly point out that he has been this way in just about every interview he’s done since becoming a pro. He answers questions but is guarded, serious. There’s likely a fun side in there somewhere under the gruff exterior but Reagor isn’t interested in letting it out. At least not yet.
He is a serious-minded 22-year-old, seemingly focused only on becoming a successful pro in the NFL.
On Tuesday, one reporter tried to jokingly ask Reagor if he had any notes after watching old tape of head coach Nick Sirianni as a receiver. “We’re different players,” Reagor said, completely missing the joke or just not giving a damn about it. My money’s on the latter.
Reagor on Tuesday applauded the Eagles’ draft choice of fellow receiver DeVonta Smith with the No. 10 pick and is very happy about the return of receivers coach Aaron Moorehead for a second season despite the coaching staff turnover.
As far as the new regime goes, the one major difference for Reagor is that he said he’ll be lining up in the slot more in his second season as Sirianni preaches interchangeability at the position.
Reagor was targeted just 11 times and had 7 catches for 33 yards out of the slot last season, according to ProFootballFocus. By using him in the slot in 2021, the Eagles will hope to gain some explosion out of the position, something they’ve lacked for a few years.
As a rookie, Reagor didn’t have a great showing. He caught just 31 passes for 396 yards and one touchdown, which isn’t good enough for the No. 21 overall pick. It certainly didn’t hurt that Reagor dealt with his fair share of injuries, playing in just 11 games.
“I really didn’t get hurt until I got into the NFL,” he said. “The little injury bug I had, like I said, you gotta go through something to be somebody. I feel like that was just testing my character. I feel like me being healthy, the best ability is availability. As long as I’m healthy, I feel like everything is going to go great.”
Like we said, confidence won’t be the problem.
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