It was a good start.
Jalen Reagor isn’t making it out to be any more than that.
After a disappointing rookie season, the 2020 first-round pick was healthy entering Year 2 and put together a strong opener in Atlanta on Sunday. It doesn’t take the pressure off, he said, but it’s a step in the right direction.
“Of course it’s good,” Reagor said. “It’s ultimately what you build on. You try to be consistent and that’s what I’m focusing on, being consistent and not just do it in spurts but do it a lot.”
In the Eagles’ 32-6 win on Sunday, Reagor had 5 catches for 49 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the fourth quarter.
Not mind-blowing numbers but definitely a good sign. Because even though the Eagles drafted DeVonta Smith with the No. 10 pick this year, they still really need Reagor to pull his weight in Year 2. If Smith turns out to be what we expect and Reagor can put a disappointing rookie season behind him, all of a sudden, the Eagles have an impressive young nucleus to build with.
Of course, it has to be more than flashes for Reagor. We saw some of that in training camp. In 1-on-1 drills this summer, Reagor had two of the most spectacular catches you’ll ever see. But the next step in the summer is the next step in the season: He has to do it play after play, week after week. That’s where the success is.
It’s about turning those flashes into consistent productive.
As for the 23-yard touchdown, it was a nice one. Reagor caught a screen pass from Jalen Hurts, got a tremendous block from Jordan Mailata and then showed off his explosion as he sped into the end zone.
After the game, the talk was about that block from Mailata, just a day after he signed a four-year contract extension.
“That’s what made the play work,” Reagor said. “Him and our great offensive line. You see, that’s why he got paid. That’s ultimately what made the play work.”
But let’s not lose sight of Reagor’s explosiveness on the play. It’s the reason the Eagles drafted him in the first round last year. It’s the reason he’s now their primary punt returner. And it’s also the reason we can expect to see the Eagles get him the ball quickly after the snap.
Nick Sirianni’s offense is predicated on getting the ball to his playmakers and letting them create. That seems perfect for Reagor.
“That’s the plan,” Reagor said. “Coach is trying to get us the ball in space.”
After the game on Sunday, Reagor posted a couple photos of himself from Atlanta with the caption “Revitalized.”
On Wednesday, he was asked what he meant.
“It’s like new life,” Reagor said. “That’s what I feel like. That’s what I’m preaching. Just positive and having a different outlook on things.”
A new outlook after a string of disappointments as a rookie is probably a good idea.
But what is the different outlook?
“You just gotta look at the best in things because every game is not going to be what you want it to be,” he said. “You just gotta look at the best in every situation. That’s what I feel like I’m focusing on, having a clear soul, clear mind and just going into every week excited and grateful to be here in the position I am.”
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