Jordan Matthews knows the quarterback. He knows the coach. He knows the offense. He knows the building. He knows the city.
The only difference is that Matthews has a new locker this time. He was happy to get a stall next to his good friend Zach Ertz.
After officially signing with the Eagles again on Monday morning, the 27-year-old receiver is now in his third stint with the team that drafted him in the second round out of Vanderbilt back in 2014.
“There’s not much of that process of acclimating,” Matthews said on Monday afternoon. “Every other place that I’ve gone, it feels like there’s a good two to three weeks where you don’t even know where the bathroom is.
“But I was able to come back here and it’s just like back at home. See everybody, ‘what’s up?’ ‘What’s up?’ Back to work.”
That’s good news for the Eagles because they certainly don’t have time to wait for Matthews to get acclimated.
They need him to produce.
And they need him to produce immediately.
“The guy has made a lot of plays for the Eagles over the years,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “He has excellent football intelligence. He knows our system. He has familiarity there. I think there's great comfort with him in the huddle. There's rapport and chemistry with he and Carson (Wentz), which is important, so certainly nice to get him back.”
On the 53-man roster, Matthews replaced DeSean Jackson, who had one monster game before an abdominal injury derailed his Eagles reunion. Jackson is now on Injured Reserve after having core muscle surgery.
Of course, no one is expecting Matthews to come in and all of a sudden replace the best deep threat in the NFL. That’s not realistic. That’s not his game. But Matthews has been a productive receiver in the NFL before and he’s been a productive receiver in Philadelphia. The Eagles are just hoping he can give a small boost to a position group that has struggled mightily in 2019 without Jackson.
Step in and produce?
Matthews says that’s no problem.
“I feel like it’s been that way every single time,” he said. “I feel like when I got drafted here, that was one thing I heard: that we need production from the receiver position. Came in, worked hard and played. And then even last year, I was here a year ago at this time. … That was the same thing. It was like, ‘we need you to come in and immediately produce’ and that’s just what I do. When opportunities are there, I just try to work hard and make plays. The moment’s not too big for me. I just go out and play.”
In 14 games (three starts) with the Eagles last season, Matthews caught 20 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a 37-yard touchdown in the Saints playoff game.
But after the playoff loss, Matthews signed with the 49ers, who cut him, brought him back and cut him again in late October. Aside from the Eagles, Matthews has now spent time with the Bills, Patriots and 49ers, but he feels like Philly is his NFL home. He was thrilled when the Eagles brought him back again.
“It was so crazy. I felt like it was kind of unprecedented,” he said. “I heard of guys going back to a team that drafted them once. But twice? It was just crazy. I was just texting all the guys, like, ‘guys, it’s happening!’ It was like a kid in a candy store, man. It was like getting drafted all over again. I was just so happy. I can’t even explain. Picked up my son, ran around like he was Simba. It was a good feeling, man.”
Groh said the Eagles will probably use Matthews as an outside and a slot receiver. It would certainly make sense for Matthews to take some playing time away from Mack Hollins, who has gone five straight games without a catch.
Even if Matthews can just give the Eagles a slight boost, bringing him back will be worth it. And maybe everyone else will be as happy about the move as he was.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.
More on the Eagles