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.”

Zach Ertz, Eagles players totally nail their reviews of 'Game of Thrones' final season

Zach Ertz, Eagles players totally nail their reviews of 'Game of Thrones' final season

The Eagles were back at the NovaCare Complex this week to get some offseason practice in to prep for the seas... just kidding, they were there to talk about "Game of Thrones."

Our very own Marc Farzetta caught up with a gaggle of players in the locker room but Zach Ertz's takes were 100 percent accurate.

The average television viewer probably knows they can't be a pro football player but the average pro football player certainly thinks they could be an expert television writer.

And you know at least one Eagles player is super series about his Thrones' fandom when he has a Night King mask just sitting in his locker.

You can watch the hot takes in the above video. Valar morghulis.

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

Chris Long admits to marijuana use, speaks out against NFL's policy — and he's right

Chris Long admits to marijuana use, speaks out against NFL's policy — and he's right

Always the progressive, it should come as no surprise that Chris Long is sort of ahead of the curve when it comes to the NFL’s accepting marijuana use. 

For now, marijuana is banned by the NFL, but the league has recently opened discussions about possibly using it as a pain management alternative. A committee of medical experts appointed by the league and the players union will study marijuana and its effects as an alternative pain treatment. 

Long, the recently-retired former Eagle, was on "The Dan Patrick Show" today and — shockingly! — admitted to the world that he used marijuana during his NFL playing career. It’s not that Long was ever one to avoid the conversation. He sent out this tweet in January. 

But now that he’s out of the league, it seems he’s feeling a little more empowered to speak his mind on the topic. 

And he makes a lot of very salient points. He’s right — the NFL’s policy and stance on marijuana is as ridiculous as it is outdated. 

You can check out the whole thing here: 

Based on the NFL’s recent (and late-to-the-table) conversion, Patrick asked Long were he thinks this is heading. 

We should be headed to a place where we allow players to enjoy what I would not even call a drug. You know, it’s far less dangerous than guzzling a fifth of alcohol and going out after a game. Chances are the player won’t even make it to the club (laughs) to do this sort of thing that we all kind of wag our finger at when we hear about a guy getting in a fight or a DUI, you’re never going to read about him sitting on the couch and binge-watching ‘Game of Thrones’ again.

I think from a standpoint of what’s safer for people and the player, certainly people in the spotlight, it is far less harmful than alcohol, it is far less harmful than tobacco, and at various points in the league’s history, they have engaged in partnerships on different levels with those respective industries.

Long said he didn’t want to give a percentage of how many NFL players use marijuana but admitted he used his “fair share” of marijuana during his career. He also mentioned a lot of players used it for pain management. 

Long wouldn’t give a percent, but based on my time around the league, I’ll tell you it’s a significant portion of players. A big reason for that is the laughable testing policy that allows players to skirt the rules with ease. 

In fact, Long called the testing arbitrary and, well, he’s right. 

I think testing is arbitrary. The league, speaking plainly, knows damn well what they’re doing. Testing players once a year for ‘street drugs,’ which is a terrible classification for marijuana, is kind of silly because, you know, players know when the test is, we can stop, and in that month or two that you stop, you’re going to reach for the sleeping pills, you’re going to reach for the pain killers, you’re going to reach for the bottle a little bit more. On the weekend, you’re going to have a few more drinks and a few turns into a few too many. It’s just not the same and if you’re serious about players not smoking, you’d be testing more often. I hope they go the opposite direction and realize how arbitrary doing that test once a year is.

I’ve heard many NFL executives and coaches not give a damn about whether or not their players smoke weed. They don’t care. They just care if a guy is dumb enough to get caught because players know the test is coming. Believe it or not, the testing period (incredibly!) begins on April 20 and continues through Aug. 9. That’s when players are tested for what the league calls “substances of abuse” and marijuana is included in that. 

So as long as players don’t use marijuana just before or during that span, they’re going to pass with flying colors and then start up right again. There’s some obvious absurdity there that definitely warrants ridicule above and beyond the merits of banning marijuana in the first place. 

Now that he’s out of the league, Long feels more empowered to speak up. Good for him.

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