Over the past two seasons Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles have managed to get rid of their top receiver not once, but twice. After the 2013 season Kelly managed to dispose of DeSean Jackson off of a career year and this summer the mastermind GM-coach failed to re-sign Jeremy Maclin.
After going for 1,332-yards and nine touchdowns nobody believed the Eagles would be able to replace Jackson after Kelly simply released the star receiver. To say they got lucky when Jeremy Maclin had a career year of 1,318 yards and ten touchdowns would be an understatement.
Coming off of a torn ACL not many could have expected Maclin to have a season in the way that he did. Call it benefitting from the system or gambling on himself and succeeding, Maclin stepped up in a big way with Mark Sanchez throwing him the football for half the season.
With Maclin gone, unlike after Jackson left, the Eagles dont have that veteran receiver waiting around to go off for a career year. Instead they have Riley Cooper, Josh Huff, Jordan Matthews, and rookie Nelson Agholor.
Cooper proved to be a disappointment after having one good season having 835 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. The Eagles receiver’s production dropped just over 30% in 2014. Josh Huff will be going into his second season after having EIGHT total receptions last season and Jordan Matthews is as of now, the most accomplished receiver on the roster.
That leaves Agholor. Being drafted in the first round, the Eagles are expecting him to come in and be the number one guy, and at the very least the number two guy.
Last season the Eagles drafted a receiver in the top two rounds and he happened to have a standout year. That player of course was Matthews. The now second year receiver had a rookie season like none other surpassing many franchise and league accolades.
The type of rookie season that Matthews had is one that does not come around very often. To expect it to happen two years in a row is a huge gamble from Kelly and puts a lot of pressure on a rookie.
What if Algholor doesn’t work out, then what? One position that the Eagles are very thin at is wide receiver. There is a lot of uncertainty that lies at one of the most important skill positions. Newly acquired quarterback Sam Bradford struggled in St. Louis as the Rams failed to draft a top receiver time and time again. That can’t happen in Philadelphia if the Eagles want him to succeed.
What it comes down to is the discussion of scheme trumping talent. Chip Kelly believes his scheme can make his players better, and up to this point that has been the case. But what happens when the rest of the league figures him out?
Defensive coordinators have always been able to catch up and it’s only a matter of time before they catch up to Kelly.
As mentioned earlier the Eagles are expecting a lot out of Agholor, and under Kelly we can only hope that he works out. The point here is that the Eagles and fans for that matter are putting a lot of pressure on the rookie receiver expecting a Jordan Matthews-like rookie campaign.
However, what they forget is that he is a rookie, and it could take some time. Not every rookie is the same. Chip Kelly will undoubtedly put Agholor in a position to succeed, he proved that with Jackson, Maclin, and Matthews.
At the end of the day it will be up to Agholor on how well he does in his rookie year will be up to him. There will be bumps in the road because after all, he is just a rookie.
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