Why Eagles’ Jalen Reagor is not centered on commerce rumors or social media insults following an offseason of loss
PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Reagor is aware of what you’re pondering.
He’s seen the private assaults on social media and heard the jeers from Eagles followers on the NovaCare Complicated throughout practices in coaching camp. The previous first-round decide can be well-versed in what “boos” sound like at Lincoln Monetary Area. He is aware of that followers aren’t going to purchase into the hype of a robust summer season and that the majority of them need him to be traded … for principally something. However none of that basically issues to him.
Jalen Reagor trying to rebound after offseason of loss
This offseason, Reagor endured a few powerful life classes by means of loss.
In January, Reagor’s grandmother — who he credit with elevating him — handed away. He then misplaced his finest pal, former NFL cornerback Jeff Gladney, in a lethal automotive crash in Might. These losses gave Reagor quite a bit to consider as he entered his third NFL coaching camp.
He leaned closely on his father, Montae, a former Eagles and Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman, for emotional power and knowledge. By way of these arduous instances, Reagor pushed ahead with added perspective. He additionally bought in the very best form of his profession.
Reagor believes that’s precisely how Gladney would need him to hold on in his reminiscence.
“I’m not all over [the grieving process], however I do know I’ve a job to do,” Reagor stated. “And I do know what [Gladney] would need me to do. I’m simply persevering with to [honor] him each time I contact the sector — give it to him and God — and do the very best that I can.”
Reagor entered final 12 months’s coaching camp out of practice. This offseason, his vast receivers coach, former NFL wideout Aaron Moorehead, believes he returned to Philly in higher form than most of his teammates.
“He got here in pretty much as good a form as anybody within the camp this 12 months, and it’s confirmed by the best way he’s performed,” Moorehead stated.
Reagor has routinely made headlines for his sensitivity to social media. And whereas the occasional hiccup — like a dispute over his enjoying toughness early in camp — has occurred, he’s in a greater place mentally due to the private experiences he’s had over the previous few months.
He is aware of what’s necessary in life, and he’s not attempting to dwell on the criticisms of faceless posters or disgruntled followers.
“Simply put my head down and go to work,” Reagor stated. “Probably not frightened about the rest, simply centered on myself.”
Down the totem pole
Whereas Reagor returned to camp with an improved physique and angle, he discovered himself deeper down the depth chart than in years previous.
The group traded first- and third-round picks to the Tennessee Titans to amass prime wideout A.J. Brown in April. Philly then instantly gave Brown a four-year, $100 million contract extension.
Brown’s arrival dominated out a beginning position for Reagor. He had already been succeeded within the lineup by DeVonta Smith, final 12 months’s first-round decide, and draft classmate and pal, Quez Watkins, final season.
So, Reagor got here into the summer season preventing for a job with the fourth spot on the totem pole being his most suitable choice for enjoying time.
“I really like a great problem,” Reagor stated. “It’s a humbling expertise since you go from being a first-rounder to you battling — however I like challenges, although.”
Keep or commerce?
The Eagles can’t lower Reagor, as that transfer would enact a $6.04 million dead-money hit, in line with Over The Cap.
The group’s solely choice in a possible divorce can be by means of a commerce. Whereas Reagor’s title has repeatedly been talked about in commerce rumors, and the Baltimore Ravens — in line with a league supply — confirmed some curiosity in him through the offseason, the Eagles don’t appear to be in a rush to unload him for absolutely anything.
Specifically, Reagor has the backing of Moorehead, who has identified him for the reason that coach and Reagor’s father have been teammates in Indianapolis within the 2000s. Moorehead hasn’t given up on the previous first-round decide, even when his depth chart is now stacked to the brim.
“He’s had a pleasant camp up to now, he’s made performs, and he’s finished every little thing that we’ve requested him to do,” Moorehead stated. “He’s bought to come back in and problem himself daily to be nice on the sector, off the sector, and proceed to care for himself. We’ve got had no points this 12 months.”
To ensure that Reagor to have a job with the Eagles, he must outlast veteran Zach Pascal — a favourite of head coach Nick Sirianni — undrafted standout Britain Covey, Deon Cain, Greg Ward, John Hightower, Lance Lenoir, Devon Allen, and Keric Wheatfall for a job. The Eagles even have listed Reagor as their prime punt and kick returner on their first unofficial depth chart, which might result in a game-day place to make performs.
However does Reagor desire a new alternative by means of a commerce? Publicly, he’s standing agency on his objective to revitalize his potential the place it began.
“I need to be right here for the remainder of my profession,” Reagor stated. “However, you already know, it’s a enterprise — a enterprise of manufacturing. I’m going to deal with my finish, and I’m going to allow them to deal with theirs.”
Final summer season, Reagor made a few circus catches that tantalized the fan base and gave the Philly devoted hope that he had turned the nook from his underwhelming rookie season. Reagor went on to play 67% of the offensive snaps, however he caught simply 33 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns.
That’s why it’s comprehensible that followers are a little bit hesitant to purchase into Reagor’s optimistic opinions by means of three weeks of camp. The wideout has been operating principally with the second-team offense, even with Smith sidelined with a groin damage. Regardless of the depth reps, although, Reagor has made essentially the most of his targets, particularly of late.
On Wednesday, Reagor labored with the starters and was in a position to beat No. 1 cornerback Darius Slay on an out route. Beginning QB Jalen Hurts regarded Reagor’s approach and put the ball the place solely he might get it. Reagor made a spotlight fingertip catch earlier than heading out of bounds for a 10-yard acquire in 11-on-11 group drills.
“It’s a type of issues that the coaches sport plan,” Reagor stated concerning the play. “If Slay would have performed off, you will have a sure conversion — however he performed off, I got here full pace, and a terrific throw by Jalen. It’s my job to make the quarterback look good.”
That spotlight added to a handful of massive performs made in earlier practices, as Reagor has routinely used his deep pace to get open for chunk performs. He hasn’t been good — no wideout could make that declare — however he’s regarded constantly able to making performs when the ball goes to him, which is a gentle enchancment from his first two years.
As one supply instructed Professional Soccer Community, Reagor is “locked in.”
All that stated, the Eagles nonetheless may highlight Reagor within the preseason to buy him to the very best bidder earlier than ultimate cuts. Or, perhaps, they’ll lastly assist him get in rhythm with Hurts and the starters as Smith recovers on the sideline.
Both approach, Reagor is aware of he can’t fear concerning the finish end result. He simply must do his job.
“We’ve bought a hell of a room,” Reagor stated. “It’s a contest in there. Clearly, folks have their jobs, some folks don’t, and a few individuals are preventing. So, you’ve bought to come back in, and when folks go down, you’ve bought to step up. When individuals are up, you’ve simply to ensure you’re prepared when it’s your time.”