Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Avant's got McNabb's trust

Jason Avant is not the first-round draft pick who held out and arrived late at camp.

Avant's got McNabb's trust

Jason Avant is not the first-round draft pick who held out and arrived late at camp.

He's not the speedster who people are predicting to go to the Pro Bowl.

And he's surely not the one who co-starred in a reality TV show with his actress/model wife this past offseason.

He's just the steady guy. The one Donovan McNabb can look to on third down and know he'll make the catch in traffic.

Avant may be flying under the radar at camp since there's not much of a story line with him, but he's a fun guy to watch practice. You know all those things your coach preached when you were 7 years old in terms of how to play the game?

Be a good teammate. Don't complain. Finish plays. Give maximum effort. 

Somehow, Avant has retained all that knowledge.

I remember a play last week when he ran a pattern, but McNabb made a poor throw and the play was incomplete. Avant ran back to the line of scrimmage, got McNabb's attention and asked if he made a mistake in his route. Did he run the wrong pattern? Did he make his break too soon?

No. McNabb just made a bad throw. It's training camp. It happens. But in August, it's all about building chemistry, and Avant just wanted to make sure he and his QB were on the same page.

Those little things count for something once the real games start.

As for his role this season, Avant told me things change every year, and he's right. The Eagles added Jeremy Maclin to the mix in the first round, but still look for Avant to play a key role on third downs.

"Hopefully it's going to continue," he told me after this morning's practice. "I'm working hard for him [McNabb], trying to get tough catches going, and continuing to get better. Hopefully we can continue it this season. I know he's gonna look for me for some of the things I did last year."

What he did last year was make 13 first-down catches on third down. Overall, 68.8 percent of his catches moved the chains. Both those numbers ranked among the top 15 in the NFC.

More notes from practice in a little bit.

And sorry to all the Twitter followers. It wasn't working on my Blackberry this morning. Not sure if it's me or an overall Twitter thing.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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