Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jordan Matthews on drops: Those were catches I should have had

Jordan Matthews' Eagles debut didn't go quite like he imagined.

Jordan Matthews on drops: Those were catches I should have had

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

CHICAGO -- Jordan Matthews' debut didn't go quite like he imagined.

The rookie wide receiver dropped two passes, could have had another, and managed only 14 yards on four catches in the Eagles' preseason opening loss to the Bears on Friday night.

“Those were catches I should have definitely had," Matthews said. "That’s what you work each day in practice for. Those are balls that I’ve caught before in games and in practices. That’s basic concentration things.”

Matthews worked mostly out of the slot with the second and third team offenses. He dropped two throws by quarterback Mark Sanchez, including on a perfectly-thrown corner route.

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"He was inconsistent," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. "There was a ball on the sideline he could have caught. I don't know if he was pressing, but there were some inconsistencies there. Sometimes it's the first time for guys in the bright lights so they can have a chance to play that out of their system and calm down."

Matthews had been receiving praise during training camp from his coaches and teammates, including running back LeSean McCoy, who suggested the rookie could be one of the best in what is being hailed by some as the deepest class of receivers ever. He started getting more first team repetitions in recent practices.

But Matthews hasn't been perfect. He's struggled at times to get separation against starting defensive backs and has had his share of drops. Matthews has decent hands, but not great ones. He dropped a number of passes during Senior Bowl practices in January.

Despite what Kelly said about possible nerves, Matthews said the moment didn't get to him.

“It wasn’t crazy," he said. "We practice so fast that the game seemed extremely slow. It’s just going out there and making plays.”

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
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