A training camp day doesn’t seem to go by without someone at the NovaCare Complex raving about rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews. On Thursday, it was offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s turn.
“He can play anywhere,’’ Shurmur said during a 15-minute morning interview session with the media. “He’s got size. He’s good against bump-and-run coverage. His spacial awareness is good.’’
The 6-3, 212-pound second-rounder can play inside or outside. But the tentative plan right now if for him to open the season as the team’s slot receiver.
“There are different combinations of things that can happen when you’re inside as opposed to outside,’’ Shurmur said. “He kind of has a good feel for that. You’ve been able to see in camp that he’s been able to get open and make plays.
“The other advantage is he’s young and he’s got courage. So he can run around and catch the ball with people around him. Lastly, when he catches the ball, he sets his hair on fire and runs. If we didn’t have fences around here, he’d run into the street. He’s one of the best finishers we have.’’
Some other highlights from Shurmur’s interview session:
--(on quarterback Nick Foles): “Nick’s done a good job of understanding the receivers and what they’re good at and trying to blend that with the route concepts we’re giving them and the types of routes they’re running. You can see them moving it around. There are times where if you just watch practice not really knowing what we’re doing, you might say, well, that was not a good throw or that was a bad route. But we’re just working through things.’’
--(on running back Darren Sproles): “He can be a first down, second down, third down, fourth down, special teams weapon. He’s a weapon whenever he’s on the field. You can see we’re handing him the ball. We’re throwing him the ball. We’ll try to use him every which way we can. The nice thing about Darren, and this is the value added to him, he’s had a great career. He’s highly productive guy. But he does everything absolutely right. He grinds on what he’s doing and he finishes every play. Jordan as a young guy and Darren as a veteran, those guys are finishers.’’
--(on rookie wide receiver Josh Huff): “He’s done a good job. We’re working him inside and outside. He walked in here thinking, hey I know this offense. And he’ll be the first one to tell you there’s a lot of things that have changed and been added since he was at Oregon. Which we had to do. We see a lot more man coverage in the NFL than they did in college. So we have a lot of the traditional things in the passing game that you would run at this level. That kind of shocked him initially that this isn’t exactly what we did at Oregon. But he’s settled in and is doing extremely well. He’s very good against bump and run. He’s a strong, physical body. Almost looks like a running back because he’s a powerful type guy.’’
--(on quarterback Mark Sanchez): “Mark’s done a nice job of picking up our stuff. I’m really glad he’s here. The gyy’s a winner. He was playing in two AFC championship games. He’s really taking advantage of the opportunity to be here. He gets better every day. He understands the game, situational football.’’
--(on LeSean McCoy): “He’s come into camp in great shape. You can just look at him and see he’s leaner.’’
--(on tight end Brent Celek): “He’s a guy who’s really, really bought in to our training, recovery, restoration. He’s a guy who, later in his career, has really bought in to what we’re doing. And you’re seeing the effects of it. He reminds me every day that what we’re doing is working.’’
--(on the difference in the offense from Year 1 to Year 2): “As far as the players that were here last year, they just have this memory bank of reps they draw from over and over and over. They’re starting from a different point. And we as coaches know the players better and how they fit. So we really focus on the plays that work with the guys we have. And then we build on that.’’
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