Philadelphia Eagles: Production for Riley Cooper Must Improve or Another Option May Be Necessary

By Bob Francis
Riley Cooper
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In the win against the Washington Redskins in Week 1, the Philadelphia Eagles proved in the first half that when both sides of the ball are working well, they can be a force to be reckoned with. The second half was another story, with the defense looking suspect, playing a prevent, and the offense taking its foot off the pedal. Week 2 against the San Diego Chargers will demand more from players on both sides of the ball, especially Riley Cooper.

The Eagles were able to post their first win of 2013 thanks to a strong performance from LeSean McCoy, but going forward, they will need production from other places if they expect to stay on track. DeSean Jackson got his against Washington as well, catching seven passes for over 100 yards and a touchdown. But in order for Jackson and McCoy to remain threats week in and week out, other players need to step up their game. Cooper is the largest target the Eagles have on the outside, with Jason Avant spending the majority of his time across the middle. With Cooper receiving only two passes for 14 yards in Week 1, it is inevitable that Jackson will see double coverage this week, leaving Riley as a go-to option. He was not ineffective against Washington because of the involvement he had blocking and helping to set up the running game, but his numbers as a receiver will need to largely improve in Week 2.

The majority of Cooper’s media coverage has been negative to this point. A change in his play would be a welcoming surprise for Chip Kelly in opening up the San Diego defense and creating more options for Michael Vick. If Cooper can’t handle the challenge, the Eagles may need to spend the next week looking into other available options on the market, in order to make themselves more worthwhile at the position. Both Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens are experienced, big receivers available if the Philadelphia brass decide help is needed. They wouldn’t provide the attention that they once demanded, but may be a more viable option than what the Eagles currently have.

Bob Francis is a Philadelphia Eagles contributor for  Follow him on Twitter @rfrancisjr, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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