The Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly were aggressive in overhauling the wide receiver position this off-season. First there was DeSean Jackson‘s unceremonious exit. The club decided to part ways with the mercurial wide out after they got no solid trade offers. They said it was for “football reasons.” While that statement had a lot of people shaking their heads at the time there may have been more truth to it than it seemed.
Kelly values a particular type of wide receiver. Someone who is physical. Someone who can defeat press coverage off the line of scrimmage and outplay defenders for the football. It is crucial that he be able to block downfield. In a nutshell, he must have a toughness and edge about him. The two players the Eagles targeted and landed in Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff have that in spades.
Matthews is a king-sized wide receiver. He i 6′ 3, over 200 pounds, and he ran a blazing 4.4 40 at the combine. He has a knack for making contested catches in traffic an invaluable skill at the highest level where separation from a corner is the smallest of margins.
Huff is a different type of receiver but effective nonetheless. He is simply explosive in and out of his breaks. He eats up cushion on cornerbacks and before you know it he’s by them. Huff is a perfect slot weapon for this offense, and he will come in having a full grasp of Kelly’s offense from their days together in college.
It is a new day for the Eagles at the wide receiver position. Size, toughness, and character seem to be the most important traits for Kelly at the wide out spot. Jackson may have departed, and with him a boatload of production, but make no mistake about it. This will still be one of the best offenses in all of football, if not the most elite.