Eagles Hoping Familiar Face Helps Bring the Best Out of Chris Givens
New Eagles wide receiver Chris Givens has found some direction.
"Chris Givens has good speed," Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich explained after yesterday's practice on Monday.
"He's a guy who has proven he can get vertical and make plays down the field in this league."
Expectations were high for the 2012 fourth-round draft pick, who had his best season as a rookie playing in St. Louis with Sam Bradford. But since that rookie campaign where he posted 42 catches, 698 yards and three scores, he has seen a steady decline in his production. With just 31 catches over the past two seasons, Givens is now determined to secure a solid spot in the wide receiver rotation, reuniting with Bradford.
After the 26-year-old totaled just 20 catches for 353 yards and one touchdown with Baltimore and St. Louis in 2015, he decided to sign with the Eagles in part because he wanted to reunite with Sam Bradford.
Now the after-thought signing has turned heads at Eagles camp, and has seen plenty of first-team reps and could challenge Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor and Rueben Randle for snaps this year.
"We've got good depth," stated Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. "You throw Chris [Givens] in there, a veteran guy that knows how to practice and play, and we just want to give them all as many reps as we can."
Givens has always been a big-play threat, last season he averaged 17.7 yards per grab and during his two year run with Bradford he caught 60 passes for 993 yards (16.5 yards per catch) and three touchdowns in 2012-2013 with the Rams.
"Chris has been one of those guys that added depth at the spot," Pederson explained back in OTA's. "I like his speed and athleticism. He's a veteran player who obviously has played in several games and has that experience there."
Givens has been a guy who can run a go-rote for most of his career, but can the six-foot, 200 lbs. wide out make in impact in other areas?
"I feel like he's a guy that's really going to help us down the road. With his continued growth in the offense, just expanding his role a little bit and he's a guy that you can really move around and utilize his speed in different aspects of your offense."
So far he has looked in training camp as the Eagles look for some stability at the wide receiver position that features a lot of youth and inconsistency, something Reich is looking to improve on.
"As a coach, you don't want any drops, so, no, you want 100 percent catches," Reich admitted. "So, yeah, that's something that you get in a groove. We've always got to demand the best of ourselves. We expect perfection. "
If the Eagles can get perfection from Givens, a long-shot, he may be something the team has been missing since the loss of DeSean Jackson - a guy who can run down-the-field and make plays through the air.