Eagles are Carpet-Bombing WR
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles need help at receiver and that's become evident by the team's machinations on Monday.
Philadelphia added three receivers to the practice squad, most notably former Houston third-round pick Braxton Miller, and they are also bringing back Kamar Aiken, as well as former Baltimore first-round bust Breshad Perriman, in for workouts early this week, according to the NFL Network.
Miller was once a star QB in college with Ohio State and has been trying to make the transition at the professional level which has been difficult. He managed just 15 receptions during his rookie season with the Texans and followed that up with 19 as a sophomore but his yards-per-catch is a pedestrian 7.7 over those 34 total receptions.
Ironically the Eagles released Greg Ward, the former University of Houston QB trying to move to WR at the professional level, along with Rashard Davis understanding they needed to upgrade the talent at the position. Miller was released at the 53-man cutdown by the Texans earlier this month.
Others added to the PS on Monday were Reggie Davis and Dorren Miller while tight end Billy Brown was released.
Davis, originally an undrafted free agent out of Georgia, was with Atlanta and Cleveland in 2017 and was waived by the Falcons at the final cutdown earlier this month. Dorren Miller was with the Jaguars as an undrafted player out of Carson-Newman and was also released at final cuts.
Aiken, meanwhile, was released by the Eagles in the move to 53 while Perriman, the 26th overall pick in the 2015 draft, managed just 43 receptions for 576 yards over three seasons with the Ravens.
Known for his speed Perriman also worked out with the Minnesota Vikings last week and is coming off a year in which he had just 10 receptions on 35 targets.
Teams around the NFL typically work out players early in the season as due diligence in case they need help down the road.
Despite being without Alson Jeffery and Mack Hollins during the season-opening 18-12 win over Atlanta last Thursday, Doug Pederson stuck with his default setting on offense, 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end and three receivers), against the Falcons, lining up with that grouping 74 percent of the time, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
Nelson Agholor predictably got the most playing time with 68 snaps followed by Mike Wallace with 66. The surprise was DeAndre Carter getting on the field for 53 offensive snaps. Shelton Gibson (four reps) and Markus Wheaton (two snaps) saw minimal playing time.
"It's based on kind of how we go into each game. It's not a match-up thing or anything like that," Pederson said when discussing Carter's playing time on Friday. "It's just that DeAndre right now is more of an inside receiver and Shelton is more of an outside guy. We moved [WR] Nelson [Agholor] outside a little bit more in this game, which allowed for DeAndre to play. And then we put DeAndre at the point where he was having to block safeties and -- he does a nice job there. It was a little bit by scheme, but also the way the game kind of played out."
The plan was not all that successful, however, as PFF tallied the Eagles as "winning" 28 percent of the plays when they were in 11 personnel against Atlanta. Philadelphia 'lost' 49 percent of the time and 23 percent were graded as a wash.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen