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Jalen Reagor: "That Was Like a Little Brother to Me"

The Eagles WR talked about his delayed start to training camp, part of which was due to lower body tightness, the other the death of a close friend
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PHILADELPHIA - Jalen Reagor is back in full now, taking part in his third practice on Tuesday after missing the first three.

The second-year Eagles receiver talked for the first time since training camp began following the first session with the players in full pads on Day 6 of training camp.

Reagor admitted to having lower body tightness, a reason for him not having been able to fully pass his physical, but he also spoke briefly about the passing of a childhood friend, a mourning that took its toll a bit mentally.

“I just appreciate coach holding me accountable for all the things going on,” said Reagor, “but that’s all in the past. I’m just looking forward to the future. I’m on the field now so that’s what I’m focused on.”

Accountability is one of coach Nick Sirianni’s five core principals, and something tiht end Dallas Goedert talked about as well when he was asked a few days ago about why he didn’t pass his conditioning test.

“I feel like I’m in great shape,” said Goedert on Saturday evening. “It was just a technicality thing, a detail thing. Used to doing a drill one way, turned the wrong way. I got held accountable. Details are an important thing on this team, so glad I was held accountable, but I’m in great shape.”

Reagor appears to be in solid shape as well following an intensive offseason of preparing for his second season, one in which he will aim to stay healthier than he was as a rookie when he missed five games.

Jalen Reagor at Eagles camp

Jalen Reagor

Perhaps he overtrained, with a heavy desire to show that he is a much better player than he showed last year, and that was the reason for his lower body tightness. He said his legs were a bit beaten down from all the offseason routes he did.

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The unexpected issue that sidelined was the reported murder of his close friend.

Saturday was the funeral, but Reagor couldn’t attend. Instead, he was participating in his first full practice.

“That was like a little brother to me,” said Reagor. “It was hard to deal with, then Saturday was his funeral, and I wasn’t able to be there. It’s hard to deal with, but in the mental state, I’m doing way better.”

Sirianni said the team was aware of Reagor’s anguish and helped him as much as possible.

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“If we are going to say the very first core value is connecting and then aren't there for players in a time of need, then we're full of it, and so it's just being there for him, and you know, having the people in place in the building to help him deal with anything that he's going through,” said Sirianni. “So, you have professionals that do that, right, that can talk to him if need be and then you just have coaches that care for him that are there to talk to him, too.

“I think you see, too, the players, you see that this is a tight-knit group of players, as well. So, there's a lot of guys for him to be able to talk to, again, professionals, coaches, and his teammates.”

Indeed, Reagor credited his teammates for helping him fight through the grief to feel comfortable enough to return.

“This is like where I can get away,” said Reagor. “You go home, you have family checking on you and asking you if you’re OK, then I go in the locker room and I have seven of my teammates checking on me but they’re also making sure I’m in good spirits. So, its helped. Then with the head coach doing the same thing, that’s big on every standard.”

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.