Travis Fulgham’s snaps continue to decline and Alshon Jeffery’s continue to rise.
It’s been two straight games now that Fulgham hasn’t had a catch. Last week, he was given just 11 snaps. Jeffery had 31 against the Saints, his only catch an impactful one, a 15-yard touchdown on fourth down.
“Alshon is getting healthier and is playing better and we game plan for him,” said head coach Doug Pederson. “There are certain plays, specific plays that Travis is going to be in on and there are specific plays that Alshon is going to be in on. … it's not about the one guy, right? It's about the entire team and that's what helps us win.”
The coach then added that Fulgham needs to play better, and there are numbers out there that suggest Fulgham has difficulty getting open against press, man-to-man coverage
“He’s got to play better, but at the same time Alshon is playing better too, so we're going to play the guys on that particular play who are in the game. That's based on the game plan, so you can't put it on Travis. You can put it on me. I'm the play-caller, I call the personnel groups, so put it on me.”
Jason Kelce chimed in with an interesting take.
“I think everybody’s curious at all times to see what the young guys have in games,” said the veteran center. “Whenever a guy gets an opportunity, it’s OK, let’s see what this guy does. These are the moments in the NFL, especially as an older player, or as I’m sure the coaches and eve fans where you’re like hey, I finally get to see this guy go out there and play.
“It’s an exciting time whenever somebody’s going out there for the first time. That being said I think at all times in the NFL, the focus should be winning the football game. Nothing else takes precedence, no player evaluation, no amount of curiosity from anybody within the organization. Everything is focused, in my opinion in this league, about winning games.”
Kelce’s take could easily apply to quarterback Jalen Hurts, who revealed last week in beating the Saints and their top-ranked defense that he can help win games.
Fulgham showed he can, too, at least for a six-game stretch while Jalen Reagor recovered from thumb surgery.
The belief, at least from Pederson and others in the organization, is that Jeffery can help win games, as well, even though at the age of 30 and coming off a 10-month rehab recovery from Lisfranc surgery, it has been challenging for him to prove that from a demanding fan base.
“Nothing takes precedence over trying to win a football game,” said Kelce. “I don’t care who you’re trying to evaluate, I don’t care if you lost every game, you’re 0-15 and it’s the last one you got, everything is about winning in this league.
‘I know that won’t appease a lot of people out there that always want to talk about getting better draft positions, getting looks at certain guys to see what you got for the future, but, again, the moment a team feels like you as an organization aren’t doing your job for me to go out there and win, all of a sudden, you’ve shown who you are.
“You don’t care about me or this team. You care about the future, you care about this. That’s not what the focus is here, that’s not what the focus is on any winning organization’s team.”
Get the latest Eagles news by joining the community. Click "Follow" at the top right of the EagleMaven page. Mobile users click the notification bell. And please follow me on Twitter @kracze.