If Jalen Reagor is going to be an integral part of the Eagles’ offense in 2020, and it’s looking like that might be the case, he got a very important head start last month.
He worked out with Carson Wentz.
It might not sound like much but that time that Wentz spent with Reagor and some of his other receivers in Texas in early June could end up being extremely important this summer as the Eagles and the rest of the NFL try to condense an entire offseason into three weeks or practices.
As training camp begins this year, the Eagles' first practice won’t be until Aug. 12. Their first padded practice won’t be until Aug. 17.
Had Reagor not been in Houston in early June to catch passes from Wentz, that would be the first time he’d be working out with Wentz.
“It was great to finally meet Carson in person rather than just texting or talking to him,” Reagor said. “We were just going over the playbook, the routes, the signals and just trying to gel, you know, get closer in the short amount of time. Now it’s even better because we’re going to be here. I’ll be able to be hands on with him. I’ll be able to actually see him, be around him, see his habits and be a sponge to him.”
Reagor, 21, revealed on Tuesday that he’s been learning the X and Z positions in the Eagles offense, meaning there’s a good chance he’ll be the backup at both spots and will find an easier path to playing time as a rookie.
On an offense that lacked explosion last year, the No. 21 pick could provide some. He should be heavily involved. Right now, the over/under on receiving yards for Reagor as a rookie is at 650.5, according to DraftKings. If he hits that over, he’ll need to be in sync with Wentz.
That’s where those workouts in Houston come into play during an offseason without OTAs or minicamps.
In hindsight, you could certainly question the decision to flock to the biggest city in a huge state right before the COVID-19 pandemic spiked in that state. (Wentz has worked out in Houston with his receivers before.) But Wentz and the receivers were in Houston this year before that spike and before we all would probably have considered that to be a bad idea.
“It was good,” Wentz said of the workouts. “It was short and obviously it was still an interesting time and then Texas started to become a hot zone for COVID as well, so that kind of limited what we could do as well. It was good work. It was quick, but it was really good just to get to see a couple of the guys even for the brief couple days we were.”
The Eagles’ front office, by the way, was pretty happy to see Wentz gather some of his wideouts for those workouts. They thought it showed real leadership, just like all the times he’s done that before. The difference this year was that those workouts sort of replaced OTAs in this weird offseason.
For Reagor, the chance to have better quarterback play this season has to be appealing. One of the big reasons his numbers dropped in his junior year at TCU was really shaky quarterback play.
Right after he was drafted, Reagor couldn’t wait to work with Wentz.
“I mean, it's Carson Wentz,” Reagor said shortly after getting drafted. “I feel like his name speaks for itself. And just the fact that I get to be alongside those guys now. It's just a surreal feeling. Like, I watched Carson Wentz. I watched him play. I'm like, ‘Wow, this dude is amazing,’ and now he's my quarterback. So, it's just, like I said, a surreal feeling, and ultimately, it's a blessing.”
And if these two start connecting early in the 2020 season, we can probably look back at those workouts in June as a big reason why.
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