EAGLES’ ALSHON JEFFERY IS BEHIND: CAN HE CATCH UP AGAINST FISH?

By Sarah Berkowitz

So, there was a play in Thursday’s Eagles-Bills game that exemplified how far behind the offense is in preparation for the 2017 season.

There was a “route error” on the outside, so Eagles QB Carson Wentz calmly reset his feet, slid to the right and connected with tight end Zach Ertz for an 11-yard gain, which ended up being a yard short of the sticks.

However the “route error was Alshon Jeffery’s, and he needs to work on it this Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins.

“Alshon ran the wrong route. Probably a route that he hadn’t practiced yet,” said receivers coach Mike Groh. “Certainly his responsibility to know it, but in a short week, in a non-game plan week — ordinarily you’re spending four days of practicing and game-planning a team, you’ll run every play. And that’s one that’s been up but because of the time that he missed, we had it up two different ways and he got confused.”

“I think he’s behind,” said Groh. “Anytime you miss the amount of time that he did, he’s a little bit behind. Fortunately we have time for him to catch up. I thought they got off to a great start the other night.”

Wentz and Jeffery got things going on the fourth drive, as Wentz connected with Jeffery for a 9-yard gain and then again on a slant that went 14 yards two plays later.

“It was good to get him out there and finally get some opportunities to get some completions with him,” said Wentz.

“I don’t know if there’s an exact time [a quarterback and receiver need to build chemistry], but obviously you want as many reps as you can going into a season,” said Groh.

“It may take less time with really good players. They just kind of have a feel for each other. One thing that has helped Alshon be a productive player is I think his body language is very easy to read and judge for quarterbacks. When he and Carson get out here and Carson starts learning the body language and where he likes the ball, with the accuracy Carson throws with, I think it’ll work out well.”

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