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News And Notes As Eagles Practice In Anaheim

Posted Dec 7, 2017

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Nelson Agholor had a superstar career at USC, enough to get him selected in the first round of the 2015 draft by the Eagles. Agholor returns to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday playing the best football of his career and coming off a seven-catch, 141-yard, and one-touchdown performance.

He’s stoked, yes, to play the Rams on Sunday.

“It’s a blessing to be in this position and I am excited about being back here,” said Agholor, who has career highs of 40 catches, 599 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns scored through 12 games. “I know we have a lot more football to go, though, a lot more to do.”

Agholor will have his college receivers coach, Tee Martin (now USC’s offensive coordinator) on hand to watch, along with his girlfriend and her family. So it’s a big deal. It means a little extra something.

“USC was a great place to play college football and a great place to go to school,” he said. “Great tradition. The Coliseum and the Linc (Lincoln Financial Field), they are my homes. I am going to have a lot of fun on Sunday.”

LONG PLAYS AGAINST HIS FORMER TEAM

A lot of the names are gone and the coaching staff is different and, heck, the city is different for the Rams from when defensive end Chris Long played for them for eight seasons. But it still has some meaning for Long, who lines up against the franchise that used the second overall pick in the 2008 draft on him. Long had 54.5 quarterback sacks for the Rams and then played with New England and won a Super Bowl with the Patriots last year before joining the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent in the spring.

“I’ve got a few buddies that are still there. I’m happy for them because they’re a helluva football team and those guys deserve success. At the same time, it’s just lining up and playing football this weekend,” Long said. “That’s all it’s about.”

ALSHON PUMPED ABOUT NEW DEAL

Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery never let a one-year contract become a distraction, as can happen. Instead, he played strong football, trusted his agent and the Eagles' management team, and in the end signed a four-year contract through 2021.

“Watching the Eagles last year and seeing what they have with Carson (Wentz) and the pieces that are here, it made it easy for me to fit in and play ball,” Jeffery said. “I feel like I’m a key part of it and I look around and see all these other pieces who came here in the offseason and made this a great locker room.

“To be here and build on what we’re doing, I’m very excited about it. We’re going to do some great things. The sky is the limit.”

DEFENSE GIRDS FOR GURLEY, AND HIGH-POWERED RAMS OFFENSE

St. Louis has a balanced offense featuring running back Todd Gurley, who has 939 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, plus another 48 receptions and three scores in the passing game. He’s gained a combined 1,502 yards this season in 12 games.

And as much as the attention is focused on second-year quarterback Jared Goff, Gurley is the player who makes the offense go.

“He’s a complete back,” defensive tackle Beau Allen said. “He’s really powerful, he’s got great balance, he’s not afraid to stick his nose in there, but he’s also really agile. We have a ton of respect for our opponents and he’s definitely a guy that you need to know where he is.”

Said linebacker Nigel Bradham: “He does it all. He’s good at what he does. He’s definitely one of the best guys that we’ve faced and will face this season.”

KEEPING THE SCHEDULE THE SAME

The Eagles held their first full-team practice of the week on Wednesday at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, working on the grass field and trying to keep everything as routine as possible.

“It’s working out great, I think,” center Jason Kelce said. “We are very busy preparing to play the Rams so it’s football.”

Said safety Malcolm Jenkins: “It was just good to get back out there after losing on Sunday night. We are past that now. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, we have a big job to prepare for against a really good football team. That is our entire focus.”

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