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Waiting For A Momah Like This

Posted Jun 19, 2014

Wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah was an intriguing player in Training Camp last year.

He was an enigma after playing just one game in his senior season of 2011 before suffering a knee injury that kept him out of the game for two years. He was courted by a number of teams after turning heads at Boston College's pro day in 2013 and ultimately signed with the Eagles.

Momah boasts rare size at 6-foot-7. He was four inches taller than any receiver on the team's roster last year. However, the rust of being away from the game showed in Training Camp. He was never able to play up to his size.

After being released during the team's final roster cutdown, Momah didn't sign with another team. He had a few tryouts, but was out of football for another season.

"It was tough ... It was humbling," Momah recalled. "You go from having a lot of attention and doing well to not playing so well and getting cut. Everybody forgets who you are. It humbles you real quick."

The Eagles still had interest in developing Momah and re-signed him this offseason. Momah managed to stay in shape. He helped open a youth football camp back home in Long Island, N.Y. Having the experience from Training Camp and the preseason last year has made quite a difference in Momah's performance this spring.

"He's a kid that was coming off an injury that happened his senior year at Boston College so he missed an entire year," head coach Chip Kelly said. "So there's obviously a bit of rust he had to knock off a little bit.  We have seen a marked improvement from last year to this year.

"I think it's a confidence thing with a lot of those guys is now he's not just trying to figure out where do I line up at the snap. He already knows where he's going and he's lining up and reading coverages and has a better understanding in terms of how it's supposed to look. I think he feels more comfortable here. There's not a newness in terms of this is not my first time doing this and what does this look like, where am I supposed to be, how does that work?"

With that added confidence, Momah is starting to capitalize on using his freakish size to his advantage.

"Last year, I was playing down as just a regular receiver. Now, I'm trying to use my size. If anybody is around me, it doesn't matter, I'm the biggest guy out there. It's kind of like basketball, box them out. Take the ball and stay up and score. Right now, I'm realizing my size and I'm using it to my advantage," Momah said.

"I feel a lot more comfortable with my routes, just overall as a receiver. Now, I can play freer and I feel better. I feel like I have a little more talent, a little more hop in my step. I feel good. I feel like this year is a big difference from last and I'm ready."

Thursday is the final day of minicamp before Training Camp kicks off next month. Skill position players have the opportunity to thrive in minicamp because defenders are unable to press or tackle. Once the pads go on, it will be a different story. Momah doesn't think the on-field results will change.

"I know Training Camp is going to be tough as well, but with this confidence, with the coaches behind me, I know I'm going to play well come Training Camp," Momah said.

If Momah can indeed carry over his strong spring into the summer, he will once again be one of the most intriguing storylines to follow at Training Camp.

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