Philadelphia Eagles News

Avant Far From Forgotten

Jason Avant has quietly developed into a reliable offensive weapon for the Eagles.

He's not flashy and flamboyant. He is a physical and sure-handed receiver who excels as the team's slot receiver.

"He's a guy that I definitely rely on and trust," quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "I think people kind of look at guys who have 70, 80, 90, catches and guys who have 1,000-1,200 yard per season, but they don't look at the guys who kind of get the job done in the trenches and guys who aid in blocking, guys who pick up those first downs when you need it, guys who run through tackles and pick up that first down."

Check. Check. And check. That's what McNabb and Co. have in Avant.

A fourth-round draft choice in 2006, Avant has been a steady contributor on special teams and has shined in third-down situations over the course of his career. In fact, including postseason games, he has converted 23 of his 27 career third-down catches for first downs.

"It takes some timing," Avant said. "It takes some faith to be able to go over the middle and know you're going to get hit when you catch it. It's just one of those things where you've been playing football for a long time and you learn to get a knack for it. Everybody is good in this league and you just try to compete with those guys."

Thanks in part to a terrific 5-catch, 92-yard output Thursday night against Jacksonville, Avant leads the team with 125 receiving yards this preseason. Avant hauled in a 28-yard reception to help set up the team's first points. In the second quarter, McNabb found Avant down the middle for a 24-yard completion to the 1-yard line. Unfortunately, a fumble on the next play ended that drive. Avant chipped in a pair of catches for 33 yards on an 11-play drive with the two-minute offense. That drive also led to a field goal.

Part of a deep and talented receiving corps, Avant does not garner the headlines. He just goes out and does his job.

"As receivers, you work together. It's like a choreography out there," Avant said. "I like to see guys get credit and if I don't get it, that's fine."

Following Thursday night's game, McNabb was asked whether Avant was a forgotten man in this offense.

"I mean if they forgot about Jason, that's great," McNabb said. "We haven't."

So while opposing defensive coordinators try to game-plan to stop Brian Westbrook, DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Michael Vick, Brent Celek and even rookie Jeremy Maclin, Avant will be right there, in the right position for a key grab. That's what he does.

-- Posted by Bob Kent, 12:43 p.m., August 28

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