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Practice Makes Perfect For WR Agholor


Nelson Agholor will certainly always remember his first catch in an NFL uniform.

In the first quarter of Sunday's 36-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts, the Eagles' first-round pick ran a hitch route, snagged the Mark Sanchez pass out of the air and turned on the burners, running for a 34-yard touchdown.

While some rookies may come out with first-game jitters in their preseason debut, that wasn't the case for Agholor. The route was something he'd worked on again and again in training, and it translated beautifully into his first-career preseason touchdown.

"It felt like a pass that I was targeted on in practice," Agholor said after the game. "Good habits from the practice field carried over to the game. Sanchez and I have probably called multiple hitches in practice so it wasn't any different today.

"Today was an extended practice for a lot of us. Obviously, that's how most games are. You practice so hard that when you actually get out there and play, all you do is just muscle memory things …There were multiple options and (Sanchez) just gave me a shot. I'm very grateful that he thought enough of me to throw me the ball on that play, and I just finished the play."

Agholor may have been humble about his first touchdown grab after the game, but head coach Chip Kelly was quick to praise his young receiver.

"The one thing with Nelson is when he gets the ball in his hands, he's real explosive," Kelly said. "So you're anticipating run after the catch with him.  That's one of the things we knew about him because you can see it when you watched him play in college. He did that a ton in college. He was also a great returner in college, so you can see when he has the ball in his hands, he's a dynamic player and I think what you saw today is one of the reasons we drafted him so high."

Agholor saw most of his snaps come with the Eagles' first and second teams on Sunday. He was targeted five times, catching three passes for 57 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. He put on quite a display for the Lincoln Financial Field crowd in his debut, but the rookie knows there are still a lot of things he can work on.

"On one third-down situation, it was a crossing route and I felt like I could have come back to the ball a little bit more to attack the ball in the seam," Agholor explained. "Then on the sideline, I need to work on just finding the ball in the air and not looking for who is throwing the ball. I think my eyes went to quarterback as the throw was coming to me.

"So at the end of the day, I liked the fact that that happened. It's a good thing, to be honest with you. I'll look at what messed up my timing."

Agholor, the 20th pick in this year's NFL Draft, already had fans buzzing about his potential before he even stepped on the field. After Sunday, that buzz is sure to continue to build, but that's not something that concerns the rookie. The only thing that matters to the wide receiver is getting better every time he takes the field.

"It's always business," Agholor said. "This is a great opportunity for a lot of us. We're in the preseason right now. You put some stuff on the field and learn from the good plays you make and learn from the bad mistakes, and that's what it's about. We're still in progression mode, but come game time you have to make sure you capitalize on all the plays come the regular season. Right now, it's just playing everything really fast and putting some good stuff on film."

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