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17 Days’ Until Kickoff

22 August 2019 Uncategorized

The countdown continues Eagles fans. In honor of 17 days’ until kickoff, please allow me to reintroduce number 17, wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery. Before we commence talking about AJ17, let me take the time to speak on another legend who wore 17 but in a different shade of green. In 1971, Harold Carmichael was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 7th round of the NFL Draft. From his rookie year until 1983, Carmichael dominated the league while wearing a number 17 Kelly green Eagles jersey.  The main reason I am taking the time to acknowledge Carmichael on a day devoted to Alshon is because he is one of the most disrespected Eagles of all-time and someone needs to put respect on his name.

In an era where the ground game dominated the league, he ended his career with 590 receptions for 8,985 yards with 79 career touchdown catches, along with 64 rushing yards on nine carries. When he retired, he was 7th all-time in receiving touchdowns and is currently ranked 25th. In 1980, 17 set an NFL record at the time by catching passes in 127 consecutive NFL games. For an entire decade, Carmichael led the entire league in receiving and was at the top of the lists for receptions and touchdowns as well. We know that he is a hall of famer and after I personally spoke to him at the 2019 Eagles Autism Challenge, he knows how much we appreciate him. Regardless, his time to be enshrined is long overdue.

(Now back to your regularly scheduled program)

Standing at 6’3″ 225 pounds, Alshon Jeffery is defensive back’s worst nightmare. With a combination of athleticism, agility, hops, and soft hands, AJ is the perfect weapon for any quarterback. Unfortunately, for the other 31 mediocre fan bases, he is ours so deal with it. In sports, but especially in football, people always talk about, “what ifs.” All off season there was a particular “what if” that surrounded Alshon. Here is what I say to those people still lingering on that one play. No Alshon, No Super Bowl. No Super Bowl 52 and no Super Bowl 54 this year if number 17 isn’t lined up on the outside. People forget how lucky we are to have Alshon. Before Alshon came to Philly, we watched a long list of receivers have perfectly thrown balls go off their hands. He is such a rare talent in regards to the list of receivers that have worn Eagles green. In a hypothetical world where Alshon started his career in Philly, he would currently rank third in receptions at 426, fourth in yards with 6,181, and tied for third with 61 touchdowns all-time in Eagles history.

Alshon Jeffery is insanely underutilized with the Eagles. However, it is not his fault, Carson’s fault, or the teams fault. Our offensive weapons have just been that good the last three years and have only improved this year. There are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense between AJ, DeSean, Agholor, JJ, Ertz, Goedert, Howard, Sanders, Sproles, and Clement. This is what makes us so dangerous. Defensive coordinators cannot lock in on just one or two guys. In the famous words of Jason Kelce, “It’s the Whole Team” you have to worry about. A lot of fan bases knock Alshon because he doesn’t fill up the stat sheet with 1,000 yard and 100 catch seasons. Congratulations, Chad, Mike Evans had 1,000 yards… and a nice comfortable view at home watching Alshon “little boy” Eric Rowe for the first touchdown in the Super Bowl. Alshon and any competent person knows that he is fully capable of going 12-200-2 any given week. In Alshon’s best individual game, he went for 12 catches, 249 yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns (all thrown by new QB Josh McCown). Alshon went 8 for 160 against the Rams last year so the argument that he lost a step is useless. This year, AJ17 will be making play after play and mentoring his eventual replacement in JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Due to the occasion, I will be wearing my number 17 jersey all day and of course all season. As Always, Fly Eagles Fly!