Jason Avant is a guy who knows how to find the open holes in the zone defense. Avant, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, has been a sure-handed receiver for Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
Avant will pick his spots on Sunday afternoon (FOX Channel 29, 1 p.m.) when the Eagles (3-2) host the Detroit Lions (1-3) at Lincoln Financial Field. The 6-foot, 212-pounder, will try to give the Eagles offense a boost. The team is averaging just 16 points a game.
“You have to be savvy when it comes to watch film and finding where the holes are,” Avant said. “I think that’s the biggest thing when it comes to the defense. If it’s a zone team, you can look at the safeties and see what they’re doing. When you already know where the weak spots are you try to get there before the defense gets there.”
Avant has 14 receptions for 162 yards. He averages 11.6 yards a catch. The Eagles have been able to move the ball up and down the field this season. Of course, the turnovers have really stopped them. Vick had a bad day handling the ball in the 16-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. He had four fumbles, two of those were recovered by the Steelers. Avant has confidence that Vick will do a better job of handling the football.
“When you look at some of the things like the one in the end zone,” Avant said. “He had both hands on the ball. It’s just one of those things. I believe that he’s an integral part of our team and if it’s being talked about and called out and those type of things. I’m pretty sure it’s going to give him more motivation to make sure that he’s protecting the football. We have total confidence in him.”
Avant feels there are a number of little things the Eagles can do to improve the passing game. Avant doesn’t believe the Eagles have to make a lot of spectacular plays. He just wants to do the things to help the team win.
“I believe there’s multiple different ways of winning the game,” Avant said. “We played against the Giants. We didn’t have many big plays, but we protected the football and were able to win the game at the end of the game. You want to be in position to win the game at the end of the game and that’s my biggest thing. I don’t really go out there and say, ‘Okay we need five big plays.’ That’s not what I’m about. As a team, we want to go out and put ourselves in position to win in the fourth quarter.”
Demetress Bell will be a busy man in a few weeks. Bell, Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle, will be in training camp on July 25 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.
But before training camp begins, the Eagles’ 6-foot-5, 311-pound offensive lineman, will host the Philadelphia Kids Fun Day on Tuesday, July 10 at Northeast High School, Cottman and Algon avenues and will have a variety of events for kids and adults, including autograph and photo opportunities with NFL players.
The event will begin at 2 p.m. with a free football and cheer camp for kids in grades 1–8. At 6 p.m. there will be the “Great Amazing Race with NFL players.” Kids will be paired with adults. The cost of the race is $40. Bell will have a chance to make a difference in the community prior to the start of the season.
“This is a great opportunity for the kids,” Bell said. “I always wanted to give back to the community. I wanted to do something in Philadelphia. This is where I play. It should be a fun day for everybody.”
Bell will be playing a big role in the community next week. He will be playing an important role for the Eagles this season, too. The Eagles signed Bell to a five-year deal in April. He is expected to replace left tackle Jason Peters, who suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in March.
Bell played left tackle for Buffalo Bills. He was started 30 games for the Bills over the last three seasons. A year ago, he played in seven games where he started six times and Buffalo had a 4-2 record in those matchups. He helped a Bills offense that tallied a season-high in points, rushed for 171 yards and gave up only one sack in a 41-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a part of the offensive line that didn’t give up a sack for two straight games that culminated in a 34-31 victory over the New England Patriots.
Bell will be blocking for one of the most talented offenses in the NFL, which features quarterback Michael Vick, running back LeSean McCoy, wide receivers DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and tight Brent Celek. He’s looking forward to working with the Eagles offense.
“I know the players and coaches that I’m working with,” Bell said. “I don’t think I could be in a better situation. The offense is explosive at every position. We got Pro Bowl players at every position. We have a lot of great players across the board.”
The Eagles had a disappointing season a year ago. They expected to have a great year with a long run in the playoffs. But that didn’t happen. The Eagles finished the season with an 8-8 record, winning their last four games. However, there is a great deal of anticipation following a major let down from last year. The Eagles have all their key players under contract. The team is coming off a good mini-camp where all the players appear to be on the same page.
“I think everybody is excited,” Bell said. “Our practices have been really good. I think it’s going to be a good year for everybody. I know everybody wants to get back to playoffs. They want to have a big year. I understand that.”
Bell will be entering his fifth season in the NFL. He has proven to be a solid offensive lineman over the years. He feels each year he has made significant strides in terms of his skills.
“I think I’ve improved over the years,” he said. “Last year, I got injured (shoulder injury). But I’ve been working hard each year. I still feel I can do better. I feel I can do a lot more. I haven’t been playing football that long.”
Bell grew up in Summerfield, La., where he was an All-State and All-America honorable mention basketball player at Summerfield High School. He went to Northwestern State on a basketball scholarship. Before he joined the football team in 2005 as a defensive end, Bell had never played football at all. Despite the lack of experience, he was named to the Associated Press All-American and first team All-Southland Conference. He was also selected first-team All-Louisiana his senior year in 2007.
In 2008, he was a seventh round draft pick of the Bills. As far as playing football, Bell has come a long way in a very short period of time.
“I played power forward in basketball,” he said. I was a product of a basketball family. I was a basketball guy growing up. I’m working hard every day, but I still feel that I have only scratched the surface. I’m still learning more and more each day.”
It looks as if Bell’s best days are in front of him. His days as an Eagle will begin very soon in training camp.
NOTE: Bell’s event is produced in partnership with Flying Colors Sports, a marketing and community relations firm that works with professional athletes. For more information on the event, go to www.GreatAmazingRace.com.
Jason Avant knows the Philadelphia Eagles will have their hands full when they face the New York Jets on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field (4:15 p.m.). Avant, Eagles wide receiver, also knows that the Jets defensive back, Darrelle Revis, is one of the best at his position in the NFL.
“His ability to be patient is his biggest asset,” Avant said. “Usually when you have guys that are fast and quick, most DBs are frantic and they can’t get in a stance. He’s really calm and knows he’s the best. So, he sits there and waits for you to declare your move. He’ll sit right there in front of you.”
Revis, a 5-foot-11, 196-pounder, has good speed and cover skills. He has 46 total tackles and four interceptions this season. This is just his fifth year in the league out of the University of Pittsburgh.
“I don’t know if I’ll be facing him too much,” Avant said. “I definitely believed he’s one of the best in the game. You could make the argument for a couple guys. You could make an argument for Nnamdi (Asomugha, Eagles cornerback) and a couple other guys. He’s definitely in the upper echelon of corners in this league. He’s a complete player.”
Avant has worked out with Revis during the offseason when Donovan McNabb was the Eagles quarterback. He noticed that Revis had a bundle of talent right away.
“I worked out with two or three seasons ago with Donovan McNabb,” he said. “He was good then. He was good when I played against him his rookie year. He’s just a great talent. I think he’s a great pro.”
Overall, the Eagles will face a tough secondary, which includes Revis, defensive back Antonio Cromartie, free safety Eric Smith and strong safety Brodney Pool. The secondary has been a key part of the Jets’ defense. Avant realizes the Jets present a big challenge for the Eagles receiving corps.
“I think that all dreams are definitely achievable,” Avant said. “You have to go out with your ‘A’ game. For the guys in this locker room, you will not have a better opportunity. This is what you play the game for, to play against the best players. I think it’s a great challenge for us as receivers and also for our team because they’re like the bullies. They’ll run the ball at you, a lot of them play man-to-man, so it’s like playing bullies or your big brothers.”
The Jets (8-5) are trying to secure a playoff spot in the AFC. The Eagles (5-8) are hanging onto their slim playoff hopes and need a big victory along with some help from other teams in order to reach the postseason.
“We’re just trying to get a win this week,” said Avant, who 46 receptions for 602 yards and one touchdown this season. “We aren’t worried about down the line. We need to have more effort, more passion, more productivity, focus and concentration as the games go by and especially this week they’re a complete team and have been to the AFC championship game two years in a row. That’s not something that’s given to you, that’s earned. We have to go out and play our game and beat them because they’re not going to give it to us.”
The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-6, on the verge of not making the playoffs and will probably have to run the table in order to land a spot in the postseason.
Jason Avant, Eagles wide receiver, plans to focus on the task at hand. And that task is the New York Giants (6-3) this Sunday, November 20 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The kickoff for this huge NFC East matchup will be at 8:20 p.m. (NBC10). Avant knows this has been a disappointing season for a team with so much promise as well as talent. But he doesn’t want to concentrate on that.
“We know the record is not going to change and thinking about it is not going to change,” Avant said. “We’re going to go out and focus on the Giants. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re just going to focus on winning the next game and let everything fall from there.
“We have to go out and play the division leader the Giants. We know they’re one of the best teams in the NFC East. We’re going to try our best to go out there and let the chips fall where they may.”
Avant has been one of the Eagles most consistent offensive players this season. He produced a career-high nine receptions for 139 yards against the Buffalo Bills. Prior to that, his season high was six receptions for 69 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. Overall, Avant has 34 catches for 436 yards, averaging 12.8 yards a catch.
The Eagles will need his steady pair of hands to help keep the chains moving. Avant is taking the game at a time approach with seven games remaining on the schedule.
“I’m not really concerned about the future,” Avant said. “It’s just one game. Our talent is not going to go out there and magically win us a game. We have to go out and concentrate and execute our game plan.”
In the Eagles first meeting with the Giants, they dropped a 29-16 decision at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles are 2-1 in the NFC East with victories over the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. They need to win this contest to build some much needed confidence and to keep their playoff hopes alive.