EXCLUSIVE: Jordan Matthews opens up on 2015 season “you represent a city that never gives up”

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2015 was a season of mixed emotions for both Eagles fans and players alike. But one player who refused to let the obstacles faced get the better of him is Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews. The second year wideout ended his season three yards shy of hitting 1,000 yards and amassed 8 touchdowns.

I had the opportunity to talk with Jordan about 2015 from his perspective, how he dealt with the troubles he and the team encountered and how he feels about the upcoming in an exclusive interview.

Looking back at last season, how would you summarise it both from an internal standpoint and a team standpoint?

I feel like the team grew over the season. At this point, last season is in the rear view mirror for me so I don’t like to dwell on it much from a team standpoint. Individually I know I can play much better so I’m looking forward to correcting those things going into 2016

There were some low moments during 2015 but also plenty of high ones. How were you able to ensure that your head didn’t drop after a day where things didn’t go as smooth as you’d have hoped?

Its the NFL. You have to realize that no-one is going to feel sorry for you and playing in Philly means theres an added responsibility to go out there and fight till the end because you represent a city that never gives up. We would simply put the bad behind and keep pushing forward.

One of the most inspiring parts of the season for me personally was seeing how you were able to overcome the problems faced early on by the team to finish the year three yards shy of hitting 1,000 yards. How were you able to deal with the on-field issues internally?

Yes. I didn’t let them get me down, I just kept working on the areas i was struggling in. The reality is as long as i have the privilege to play, I’m never going to let a little adversity keep me down. It simply showed me that i have a lot of work to do and i plan to get it done.

How much work were you putting in outside of the regular practice hours during the course of the 2015 season?

I don’t like to talk about it as much because I don’t want to come off as arrogant. Just know the work was getting done.

What was the toughest obstacle you faced last season?

Losing. I hate losing more than anything.

Nelson Agholor endured a tricky rookie season in the NFL but has shown he has all the potential and fundamentals in place. Did you try to mentor him as such and help him improve during the season?

Yes.. thats my brother.. I did my best to help bring him along and he’s going to be just fine. You can’t do anything about injuries so when he got hurt i knew it would slow him down but the potential is obviously there.

It seemed as though there was a moment where both yourself and Sam just clicked and in the final five games the Offense really began to move in the right direction. Was there anything happening behind the scenes that spurred the improvement?

Nope, just added reps. plus..Sam is a dog. I saw it from the start of camp, we just had to settle in more.

How much do you think you have improved both as a receiver and a person since being drafted in 2014?

Tremendously. I’ve learned that you can’t make the game bigger than it is. The best thing to do is work extremely hard, have fun, and trust God with the outcome.

Did the troubles faced in 2015 almost force you to adapt a different mindset and grow mentally? Was there something keeping you focused?

I got into my Bible more. It gave me peace whenever things during the season seemed to get overwhelming. 

In terms of moving forward, have you spoken to Doug Pederson recently? What are your views on his attitude and plans for the Eagles?

I’ve only talked to Coach Pederson twice but he gives off amazing energy and i know he’s going to be a great Coach to play for. 

This will be the first time that you’ll be running an offense with a more “normalized” pace in the NFL, what are the big differences for you as a wide receiver? do you think you’ll benefit from a change of pace?

I think i’ll succeed at any pace.

It’s fair to say that the west-coast hybrid Pederson plans on implementing will allow for receivers to run more complex routes and really show the world what they can do. Is the change in system something you’re looking forward to?

I always look forward to the future with optimism… whatever they want me to do I’m going to do it 100% and i know going into year 3 ill be able to help my team out that much more.

There have been plenty of changes in terms of personnel this off-season, are you happy with the new direction the team seem to be heading?

Like I said, I’m always optimistic.

How much does the addition of Greg Lewis to the coaching team mean to you?

Ithink it’ll be cool to learn from the only Eagle ever to catch a TD in the Super Bowl. That gets my blood boiling. I know he knows the game, especially from our perspective. 

It’s great seeing how much work you put in behind the scenes on snapchat, what is it that motivates you to get up so early and spend 4-6 hours in the gym and on the field every day when the off-season is so young?

I love the game and i don’t take it for granted. To who much is given much is required. I don’t look at it as I’m “working hard”.. I look at it as I’m doing my job.  This is what i have to do in order for me to be able to look myself in the mirror and say that i did my best to do the most with what God has blessed me with.  Plus catching balls and working out is fun to me. I love what i do. 

The Eagles have a very young and versatile receiving core and with Riley Cooper now released, it’s almost as if you’ve naturally assumed the leadership role. How much did you try and motivate the guys around you last year and has any of that carried over into the off-season?

I always try to lead by example. We have enough guys who can talk to the team so that wont change. I just plan to make way more plays and get my guys fired up by how I lead on Sundays too. 

Looking ahead to 2016, what are your expectations both for yourself and your teammates?

Extremely high, for both!

Finally, it’s a fresh page for the Eagles in 2016, how excited are you to work with both Frank and Doug and just how far do you think the team can go? 

We’ll see soon enough, just know I’m excited!

It was a real pleasure to talk with Jordan and on a personal note, I have never spoken with someone so humble and willing. We’re still a very young site (having been active for just over a year) and we don’t have the funding/budgets of the bigger companies so for Jordan to even acknowledge our existence let alone agree to so kindly answer a lengthy interview means a lot, so I want to personally thank Jordan and wish him all the best for 2016.