There’s been plenty of moves by the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. The most prominent including the drafting of Carson Wentz and the hiring of Doug Pederson as head coach. There is one move made by the Eagles that has flown under the radar for quite some time however. The hiring of former Eagles wide receiver Greg Lewis as the team’s wide receiver coach might play a bigger impact than most assume.
Lewis wasn’t close to a significant wide receiver, during his playing career, but he seemed to continue to make the Eagles roster (playing for the Eagles from 2003 to 2008). An impressive feat, especially when you consider the fact he was an undrafted free agent.
Another fun fact about Greg Lewis is that he’s the only Eagles wide receiver in franchise history to catch a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl (played in Super Bowl 39). Now I understand that none of that translates to coaching, but Lewis has been a pretty productive coach as well.
He started his coaching career in 2012 at the University of San Diego. He followed head coach Ron Caragher from USD to San Jose State (2013). He then took a position with the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 as the team’s wide receivers coach.
While coaching the season at Pittsburgh he worked with stud wide receiver Tyler Boyd, who of course went on to be drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft. Interestingly, Boyd ended up having a career best season, in 2014 under the tutelage of Lewis (78 receptions, 1,261 receiving yards, averaging 16.2 yards a catch, and eight touchdowns).
Boyd gives Lewis a lot of credit for how well he developed in College. This is what he said about Lewis, to Eagles USA Today reporter Turron Davenport:
“Catching the football was one of the main categories that coach Lewis wanted to focus on,” Boyd said. “He had me get on the jugs machine to make sure my hands stayed consistent.”
Boyd also claimed Lewis was largely responsible for his improvement in route running. He said it helped him improve winning the top of his routes and went on to say he helped him attain depth in his routes.
Hearing that alone is something that should excite Eagles fans. The Eagles led the league in drops last season, so hearing that Lewis emphasizes on catching the football is a relief. Also paying more attention to route running is a necessity. Nelson Agholor struggled mightily with it his rookie season, but perhaps Greg Lewis can help.
Lewis was a part of the New Orleans Saints last season as an offensive assistant. 2014 wide receiver Brandin Cooks quietly enjoyed a very productive season (84 receptions, 1,138 yards, averaging 13.5 yards a catch, and nine touchdowns). Saints rookie wide receiver Willie Snead, hit the ground running, as well (69 receptions, 984 yards, averaging 14.3 yards a catch, and three touchdowns).
Obviously, as an offensive assistant, Lewis might not deserve credit for all of that. Nevertheless, he was apart of the coaching staff and specializes in coaching of wide receivers. All the wide receivers, that are on the team’s he’s been apart of have seen improvement in their production.
On paper, this addition is a clear upgrade over ex-wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell. The wide receiver unit definitely needs to be more productive. That job falls on Greg Lewis, to improve it. Will he? That has yet to be determined, but something I definitely would expect.
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