Jason Avant is easily one of this generation’s finest Eagles receivers. A former fifth-round pick in 2006, Avant played in Philadelphia for eight of his eleven seasons in the NFL, registering 297 receptions. 3,199 yards, and 10 touchdowns in that span. The man really needs no introduction…as a player at least.
According to an article by Eagles insider Dave Spadaro, Avant is joining the team’s coaching staff this Summer as a part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Fellowship program. The objective of the scheme is to allow budding minds to shadow current NFL coaches and help with Training Camp plans.
Avant’s role will be based around coaching the wide receivers (shocking, I know), but the NFL Operations page offers some deeper insight into what else he could end up doing.
Designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time NFL minority coaches, all 32 NFL clubs participate each year. Specific aspects of the program — including hiring, compensation and coaching duties — are administered on a club-by-club basis. The NFL does not mandate any elements of the fellowship to the clubs, but it recommends several best practices, including:
- Hiring participants for the duration of training camp, including all pre-season games.
- Encouraging clubs to hire at least two fellows with an offensive coaching background.
- Mentoring participants in the form of continuing and constructive feedback regarding their work while with the club.
Avant couldn’t have chosen a better spot. He knows the team and the culture like the back of his hand and the Eagles have undergone quite the youth infusion at wide receiver. On top of this, they overhauled their coaching staff, presenting a fresh page for everyone.
With Training Camp being so different this year, the Eagles, like most, could use all the help they could get. Avant has long been a strong locker-room presence and revealed to Spadaro why he’s so excited to get involved.
“Even if you’re in a walkthrough, maybe I can help the young guys if I see something that they’re doing,” he said. “The biggest thing for a young receiver is being able to get off press (at the line of scrimmage). That’s the hardest thing to do in this league, because the defensive backs are so patient. I’ve shown them some moves already of how to get off press, some footwork things. They have the ability and the talent.”
Having rookies like Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins learn from DeSean Jackson is one thing. Having them learn from both Jackson and Avant is a game-changer. It’s great to see Avant get his first foray into coaching experience with the Eagles!
Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports