Jalen Reagor wasn’t getting off to the start in training camp neither he nor the Philadelphia Eagles wanted. Wednesday’s practice was off to a rough start for the 2020 first-round pick, who was receiving some harsh criticism from head coach Nick Sirianni early in the 11-on-11 session, a moment meant to be a teaching lesson for the young wideout.
Sirianni was animated about the mistake Reagor made, wanting the best for the Eagles top receiver with DeVonta Smith on the sidelines. Reagor responded with his best day of camp.
Reagor had the catch of Eagles practice, a one-handed grab in red-zone drills from Nick Mullens with Darius Slay defending him. He also had a long catch from Joe Flacco on the sideline that impressed Sirianni. The tough love from the Eagles head coach worked.
Get the latest Eagles news from insider Jeff Kerr by downloading the CBS Sports app. Will Nick Sirianni boom or bust as an NFL head coach? Can Jalen Hurts live up to the hype? Get the CBS Sports app and find out. If you already have the app, you need to select the Eagles as your favorite team to get up-to-the-minute headlines.
“If you’re helping a guy become better, that’s all that these players really want is how do we — can this guy make me better and when that is the case, I think you can coach them as hard as you want to,” Sirianni said prior to the start of Eagles practice Thursday. “Now my philosophy is that, hey, I want it to be harder out here on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, than it is going to be on Sunday. And that’s kind of something I learned from my old head coach, [Former University of Mount Union head coach] Larry Kehres. He would yell and scream at us all week and then Saturday during the games, we didn’t get yelled at unless we did something really messed up. That’s my philosophy as far as that goes.”
Reagor doesn’t mind the harsh criticism from his head coach, especially since he knows the Eagles need him to emerge as a reliable target for Jalen Hurts this year. All eyes will be on Reagor over the next few weeks, with Sirianni keeping a watchful eye.
“It’s again where I’m glad to have my background in teaching, right, and education. It’s just not done that way,” Sirianni said. “The only thing that’s important is that the coaching point goes through, and that the player gets better from it.
“And so every player is handled differently and that’s why it always starts with a connection. And like, because you’ve got to know the player that you’re coaching to be able to reach him. So that’s why I think that’s so important.”
Reagor responded to criticism well, demonstrating that in Thursday’s session.