Kirby Lee -- USA Today Sports

Tate, Agholor give Eagles' offense more versatility

Eliot Shorr-Parks
November 08, 2018 - 8:35 am

When the Eagles made a trade for receiver Golden Tate last week, one of the first questions asked was how the team plan to used him in their struggling offense. 

The second question was how Tate was going to impact receiver Nelson Agholor. 

Adding a skill position player with Tate's resume is a good problem to have, but as Eagles' coaches prepare for the Dallas Cowboys this upcoming Sunday, one of their challenges will be figuring out how to use two players who have both played some of their best football in the same position -- the slot. 

"That's the chess piece that we as coaches try to do each week is who's going to be on the field and the match-ups and everything else. I think the skill sets, Nelson does some great things, straight-line speed, good route runner, smart guy. Golden, is kind of the same way," head coach Doug Pederson said. "He's probably a little more of the short-to-intermediate type guy, a little quick twitch. They've used him out of the backfield before and things like that. Similar styles, but also in some aspects a little different."

Based off of Pederson's answer, it sure seems like the Eagles' plan is to move both players around, but to ultimately have Agholor play on the outside more than Tate will. 

So far in 2018, Agholor has been on the field for 524 snaps. Of those 524 snaps, he has been in the slot -- according to Pro Football Reference -- for 200 snaps. That is right around 38%. Tate, on the other hand, was on the field for 366 snaps during his time with the Detroit Lions this season. Of those 366 snaps, Tate has been in the slot for 174 snaps -- right around 48%. While that percentage includes running plays, Tate has been in the slot more during passing plays -- 70% of snaps -- this season than Agholor has (61%). 

The duo's production in the slot has been identical, as both have 26 snaps in the slot. 

Early on, especially this Sunday against the Cowboys, chances are the Eagles will use Tate in the slot more than on the outside. It is a position he is comfortable in, and as he learns a new offense, putting him in familiar situations is likely something the coaches will want to do. The fact that Agholor knows this offense and has plenty of experience on the outside this season also lends itself to letting Tate get the majority of his snaps in the slot this upcoming Sunday. 

Once Tate gets comfortable in the Eagles' offense, however, the coaches are going to have two very versatile players to move around on offense. One thing Pederson values in his skill position players is the ability to line up all over the field. It keeps opposing defenses guessing and allows him to run a variety of plays from the same personnel package. 

Pederson now has that in spades with Tate, Agholor, Alshon Jeffery and Jordan Matthews. 

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