Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers coach Mike Groh believes Alshon Jeffery had his best offseason since perhaps 2013, when Jeffery burst onto the scene and set career highs in catches (89) and yards (1,421) while finding the end zone seven times.
Groh would know. He was the Chicago Bears' receivers coach for three seasons (2013-15), which proved to be the most productive years of Jeffery's career to date. Groh moved on to coach the Rams' wideouts last year while Jeffery struggled through a down season as the result of injuries, a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and inconsistent quarterback play.
The two have reunited in Philly, and Groh -- a demanding teacher and evaluator -- walked away pleased with Jeffery's performance during the offseason training program.
"He and I have a history together, so he knows what I think, and I understand the way that he works and goes about his business," Groh said. "I think the spring that he's had is as good as he's had since maybe 2013. Pleased with where he is physically, mentally I think he is in a good place. He's coming in here and learning a new system and working on the chemistry with Carson [Wentz] and everything like that, but it's been a good spring for him."
In 53 games since his sophomore season, Jeffery has averaged 5.3 receptions for 79 yards and 0.43 touchdowns, or 16.0 PPG (PPR). That’s about what Doug Baldwin averaged last year as the league’s #8 fantasy receiver. Jeffery’s numbers are down a bit over the last two years (5.1-78-0.29 in just 21 games), but the 27-year-old still has a bright future ahead of him. Receivers who change teams tend to underperform unless they see an upgrade in quarterback and/or targets. Unless Carson Wentz takes a big step forward, it’s unlikely that Jeffery sees either, so he’s more of a WR2 heading into the 2017 season.