DeSean Jackson wasn’t the only wide receiver who wasn’t getting along with Chip Kelly after all. Now a member of the Carolina Panthers, Jason Avant revealed to Scott Fowler for the Charlotte Observer that he wasn’t very happy with his usage in the Philadelphia Eagles head coach’s offense.
Avant was not a fan of Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly, however. Kelly’s first season in Philadelphia in 2013 turned out to be Avant’s last as an Eagle. Avant ranked sixth on the team in receiving yardage and, in his words, “mostly ran clear-out routes.”
Said Avant of Kelly: “When it came to certain things, we butted heads sometimes – route running and route technique. So I knew I didn’t fit his system.”
The Eagles released Avant prior to free agency, to no surprise of the veteran slot receiver. He tells Fowler he could see the writing on the wall already a mere four weeks into the 2013 season.
Of course, Avant may not have been back in midnight green in ‘14 regardless of fit in the system. He just turned 31 and had one year remaining on his deal—at a pretty steep figure for a guy coming off his least productive season in awhile.
Avant reeled in just 38 passes for 447 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games last season, his worst finish since ‘08. It’s not like the club released a(nother) three-time Pro Bowler in the middle of his prime.
Let’s not draw too many parallels between Avant and Jackson at all. There is no indication that Avant handled his disagreements with the coaching staff in anything less than a professional manner, either.
There’s little doubt some decline in production can be attributed to how Kelly deployed Avant, but let’s face facts. This is a player on the downside of his career, and it would be somewhat surprising to see him rebound dramatically in Carolina. Best of luck to Avant in his future endeavors, but the Birds’ offense will be fine without him.