Nelson Agholor Apologizes for Postgame Outburst, Takes Ownership of Drop

Three days after Nelson Agholor's profanity-laden outburst in which he seemed to be shifting the blame from his dropped pass in a 29-23 Eagles loss to the Cowboys, the second-year wide receiver was remorseful.

"Some of my comments weren't a representation of a professional," Agholor said on Wednesday. "I apologize, for one, for swearing. There's young children out there that listen to what we say, and I don't want to give anybody a representation that I don't come from a good household. I know how to communicate, I know how to explain myself and I let passion get the best of me that day when I was speaking."

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Agholor wasn't merely sorry for his choice of words, though. The 23-year-old understands the message behind his remarks, while perhaps unintended, was also ill-conceived.

"The most important thing is, I understand ownership, especially in this game," Agholor said. "This game is tricky. You can be very successful and sometimes you can fail, but if you don't own them both, if you don't believe in growth, then you're not in the right place.

"You have to have the same mindset 24/7, win or lose."

A 20th overall selection in the 2015 draft, Agholor has come under increasing scrutiny this season because of disappointing production and recurring dropped passes. The USC product finished Sunday's game with three catches for 25 yards, but afterward, all anybody was interested in was the one he put on the turf.

On the play in question, Agholor was running a slant on 3rd-and-6 from the Cowboys' 12-yard line when Carson Wentz's pass hit the wideout in the hands, only to fall harmlessly incomplete. The Eagles settled for a field goal on the drive.

Postgame, Agholor downplayed the significance of any single play. On Wednesday, he was singing a different tune, admitting emotions got the best of him.

"I never wanted to undermine the understanding that dropped footballs could hurt a football game," Agholor said, "because they didn't help us win, especially my drop that was crucial.

"We were in the red zone, third down, had to settle for a field goal — I understand that and I never wanted to seem like I didn't think that was not something that hurt us. It hurt us greatly. My mindset was to win a football game and when I was speaking I spoke from a lot of emotion."

Agholor understandably was frustrated the Eagles let a 10-point fourth-quarter lead slip away in Dallas. However, he realizes now that his reaction was unacceptable.

"It just sucks that was the result," Agholor said. "I would love to answer questions about missed opportunities when we win, but that's not the reality and as a professional, I didn't handle my responsibility well. I have a responsibility to own up to the fact that I missed a play out there."

Even without a crucial drop in an overtime loss against a division rival, Agholor is not living up to the expectations typically placed on a first-round pick. An ankle injury was the built-in excuse for his disappointing rookie season, but with 21 receptions for 216 yards and one touchdown through seven games in 2016, he's not making the level of impact the Eagles had hoped or need.

Some felt Agholor may have finally cracked under the pressure on Sunday. Yet when asked to assess his own performance on Wednesday, he remained positive.

"I think I play with a lot of passion and I play hard," Agholor said. "Statistically, it hasn't been the 'wow' that I've had in my career in college, but I think I've grown every single game.

"I play with a lot of confidence, I think the defenders across from me respect me and I want to make sure that I have that approach because that's what it's all about. The numbers will come when the time is right I feel like, but for now I need to focus on helping this team win football games, and helping this offense move the chains."

Obviously, Agholor's comments have drawn a lot of additional, unwarranted attention, from both fans and his head coach alike.

Doug Pederson told reporters Monday he was "disappointed" by his receiver's comments. However, Agholor revealed he had spoken to his coach and did not take issue with what was put out there in the media.

"Coach spoke to me, he let me know and I respect him for that," Agholor said. "I even respected the comments I heard that he said before we spoke because he's done a great job with me in terms of coaching me, guiding me and trying to help me to become the young man that I need to be in this world."

Agholor said he hadn't heard any of the outrage fans may have had over his statements, but didn't have a problem with that, either. To the contrary, he understood exactly why people would be upset.

"I have a lot of respect for our fans and anybody else that respects the game of football," Agholor said. "If anything, anybody should be upset because I didn't respect the game by not owning up as a professional to the fact that I had a crucial drop that could've helped us score first.

"From the bottom of my heart, I knew that, but when we spoke that day, I was solely emotional about the fact that we lost, knowing that we put a lot into it."

With that, Agholor has taken ownership of both the drop and his poor response.

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