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Eagles OC: Challenging to mix Golden Tate into offense

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The Eagles traded a third-round pick to acquire Golden Tate at the deadline in what the team thought was one final piece to put them over the top.

Tate has been mostly a non-factor in consecutive losses that put the Eagles in a deep hole in the NFC East.

On Tuesday, offensive coordinator Mike Groh admitted integrating Tate into the Eagles' system hasn't been easy on the fly.

"I don't know if it's been more difficult, but it's been challenging to integrate him," Groh said, via the Philly Inquirer. "Certainly, with the way we weren't able to stay on the field the other day, and finding a rhythm for the offense, that part of it, then everything becomes a bit disjointed. If we can do a better job of staying on the field and having drives, then everybody gets more involved in the offense."

Tate caught two passes for 19 yards in his first tilt against Dallas, and five for 48 yards in Sunday's blowout loss to the Saints. A yards-after-catch monster, Tate currently doesn't look like a seamlessly fit into the Eagles offense, with most of his seven catches feeling like forced plays.

Tate's early struggles in Philly underscore the risk in adding a receiver late in the process. Between generating rhythm with a quarterback, figuring out the best ways to utilize his talents, and how he fits with other players, it's more than a two-week process.

"Roles changed a couple weeks ago, so, again, [we're] trying to find a rhythm with the substitutions and getting guys in the right spots," Groh said. "We haven't done a good job with it in the last two weeks, or good enough, to get the results that we want."

The entire offense has been poor the past two weeks, from Carson Wentz's wayward tosses, to a banged-up offensive line that can't seem to block anyone, to an up-and-down running game, to receivers not making plays.

The concern for Philly with Tate is that while he provided a chain-moving playmaker who can earn yards after the catch, he remains a scheme-dependent wideout, doing a lot of his damage on designed short tosses to get him in space. He's not a field-stretching deep threat that a coach can say, go long and make a play or take the top off the defense to open things up underneath for Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor or Alshon Jeffery.

"Obviously when Golden is in, Nelson may be doing something different than what he was being asked to do before," Groh said. "In some cases, he's doing the same thing. It's just trying to fit those pieces together."

Currently, Tate looks more like a redundancy in Philly than the final piece to a playoff team. It's up to the Eagles staff to figure out how the pieces of the puzzle fit together to make a late-season run.

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