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Carson Wentz-Alshon Jeffery connection starts with a bang

"Having a guy like that," Carson Wentz says of receiver Alshon Jeffery (above), "it really makes a quarterback play a lot more confidently." Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA -- Just moments into the Philadelphia Eagles' first full-squad practice of training camp, Carson Wentz dropped back and unloaded a 40-plus-yard pass down the middle of field. As it descended, Alshon Jeffery sped into the frame and nonchalantly made the grab in stride.

With that, the new quarterback-receiver combo was off and running.

The highlight came later in the session during team drills, when Jeffery elevated to snatch a Wentz offering deep along the right sideline while bracketed by a pair of defenders. Jeffery said afterward that his message to Wentz has been to just throw it in his area and give him a chance to go get it. Wentz is listening to his veteran receiver, it appears.

"Having a guy like that," said Wentz, "it really makes a quarterback play a lot more confidently."

The new tandem has been working hard to get on the same page since the Eagles signed Jeffery to a one-year deal worth upward of $14 million in March. Jeffery recently joined Wentz and a host of other skill-position players in Wentz's home state of North Dakota to build on their foundation prior to the start of camp.

"He's very soft-spoken but he's a quiet competitor," Wentz said. "He gets ticked off when he doesn't make the play or different things, but he is quiet with it. What I really liked is just getting to know him on the field and getting used to the way he gets in and out of breaks and the way he can go up and get a ball. It's been pretty cool getting to know him."

ESPN's fantasy football experts are betting that Jeffery will have a pretty productive year. He is 11th among receivers and 22nd overall in their PPR rankings. They have Wentz in the middle of the pack among quarterbacks.

What seems certain is that Wentz's receiver options have been significantly upgraded. Consider: The Eagles' wide receivers combined for 1,849 yards last season, second-fewest in the NFL. Jeffery has had more than 1,400 yards in a single season alone. The ability is there; now it's a matter of quarterback and receiver continuing to sync.

"It's been great, from [spring practices], getting him to come up to Fargo and just talk through some things and go on the field and work out, and then out here on the field finally [at training camp], it seems like it's been a long time coming," said Wentz. "It's just something that we're going to continue to grow with."