PHILADELPHIA -- Golden Tate and Carson Wentz are still learning how to work with one another, but Tate is enough of a veteran to know the No. 1 rule when preparing a Thanksgiving turkey with the franchise quarterback.
"Want to keep that electric knife away from that arm," he joked this week after posting a picture of him and Wentz carving the bird and sharing the holiday. "Talk about the easiest way to be hated by a city and an organization, that's probably it."
From strangers to teammates, Wentz and Tate have been taking every measure to tighten their bond in a limited amount of time.
Things have not gone as hoped to this point. Tate was acquired from the Detroit Lions for a third-round pick at the Oct. 30 trade deadline to spark an offense that has struggled to find its 2017 form. But the Eagles have averaged just 17 points per outing in the three games since the Tate deal, a few ticks below their overall average of 20.9. They are 1-2 in that span.
Wentz's numbers are down a bit. He has completed just 55 percent of his throws in Tate's direction. There also has been a cause and effect when it comes to the other receivers. Alshon Jeffery, for instance, received about nine targets per game before Tate was in the fold, compared to about five over the past several games. His production, naturally, has dipped as well.
Offensive coordinator Mike Groh acknowledged recently that "it's been challenging to integrate [Tate]." Part of the issue is that the Eagles really have three receivers in Tate, Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews, whose natural position is the slot.
It's been a bit of a bumpy entry, but Tate's teammates and coaches say they are seeing encouraging signs behind the scenes as Tate becomes more familiar with this offensive system.
“Things are hitting his brain a little bit quicker," said receivers coach Gunter Brewer. "The processing mode is a lot faster than what it was the first week because he was just thrown into it."
"More than anything, I see he wants to learn," Wentz added. "We're always in communication. Those are things you're not going to see out on the field. You're not going to see us kind of pulling up a clip on film and saying, 'This is what I was feeling. This is what I was seeing,' and just talking through things. You build your chemistry on the field, but just talking through things off the field is something I've been very impressed with him, just wanting to know more, wanting to grow within the offense."
Time is running out for this to be considered a successful acquisition. Tate's contract is up at the end of year. He could have only five more games left in an Eagles uniform.
Of course, if he helps fuel a run to the postseason, the investment will have paid dividends. Tate and the Eagles can take a big step toward that goal with a win over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football.
"I just don't know what to expect in this process, so I'm just trying to fit in wherever I can," Tate said. "We have a lot of talent on our offense, for sure. I never was expecting to come in and [have] the world kind of revolving around me. I'm just trying to help this team win, help this organization win and give this fan base something to cheer for."