Doug Pederson was asked on Monday if he needed more production from his wide receivers, and the Eagles coach paused for a tick before giving a diplomatic answer that would make Andy Reid proud.
"I don't know," Pederson said. "I mean, I think we need more from everybody, quite honestly - tight ends, running backs, wide receivers, quarterbacks, the O-line. We need everybody."
Pederson was right to an extent. But the numbers for Eagles receivers, particularly the ones who line up primarily on the outside, haven't been encouraging through six games. It is why reports that the Eagles could be in the market for an upgrade bear monitoring, even if trade deadline deals rarely come to fruition.
To no surprise, the Eagles' trio of outside receivers - Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, and Josh Huff - is among the least productive in the NFL. They have caught a combined 43 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns from quarterback Carson Wentz.
While there isn't an exact formula for computing league-wide figures for outside receivers - some teams rotate positions more than others - an approximate calculation of each team's top three outside receivers found an average of 60 catches for 802 yards and five touchdowns.
The Eagles, along with eight other teams, have played only six games, but even factoring that into the equation doesn't lift them out of the bottom 20 percent on a per-game average.
Seven teams have fewer than the Eagles' 7.2 catches per game (Bills 3.9, Colts 4.4, 49ers 4.9, Patriots 4.9, Seahawks 6.2, Cowboys 6.7, Jets 6.9). Two have fewer than their 65.5 yards receiving (Bills 56.3, 49ers 58.0). And 10 have fewer than their 0.5 receiving touchdowns (Seahawks 0.0, Chiefs .14, Redskins .29, Jets .29, Colts .29, 49ers .29, Vikings .33, Bears .43, Bills .43, Patriots .43).
There is an assortment of teams, in terms of accomplishments, listed above. There are likely Super Bowl contenders such as the Patriots and Seahawks; likely playoff contenders such as the Cowboys, Eagles, Vikings, and Chiefs; teams still in search of an identity such as the Redskins, Bills, and Colts; and teams that are potential Dumpster fires such as the 49ers, Bears, and Jets.
So even having one top-tier outside receiver, let alone a collection of three, isn't a necessity. Teams without one or more have won titles before. But they have compensated with elite-caliber slot receivers, tight ends, or running backs, or one or two or all of the above.
The Eagles aren't getting anywhere near that level of production from the two players who were supposed to offset their dearth of talented outside receivers. Slot receiver Jordan Matthews started off strong, catching 13 of 23 passes thrown to him for 185 yards and a touchdown in the first two games, but he has pulled in just 12 of 18 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown over the last four.
Tight end Zach Ertz caught six passes for 58 yards in the opener, but after missing two games with a displaced rib, he has caught only 5 of 9 passes for 73 yards over the last three. He doesn't have a touchdown this season.
Their recent struggles are likely a product of the overall state of the Eagles offense than of anything related to their efforts. Matthews and Ertz have had sustained periods of success over the previous two seasons. Six games aren't enough to judge their 2016, although the clock is ticking.
Agholor and Green-Beckham, both 23, are younger and haven't had as many opportunities, but they have yet to offer a glimpse that suggests they could be top-tier receivers. Huff has skills, as evidenced by Sunday's performance against the Vikings, but he is limited downfield.
Unless they have had the opposite evaluation, the Eagles are likely looking around for better options. But are they ready to give up on Agholor and Green-Beckham? Green-Beckham has been here for only two months, although Agholor was drafted by the previous regime.
Multiple reports have said that the Eagles and 49ers were discussing a trade for receiver Torrey Smith, but there have also been contrary reports that the receiver isn't on the block. More than likely, the 49ers have given Smith's agent (Drew Rosenhaus) the freedom to shop his client.
But the Eagles, or any other team, for that matter, would have to meet the 49ers' demands for their best receiver. The 27-year-old speedster has more than three years and $30 million left on his contract, and San Francisco would have to eat $6.4 million in dead money to deal Smith.
So Agholor, who was drafted by 49ers coach Chip Kelly, in return is unlikely to get it done. The 49ers would probably want draft picks. The same would apply to the Bears' Alshon Jeffery, though the cost would be significant for a receiver who is set to hit free agency in the offseason.
Would Eagles executive Howie Roseman, who has been known to wheel and deal, be willing to part with picks after he was able to recoup some of what he lost in acquiring Wentz? It depends on his assessment of the Eagles' prospects.
Both receivers would address a need. Smith can stretch the field and Jeffery can consistently outjump defensive backs. They would likely complement Wentz's ability to throw downfield without hesitation, because right now the Eagles mostly employ a ball-control passing offense.
Pederson is still easing Wentz into the NFL, and the insertion of rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai at right tackle has contracted the offense even more. But the No.1 reason the Eagles aren't throwing downfield more is fairly obvious: They don't have outside receivers who consistently get open and catch the ball.
"The one thing I will say is this: It's a very unselfish group," Pederson said. "They don't fight for the ball. They don't ask for the ball."
He meant that as a compliment.