Philadelphia Eagles Look to Have No Interest in Utilizing Tight Ends in Passing Game

By Joe Doris
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Through the first three weeks of the 2013 NFL Season, the Philadelphia Eagles’ trio of wildly talented tight ends has done next-to-nothing as receivers.

The Eagles house arguably the deepest tight-end-corps in the entire league, with veteran TEs Brent Celek and James Casey, along with rookie second-round draft-pick TE Zach Ertz. While Casey has been used mostly as a blocker throughout his professional career, Celek is typically a pass-catcher. But the most surprising oversight at tight end is Ertz, who many believed would be immediately included in the Birds’ passing attack after they nabbed the stud TE so high in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Following the conclusion of their Thursday night Week 3 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Eagles’ tight ends have tallied a combined 8 catches for 148 yards and one touchdown. To put it simply: yuck.

While Ertz certainly has the most upside, by a long shot, when it comes to the Eagles’ tight ends, Celek had been one of QB Michael Vick’s favorite safety valves during his time in Philly. But nevertheless, neither line-capper has been able to produce as a receiver in any way.

The Birds’ under-utilization of their tight ends most certainly has something to do with head coach Chip Kelly’s unique offensive scheme. But no matter how you slice it, incredible talent is being wasted on this endlessly explosive Eagles’ offense.

And if Kelly wished to use his tight ends primarily as blockers, then why would he have taken a tremendous pass-catching tight end, in Ertz, with the 35th overall pick of April’s draft?

I don’t know. It remains to be seen.

But I’ll tell you this much; if Kelly and Vick don’t start utilizing Ertz and Celek in the red-zone, they are going to sacrifice a bevy of touchdowns.


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