Entering the season and knowing that the receiving corps would be depleted through injury, there was much speculation as to just how valuable the tight end position could be for the Philadelphia Eagles. Three capable and dangerous players would share time in the spread offense, being able to block, catch and threaten defenses vertically by splitting reps and playing to their strengths.
Brent Celek was the incumbent, but saw his time diminish quickly with the additions of James Casey through free agency and Zach Ertz via the draft. The trio presents different options for Chip Kelly.
Celek has always been recognized for his blocking ability, although he has been counted on to make catches. Casey came in as the favored option, due to his versatility and athleticism, but really hasn’t shown what was originally expected. Ertz, although only a rookie, provides the most viable receiving option given his ability to threaten in the vertical game with speed and size. It would seem that with the options this group presents, the Eagles, who have found difficulty finding receivers to help DeSean Jackson out in the passing game, would see the tight end position as a welcome option in the offense.
However, the tight ends have been severely underused in the starved for consistency Eagles’ offense. The group has combined for only 13 receptions, totaling 255 yards over four games. Although Celek has pulled in the most completions at seven, Ertz has two receptions over 30 yards showing how dangerous he can be as well, especially vertically.
If the Eagles are to make progress and improve their record in the process, incorporating the tight ends into the scheme a bit more would not only benefit them through output, but provide some help for Jackson, allowing him to re-establish himself.