During the preseason, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was vocal about his plan to use the tight ends on his roster frequently. Kelly drafted Zach Ertz with this tactic in mind, and his intention was to take full advantage of all of his tight ends because of their versatility. As much as he spoke about this before the season began, it wasn’t until Sunday that we saw this come to fruition.
The Eagles’ tight ends shined during Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, proving that they should be targeted more frequently. Ertz and Brent Celek had three touchdowns between them and combined 97 receiving yards. Although James Casey did not have a touchdown, Matt Shaughnessy grabbing at Casey’s collar was critical to the Eagles win. With only a three point lead on a third down and one minute and 42 seconds left in the game, it was this holding call that gave the Eagles a first down and solidified their victory.
The Cardinals obviously threw a fit over this call that allowed the Eagles to run out the clock and killed any chance of an Arizona comeback. Shaughnessy claims that he was just fighting off the pressure and that the call was bogus, but I’m going to agree with the Chip man on this one as he said: “They held the crap out of him.”
After studying the Cardinals’ defense, Kelly decided to use his three star tight ends. Knowing that the Arizona defense usually covers tight ends with only a safety, it was clear that Ertz, Celek and Casey could get open. This proved to be true throughout the game which ended in a 24-21 win for Philadelphia. After all of the talk of taking advantage of the Eagles’ tight ends, I’m glad Kelly finally utilized them.