Philadelphia Eagles Are Misusing James Casey

By Kyle Phillippi
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

When the Philadelphia Eagles added James Casey this offseason the speculation surrounding the signing was that the tight end would play an integral role in Chip Kelly’s innovative offense.

Yet, entering Week 14, the former Houston Texan has just three receptions for 31 yards.

After posting career-highs in 2012 with 34 receptions, 330 yards and three touchdowns, it seems very strange that Casey isn’t excelling in Philadelphia’s up-tempo offense.

The reason for his absence could be in large part due to the emergence of rookie tight end Zach Ertz and the consistency of Brent Celek. Since Nick Foles has taken over the reins, Ertz has seen a lot more balls thrown his way. He has had five or more targets four times since Week 6 and has caught all three of his scores on passes delivered by Foles. Likewise, Celek has found the end zone twice since Michael Vick went down, and he is coming off a season-best four catch game against Arizona.

While Ertz and Celek are clearly making the most of their opportunities, it still doesn’t make sense as to why Casey isn’t seeing more action. Perhaps it’s because he’s in Kelly’s doghouse after dropping a would-be touchdown pass from Vick against the San Diego Chargers early in the season or that he isn’t adjusting well to the fast-paced, often times no-huddle offense run in Philadelphia.

Either way, it doesn’t add up. It’s obvious the Eagles like to use as many guys as they can in their offense to keep all their players’ legs fresh. It would seem beneficial for Kelly to incorporate Casey’s athleticism into the mix being he can line up anywhere on the field like he did in Houston.

In hindsight it seems pretty crazy that a three-year deal worth $14.5 million is being spent on someone who is playing special teams — even if he is succeeding in that area as he recovered a fumbled punt return and is one of the leaders on the team in special teams appearances.

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