Gene Clemons TE Confidential: Eagles

Gene Clemons, FBGP Analyst

The Philadelphia Eagles dynamic duo lands them at #7 in our Tight End Confidential series.

Philly has two tight ends that are perfect for any offense. Both Brent Celek and Zach Ertz are guys who can block well enough, and they are dangerous in the pass game. Most teams, including teams on this countdown, don’t have two true tight ends and that is what makes this duo special.

The 31-year-old Celek continues to get it done as he now enters his 3rd offense and 10th season as an Eagle. Although he may not be considered the #1 guy in Philly anymore, he could start for many teams in the league. Celek still possesses the catching ability that made him one of the best pass receivers from the tight end position from 2009 to 2011. The drafting of Ertz three seasons ago has helped to keep him healthier and prolong his career. Now, a healthy and mature Celek, has the opportunity to return to an offense that will continue to feature his talents.

Zach Ertz has become the go-to guy at tight end for the Eagles. Ertz has averaged 12 yards per reception in his three seasons with Philly. In his second season, he surpassed Celek as the #1 option at tight end. Ertz is essentially a bigger, faster Celek and that is probably why they work so well as a combo. It’s probably why he was able to move into the #1 spot so seamlessly. His long arms and explosion allow him to high point the ball and go over the top.

While the offense under former head coach Chip Kelly didn’t neglect the tight end in the pass game, it can be argued that the position wasn’t emphasized to maximize the abilities of Celek and Ertz. There may be a renewed emphasis on featuring the tight end in the offense with a new leadership in place. If they do, look for record numbers from this combo. Ertz has the opportunity to have 1000 yards receiving and double digit touchdowns. That’s something Celek has not achieved in his career. Anything less than 1600 yards and 15 touchdowns from this duo will be disappointing.

The optimism for the improved production from the tight ends comes from the arrival of new head football coach Doug Pederson, who is from the Andy Reid coaching tree. He spent the past three seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs and they featured a dominant run game, conservative risk taking, and heavy tight end use. That should be welcomed in Philly as it hopefully gets back to what it looked like under former head coach Reid.

Questions? Comments?

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