During the days leading up to the Eagles-Texans game, Brent Celek spent part of his film-watching sessions focusing in on J.J. Watt.
For some tight ends, that might seem unusual. For Celek, it was not.
“When you watch him on film, he lined up at every single position,” Celek said. “So I knew there was gonna be times where I was gonna line up against him, and then it happened.”
Since Chip Kelly took over, the 29-year-old tight end has entered a new stage in his career. The days of catching 70+ balls (like Celek did back in 2009) are over. Instead, he spends more than 50 percent of his snaps as a run blocker. And on Sunday, that meant occasionally getting matched up against Watt. Read more »
Here’s the injury report for Sunday’s game in Houston: Read more »
Part of the solution to the Eagles’ red zone woes might be right under their noses.
Zach Ertz has taken a step forward in his second season. He is on pace for 54 catches for 809 yards and five touchdowns despite playing only 56 percent of the snaps. His seven catches of 20-plus yards is tied for second amongst tight ends (behind only Rob Gronkowski) and he ranks first in yards per reception (14.8). With speed, size and precise route-running, he has proven to be a difficult matchup for linebackers and safeties alike.
Those attributes can come in particularly handy in the red zone. When space is at a premium, a quarterback can certainly be aided by a big target that’s regularly able to win his one-on-one matchups. Ertz, though, has been featured very little in this capacity through seven games. Read more »
There is a saying that floats around the NovaCare Complex, one that many of the players can recite on the spot:
You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.
“When the game is on the line, it’s the fourth quarter in a rivalry game in prime time, you’re not all of a sudden going to rise to the occasion,” Malcolm Jenkins explained, “you are going to sink to what you’ve trained and prepared for. Obviously we’ve done a good job of training in those situations because we’ve showed up pretty well.”
The term “training” has replaced “practice” in this team’s lexicon. It’s subtle, but significant. Read more »
Zach Ertz has been putting in plenty of overtime the past two weeks in the name of getting his blocking game right.
Leading up to the Rams game, he stayed after practice every day to work on his technique with Jason Peters following a rough outing against San Francisco. This week, Ertz and his position coaches lingered on the NovaCare fields long after the training sessions had come to a close.
“I want to block. I want to be a good blocker,” said the second-year tight end. “I want to show the coaches that they can trust me to put me in there and get it done.”
Entering last Sunday, Ertz had played 64 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps and held a slight edge (185 to 179) over Brent Celek in downs played. Against St. Louis, it was a different story. Ertz received just 29 snaps compared to Celek’s 58. James Casey, who was averaging eight plays per game prior to Sunday, saw his number jump to 25. The reason for the change seems pretty straightforward: Read more »
Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of the Eagles’ offense after having re-watched Sunday’s game against the Rams.
Nick Foles - He’s not playing well. Foles is missing throws, making questionable decisions and looks jittery in the pocket. Overall, he went 24-for-37 for 207 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Foles turned the ball over a second time on a fumble while scrambling. Read more »
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — With 6:35 left in the game, all of a sudden things started to click.
Down 26-21, the Eagles needed to drive 91 yards to take the lead and escape Levi’s Stadium with a fourth straight victory. They were able to pick up 90 of those yards, but faced with two opportunities from the 1 yard line, the Eagles were unable to close the deal.
“We just didn’t execute,” said Nick Foles. “It’s as simple as that. I’m not going to try to break it down or anything. We just didn’t execute the play. In that situation, I have to give the guys an opportunity to make a play, and I didn’t do that. We’ll work toward it so in those situations we have to capitalize and get the ball in the end zone.”
Foles targeted Brent Celek with his first pass, but there wasn’t much there, and the result was an incompletion.
On the second play, Foles rolled to his right and looked for Jeremy Maclin, but he sailed the throw, and the 49ers’ offense got the ball back. Read more »
Here’s a player-by-player breakdown of what we saw from the Eagles’ offense in the team’s 37-34 win over Washington after having re-watched. Read more »