June 17, 2014 |
ONCE THE SEVENTH and final round of the NFL draft concludes each spring, it's typically interesting to learn which undrafted free agents the Eagles are bringing in for training camp. There's usually a good story or two among them, perhaps a kicker with a unique nickname or a former star running back who overcame extreme medical odds to earn a pro contract. But of the 15 undrafted rookies the Eagles signed after last month's draft, there is perhaps none a more intriguing prospect in Chip Kelly's system than Trey Burton, the multifaceted tight end from the University of Florida.
June 11, 2014 |
IF THE ONLY thing you looked at was his receiving numbers, you might conclude - mistakenly, I might add - that Brent Celek didn't have a particularly good season last year. The Eagles tight end's 32 catches were his fewest since he became a full-time starter in 2009. Twenty-seven tight ends hauled in more passes. While his six touchdown receptions were the third most on the team, and his four red-zone TDs tied Riley Cooper for the team high, he was targeted only 51 times, which also was the fewest since he became a full-time starter.
May 30, 2014 |
THIS TIME last year, Zach Ertz was back at Stanford grinding through the final four courses needed for his degree in management science and engineering. It wasn't until after June 16, the day he graduated, when the touted tight end could join the Eagles full-time and truly begin preparing for his rookie season. No such restrictions exist this spring for Ertz, a candidate for a breakout second NFL season in Chip Kelly's high-octane offense. "It was such a mystery last year at this time in that I really didn't know what was going to be going on," Ertz said yesterday, the second day of organized team activities at the NovaCare Complex.
May 18, 2014 |
Alejandro Villanueva has already accomplished and seen more in his 25-plus years than most of us will in a lifetime. The imposing 6-foot-9 rookie defensive end arrived at the NovaCare Complex earlier this month as a long shot to make the Eagles' 2014 roster, but even if he does not land on the opening-day roster, he'll still be the most decorated player invited to training camp. Sure, running back LeSean McCoy is a two-time all-pro and last year's NFL rushing champion. Sure, cornerback Cary Williams has a Super Bowl ring from his time with the Baltimore Ravens.
May 5, 2014 |
If the Eagles are looking for DeSean Jackson's "replacement," they need to look no further than to their own roster and tight end Zach Ertz. The Eagles, of course, have added two pieces - Jeremy Maclin and Darren Sproles - to supplement the 2013 production that left with Jackson. But of their current players, Ertz has perhaps the best chance to dramatically increase his numbers now that Jackson is in Washington, especially if the second-year tight end delivers upon Eagles expectations.
April 4, 2014 |
Reports from Penn State indicate that the Nittany Lions have suffered the second serious injury of their spring football practice sessions. Tight end Adam Breneman is out for the rest of the spring with a bruised knee, according to several websites. Breneman caught 15 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns last season playing in a three-tight end rotation as a freshman. Blue White Illustrated was the first website to report his injury. Penn State coach James Franklin does not comment on injuries, and a team spokesman said any update on Breneman would have to come from the coach.
January 29, 2014 |
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The Eagles have a scout who watches college basketball, looking for potential football players. He searches for players like Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas. Before Thomas was a part of the Broncos' lethal receiving corps - four players with at least four touchdowns in the regular season - he was a forward for Portland State preparing to play Xavier in the 2009 NCAA tournament. "This isn't something that I imagined doing when I was 20 years old getting ready to play in the NCAA tournament," Thomas said.
January 20, 2014 |
Roman Catholic senior defensive end Hezekiah Trahan orally committed to Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder, who doubled as a tight end for the Cahillites, pledged to the Panthers on an official visit to the school. "What really stood out to me was the head coach [Paul Chryst] and the way he leads his program," Trahan said. "And I like the other recruits they've brought in. I think the team has a bright future. " Trahan also had scholarship offers from Buffalo, Coastal Carolina, James Madison, and Massachusetts.
December 24, 2013 |
After Peyton Manning regained his record for touchdown passes in a season with a 25-yard scoring pass to Julius Thomas on Sunday, the tight end treated that momentous No. 51 ball the same way he would any other. He tossed it away and headed for the sideline. Luckily, wide receiver Eric Decker - who had caught the tying No. 50 pass from Manning earlier - picked it up and tucked it in his jersey. After the 37-13 win over the Houston Texans, Manning laughed about Thomas not holding onto the ball.
December 12, 2013 |
Brent Celek's late-game slide short of the end zone to seal Sunday's Eagles win drew praise from the coaches as an unselfish decision. The coaching staff has applauded the seventh-year tight end throughout this season. The curious part is that statistically, this is not among Celek's finest years with the Eagles. He has 25 catches for 348 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games, and is not among the NFL's top 10 tight ends in any of those categories. Yet coach Chip Kelly and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur habitually laud Celek, often unprompted.