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Tight End

SPORTS
December 12, 2013 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
SPORTS
December 6, 2013 | By Bob Ford, Inquirer Columnist
There is very little Chip Kelly likes less than the notion that his offense can be categorized and placed on a shelf - even a very special, unique shelf - as if it were just another can of peas in the great supermarket of the NFL. When Cardinals coach Bruce Arians sniffed last week and said Kelly's read-option system was a nice college offense, Kelly didn't seem to mind, or even notice, the criticism. He was more interested in pointing out that the Eagles run a zone-option play now and then, not read-option, and that those plays are just one facet of an offense with many sparkling variations.
SPORTS
December 3, 2013 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
THE TIGHT ENDS hadn't been a huge part of the Eagles' passing attack in the first 11 games. Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and James Casey had been collectively targeted just 73 times and had 40 receptions for 595 yards and four touchdowns. But they had a pretty good idea that was going to change yesterday against the Arizona Cardinals. "We thought we would be used more this game because of the way they play their defense," Ertz said. "They put a lot of safeties and linebackers on us [in]
SPORTS
December 3, 2013 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Zach Ertz grasped the pass with both hands and touched his pair of black cleats inbounds. A two-handed shove from an Arizona defender sent the tight end spiraling out of the end zone. It was the rookie's second career touchdown and the 6-yard strike was nearly perfect, giving the Eagles a first-quarter lead in Sunday's 24-21 win. The lone flaw was the photograph of tight end James Casey - not Ertz - that flashed across the stadium's pair of 96-foot-wide jumbotrons. Ertz and Brent Celek combined for 97 receiving yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles targeted the league's worst defense against tight ends.
SPORTS
November 5, 2013 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, Daily News Staff Writer pianovs@phillynews.com
STATE COLLEGE - Kyle Carter expected the call to come. He said it's his coach's favorite play, after all. And when he saw Illinois line up with split safeties, he had a feeling he would be making a big play that has been a long time coming. With Penn State facing a third-and-11 in overtime, the tight end ran a post route and found himself nestled behind the linebackers and in between the safeties. Quarterback Christian Hackenberg put the throw on the money, and Carter slid in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown, one of the most impactful catches of his career.
SPORTS
October 10, 2013 | BY AARON CARTER, Daily News Staff Writer cartera@phillynews.com
INSIDE Episcopal Academy's Dixon Athletic Center, which sits on the school's sprawling Newtown Square campus, a shrewd Evan Butts sat in head football coach Todd Fairlie's office trying to skillfully answer a simple question. Last week, Butts caught a 19-yard touchdown pass with just 31 seconds left that pulled Episcopal within 48-47 of Lawrenceville. The 6-4, 225-pound tight end was asked whether the play was drawn up specifically for him. "No, it wasn't really designed . . . " he started to say. "Yes, it was," interrupted Episcopal offensive coordinator David Gueriera, who looked up from his laptop and added emphatically, "if there was single coverage on him we were going to him. " A sly smile slithered across Butts' face.
SPORTS
September 27, 2013 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
YOU NO DOUBT have been wondering why there have been so few sightings of tight ends James Casey and Zach Ertz so far this season. Casey, who signed a 3-year, $12 million deal with the Eagles in March that included nearly $3 million in guaranteed money, and Ertz, who the Eagles gobbled up with the 35th overall pick in the April draft, have played a combined total of 62 snaps in the first three games. Ertz has played 54 of those 62 snaps and has four catches for 74 yards. Casey has played just eight snaps and has been targeted only once by quarterback Michael Vick.
SPORTS
September 1, 2013 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
CLAY HARBOR will have no regrets if he is told he didn't make the Eagles. The 26-year-old tight end/wide receiver thinks he's done everything humanly possible to prove he belongs on the team. He's built a solid resumé, playing 34 percent of the Eagles' offensive snaps the last two seasons and catching a career-high 25 passes in 2012. He's trained hard and has studied harder. He's put in hours upon hours of extra time on the JUGS machine after practice, has watched God knows how many hours of extra video, and didn't hesitate for a second 2 weeks ago when Chip Kelly asked him to move outside and learn the wide receiver position.
SPORTS
September 1, 2013 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Penn State quarterback sweepstakes entered its final week with no apparent resolution. Coach Bill O'Brien decided that he wouldn't tell anyone who would start before the kickoff of Saturday's season opener against Syracuse. But after refusing to say earlier in the week whether he had reached a decision, he admitted Thursday night on his radio show that he had made one, and that he had told the principals and the team. Late Friday, word hit the street, in the form of an ESPN.com report, that true freshman Christian Hackenberg would take the first snap on offense for the Nittany Lions at what should be a steamy MetLife Stadium.
SPORTS
August 31, 2013 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Eagles tight end James Casey left Thursday's 27-20 loss to the New York Jets in the first quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. It concluded a disappointing preseason the free-agent acquisition from the Houston Texans. Casey finished the preseason with two catches for 10 yards, and was not used as the versatile threat envisioned when he signed a three-year, $12 million contract. Casey said this week that he can play better, and it's likely coach Chip Kelly has plans for him that go beyond what he revealed this month.
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