Wednesday, March 4, 2015

High expectations for Celek

Coming off 10 catches in the NFC Championship Game and the departure of underachieving veteran L.J. Smith, Brent Celek is facing high expectations as he moves into the starting role at tight end.

High expectations for Celek

Coming off 10 catches in the NFC Championship Game and the departure of underachieving veteran L.J. Smith, Brent Celek is facing high expectations as he moves into the starting role at tight end.

That much is clear from an interview on the team's Web site with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

"I don't think there is any question that he is ready for the role. He has proven that," said Mornhinweg. "He has developed very well ...  Every time we gave Brent a little bit more last year, he succeeded. We would give him a little bit more and he would succeed. A little bit more, a little bit more. That's the way it went all season.

"Brent is a player who is a consistent performer. I think it is important to know what Brent's strengths are and you work him there. He produces. He is consistent. He is dependable. You call his number and he's going to get it done. You call a run to his side and he's going to get it (block) done. You call a run away from him and he is going to get the cutoff block. He is just so consistent and dependable, and there is a trust factor that goes into it. Coaches and the rest of the players naturally trust the man to get the job done, and that is so very important."
 

Given that this coaching staff is generally not much for hyperbole, that is effusive praise.

Celek finished with 19 receptions, including three touchdowns, in three postseason games, starting all three. He caught 27 passes, with one touchdown, in 16 regular-season games, with seven starts.

Obviously, improved tight end play will help the Eagles solve some of their woes from last season in the red zone and short yardage situations. The Birds also better hope that Celek is all they need him to be, since his backups are veteran journeyman Matt Schobel and fifth-rounder Cornelius Ingram. As good as Ingram might be, remember that he is a rookie coming off major knee surgery that cost him his final season at Florida and he has only played a little more than one season as a tight end, after being converted from quarterback and then wide receiver.

As for the offense overall, Mornhinweg basically said it was too early to tell and there was a lot of work to be done, the type of answer you would expect from Andy Reid. But he did say this:

"I know this: We have what we think is going to be an excellent group overall."

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