Marty: Brent's Among Best, Right Now

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Eagles tight end Brent Celek hauls in a 38-yard second quarter pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field. ( Clem Murray / Staff Photographer )

Asked what Brent Celek had to do to rank among the NFC's top tight ends, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he thnks Celek is already there. Mornhinweg said Celek began to elevate his play last season, with more tangible results this season. Celek leads the Eagles with 26 receptions, for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns. That figure ranks fourth among NFL tight ends -- more impressive when you factor in the Birds' early bye week.

Mornhinweg called Celek, a fifth-round draftee in 2007, "an excellent all-around tight end."

It might look like Celek is courting injury, the way he strains for extra yards -- last week he spectacularly hurdled a Tampa defensive back who tried to come in low -- but Mornhinweg said he isn't concerned.

"If you can jump over them, jump over them," Mornhinweg said.

Other highlights from Thursday's news conferences:

*When asked if Kevin Curtis will still be a starter when his knee is 100 percent, Mornhinweg said: "We'll come to that when it gets here."

*Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott discussed the way he seems to find a role for every player he has active each Sunday. "We're going to keep pushing the envelope, to take advantage of our personnel," he said. He added that having a role other than "backup" helps players "take ownership," to pay more attention during the week.

*Left guard Todd Herremans said he still hopes to play next week against Washington, pending a bone scan early in the week to make sure his repaired left foot is still OK.

"Hopefully, get in the swing next Thursday, or whenever we start practicing" for the Monday night game against the Redskins, Herremans said.

"When it first happened, I didn't think it was anything like this," said Herremans, who injured his foot in one of the Birds' final workouts at Lehigh, more than two months ago now. 

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Finally, this nugget from a Q and A with Vikings coach Brad Childress, the Eagles' former offensive coordinator, from the Baltimore Ravens' Web site. Childress and he Vikes host his fellow former Eagles assistant John Harbaugh, and the Ravens this week.

Childress was asked what sort of reception former Vikings center Matt Birk could expect upon his return in a different purple uni.

 “I don’t know," Childress said.  "I don’t think they introduce visiting players on road games. Certainly not like if he would have left Philadelphia, where he might have gotten something thrown at him. I don’t think there will be any foreign objects or anything. I think Matt’s a native of here, and they have a great appreciation and respect for him here in Minnesota. We’re not quite as mean-spirited.”

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