Paul Domowitch outlined the Eagles' inability to land Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez in his NFL Notes column today.
As noted, L.J. Smith, Brent Celek and Matt Schobel have combined for 16 catches for 132 yards (8.3 average) and two touchdowns. The Eagles have converted just six of their 17 red-zone opportunities into touchdowns.
Not only are they not catching the ball, their blocking has been troublesome. Smith had worked on his blocking and gotten better last year, but he has not been better this year. Smith seems to have all the tools to be an above-average tight end in the NFL, especially given what the Eagles are paying him by placing the franchise tag on him. Again, however, he seems caught in a funk. Stop us if you have heard this story before.
Celek is not as dynamic a talent and not as good a blocker, but the notion that he would take a step forward this season in his second year has proved unfounded. Schobel has not caught a pass and will be haunted by his missed block on the goal line in Chicago. At this point, Schobel will not dress regularly.
Of course, the tight end position has hurt the Eagles defensively, too. Compare the 16 combined receptions by their tight ends vs. the 34 receptions by the opposition. Jason Witten had 11 catches; Chris Cooley had eight. Even Vernon Davis, from the 49ers, was able to put up a play of 50-plus yards. Not all of that is the linebacker's fault. The long play to Davis involved a missed tackle by Brian Dawkins.
This, too, is not a new storyline. The results speak for themselves.
And, in case you were wondering, Tony Hunt, who was cut earlier this week, has not been picked up by another team.