Optimist/pessimist: Eagles' TEs

Back from a wedding in D.C. and ready to resume our optimist/pessimist series.

But first, congratulations to Ben and Sara. A nice touch that every bride and groom should think about doing: The little cards used to label seating assignments were each accompanied by a personalized note from the bride and groom.

Phenomenal idea that I've never seen before. Nice job by them.

As for the festivities, funny moment about two hours into the reception. A woman, probably in her 50s, turns around near the dance floor, looks at me and says, "Hey! You're not my husband!"


What is your confidence level with the Eagles' tight ends?

And you are not my wife, lady. Perhaps you've had one too many vodka clubs.

But, back to football.

A week from today I will be packing up the beat-up Jeep (with no A/C and the "check engine" light permanently lit up) and making the trip up to Lehigh. That's right. At this time next week, rookies will be arriving the night before their first practice.

Looking forward to it. If there's anything specific you'd like us to do here at MTC while at camp, e-mail me, Tweet me or comment in the section below.

Today we do optimist/pessimist for tight ends. Earlier we covered running backs and Donovan McNabb.

Don't forget to vote in the accompanying poll. Again, a 5 means you're supremely confident, and a 1 means you're extremely concerned.

I'll go over the results from the McNabb post tomorrow.

The optimist says...

No more L.J. Smith. Need I say more? The Birds have serious momentum and a high ceiling at this position. Let's begin with the starter, Brent Celek. He came on strong in the playoffs, catching 10 balls for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the NFC championship game against the Cardinals. Everyone wants to point to the Birds' red-zone shortcomings, but maybe it just took them awhile to figure out how to use Celek down near the goal line. He had four touchdowns in the team's final four games, including the playoffs. Great hands and a knack for getting open. Don't forget that he's only 24. Then you throw in rookie Cornelius Ingram, the steal of the draft. If healthy, he should be able to contribute right away and provide the kind of athleticism that will get fans on their feet. With the addition of Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy, expect things to open up even more for the Birds' tight ends this season.

The pessimist says...

The front office's failure to upgrade at this position will haunt the Birds all season. Listen, Celek is a decent player, but he's not a game-changer, a difference-maker, a guy defenses have to game-plan for. He has good hands, but let's see how easy it is for him to make plays now that teams will actually be paying attention to him. And don't get me started on his blocking. Did we already forget this team's problems in short yardage last season? Part of that lands squarely on the shoulders of the tight ends. It's the little things like this that get overlooked by casual fans, but they can make the difference between winning and losing. As for Ingram, remember this number:152. That's how many times teams passed on him in last year's draft. How can people think he was a steal? Don't you think there is a reason NINE tight ends were selected ahead of him? We just look past torn ACLs now all of a sudden? And the guy can't block. Great. Just what this team needs. Short yardage and the red zone. Two areas in which the Eagles struggled last year. And the tight ends were a major reason why.