Thursday, October 1, 2009

Celek, T.E. + Random Stuff

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We're in the middle of the bye week. I've been busy writing something for PE.com and haven't been able to put together a long post for this site. I want to do a self-scouting report on the Eagles to this point. There is plenty to like so far, but also plenty to improve. I'll work on that tonight and hopefully get it posted tomorrow.

One area that has been a pleasant surprise is TE. I think we all had high hopes for Brent Celek, but he's been better than I envisioned. Here are Brent's numbers for the year: 22-245-2 (11.1 yards per catch, long play of 35 yards).

Brent is 3rd in the NFL in receptions. The guy so many fans wanted us to deal for was Tony Gonzalez. The Falcons gave up a 2nd rounder for him. He's doing well this year (13-160-2), but hasn't played as well as Brent.

I certainly don't think Brent will maintain this pace (117 catches, 11 TDs). Those are the kind of numbers that elite players put up. I'm just happy that Brent is off to a good start and playing well. He's shown that he can put up big numbers when the ball comes his way. These aren't gift throws. He's running legit routes. Brent is getting open and catching the ball well. He's doing a terrific job of getting RAC yards. At least 2 of the catches are downfield throws. You need the TE to show he can be a vertical threat. That will push the MLB back in pass coverage and open up the middle for DeSean Jackson and the other receivers.

Let's check out some recent TE production:

2008: LJ Smith (37-298-3) , Celek (27-318-1)
2007: LJ Smith (22-236-1) , Celek (16-178-1)
2006: LJ Smith (50-611-5)
2005: LJ Smith (61-682-3)
2004: LJ Smith (34-377-5) , Lewis (29-267-3)
2003: LJ Smith (27-321-1) , Lewis (23-293-1)

Just for fun, Matt Schobel's time as an Eagle (27-332-3). Brent has almost out produced Matt's wretched 3-year showing in 3 weeks. What a horrible signing that turned out to be.

Brent is on pace to be a Pro Bowl player. Again, we'll see how long that lasts. We haven't had a TE catch a ton of passes since Donovan matured and Andy really opened up the playbook. I have to think what we've seen so far is a bit of an anomaly. I'll be happy if he can give us 50 to 60 catches and 5 TDs. Those numbers won't get him to Hawaii. At that point he'd either have to pay for a vacation on his own or hope that Robin Masters invites him to be a guest at his estate.

Brent has shown that he is a good receiver. If he can develop into an effective blocker on a consistent basis he could become one of the better TEs in the league. He's still got a lot of improving to do, but I'm very impressed with what he's shown this year.


For now, some random stuff (as the title alluded to):

* We're tied for the league lead with 10 sacks.

* We're also among league leaders in INTs and FFs.

* Former Eagle Hollis Thomas was cut by the Rams and Carolina immediately picked him up. Their run D needs bulk in the middle.

* I was watching something on the Ball State football team last night. They have a player who spent time in the Marines and also had a job to support his family for a while. He eventually went back to school. He's a Senior this year...at the age of 32. Our new MLB, the ancient Jeremiah Trotter, is 32. How weird is that?

* Do we trust David Akers yet? His only miss was a blocked FG when Julius Peppers decided to show off his freaky athleticism. Green Akers has also been getting pretty good depth on his KOs.

* Did you ever think we'd be so loaded at RS that Brian Westbrook's name wouldn't even get mentioned? What a difference 2 years makes, huh?
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7 comments:

Baloophi said...

Bravo on the sneaky Celek/Selleck reference...

Cliff said...

Still can't believe Trot is "only" 32. That's weird.

I assume our opponents will start preparing better for Celek and that will limit how many passes he gets. But that's ok, because if Celek is drawing more attention, DeSean and Westbrook are a little less covered. I love our offense.

tobylove said...

I don't think anyone will start gameplanning for Celek. I think they've been gameplanning for DeSean, and that's leaving Celek open. DeSean is Celek's best friend when it comes to keeping the safeties deep and opening up the middle.

Celek's numbers are also higher thanks to Kolb starting 2 of the 3 games. Young quarterbacks tend to throw to the TEs more, I remember when Chad Lewis was McNabb's favorite reciever, and actually led our team in recieving yards one year (going off memory here - hope this is correct).

I'm very happy with Celek. He's looking very similar to Lewis (but with better YAC) and he seems to have chemistry with Kolb equal to what Lewis had with McNabb.

At RS, I could easily see Westbrook delegated to that role in the future if Maclin doesn't make gains as a returner. It might actually extend his career a la Brian Mitchell if he's willing to do it. I'm sure the Eagles would love to keep him around as a backup / dedicated returner, but I don't know if Westbrook would want that role.

Cliff said...

I'm not talking about scheming your defense to stop Celek. I'm just saying the LBers from other teams are going to be told in practice and the film room now "Look for 87." That's a lot more attention than he's probably garnered in the past.

And it's not just the number of receptions Celek is getting (which would be due to Kolb's reliance on him, like you said), but what he's doing after the catch. Defenses will have to pay more attention because he's getting a reputation for RAC'n it up.

izzylangfan said...

If we can get 7 to 10 yards consistently on a Celek pass play, why wouldn't we just continue to throw to him until the defense adjusts to shut it off.

Or if you don't want to run on first down, why not a 7 to 10 yard pass to Celek. It seems to me the Eagles offense gets itelf into trouble by trying to go long to much on first and second down. But a conservative, high completion percentage 7 to 10 yarder with some big RAC potential, do that a bunch on first and second down and some things will open up down the field.

John said...

It seems that when Kolb came in Celeks catches went up but Avants catches went down. We know that McNabb likes to go to Avant so I wonder if Celek will still get as much attention when he comes back.

Stephen said...

Avant and Celek are my 2 favorite players on offense right now with Peanut running a close 3rd. I feel like we need to get both of those guys involved in the offense as much as any other player, because they're the move the sticks type guys that can make an offense very efficient. It's fun to watch Celek drag 3-4 guys like he's Larry Csonka or something.