brent celek

Roob's 25 Random Points: Zach Ertz, kicking trends, and remembering Tom Petty

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Roob's 25 Random Points: Zach Ertz, kicking trends, and remembering Tom Petty

As the Eagles return home to face the Cardinals, we take a look at how Arizona's offense has struggled to run the football and how it won't get any easier Sunday. 

Also in today's 25 Random Points, we go after the hipper-than-thou showgoers, take a look at how Brent Celek has passed the torch to Zach Ertz, pick out NFL kicking trends and, of course, remember Tom Petty.

Here we go!

1. I've read posts on Twitter or in Facebook story comments from Eagles fans in the past week that Nick Foles sucks, Zach Ertz sucks and Wendell Smallwood sucks, and I'm done trying to answer these things individually and trying to reason with people. I just find it incredibly sad there are some real Eagles fans out there who have so much hate and contempt in their hearts for players whose only fault is that they're not perfect. Foles? I don't know what his future holds, but other than a few bad games for a terrible Rams team in 2015, he's had a pretty consistent career. One record-setting year, another decent half season and some effective relief work for the Chiefs last year. He's got one of the 20-highest passer ratings in NFL history. Do you want to compare his first 20 career games with Carson Wentz's? Eleven more touchdowns, nine fewer interceptions, a bit more accurate, 1½ more yards per attempt, passer rating 20 points higher. Same 10-10 record. That's not to say he's better than Wentz or should be playing now. Just some context. What exactly has he done to inspire such vitriol? Ertz? The same fans who loved Chad Lewis now hate Zach Ertz because he doesn't drag 11 defenders 100 yards into the end zone every time he touches the football. Like every other tight end, right? Who exactly are these tight ends who are breaking all these tackles? Ertz isn't Gronk, but you know what? Since opening day 2015, he has more catches than Gronk. And every other tight end in the NFL. What exactly has he done to inspire such vitriol? He doesn't stomp on a linebacker's head every play? And Smallwood of all people? Really? A second-year, fifth-round tailback who's produced every chance he's gotten? Smallwood has had four games in his career where he's gotten double-digit carries, and he's averaged 4.6 yards per carry in those games. What exactly has he done to inspire such vitriol? He's not Brian Westbrook? Listen. Every player in the NFL — on this team and every other team — has faults and limitations. It's just sad that some fans are so angry and mean-spirited they can't appreciate the positives that most players actually offer. Everybody isn't Reggie or Dawk or Shady. 

2. Interesting conversation the other day with Ertz, who talked about how Celek embraced him back in 2013 when Ertz was a rookie second-round pick and Celek was the established starter. Consider Celek's position at the time: He averaged 59 catches for 744 yards from 2009 through 2012, numbers only four tight ends surpassed during that four-year span. At 27, he was in the prime of his career. Yet his team went out and used a second-round pick to essentially replace him. How did he respond? Let Ertz pick up the story: "You hear horror stories when you come into the league about guys that treat their rookies, high draft picks, terribly. Nothing could have been further from the truth with Brent. From the moment I got here, he was extremely helpful. James Casey, when I got here reached out immediately. Those guys were extremely helpful early in my career." Even as Ertz emerged as a big-time threat in the passing game, Celek remained the starter through 2015 because of his blocking ability. Ertz said it wasn't really until last year that he felt comfortable in a leadership position because of that. He just felt like he should defer to Celek. "Early in my clear, it was kind of unclear who was the No. 1 tight end, and I never wanted to overstep my bounds because he had been here for so long. So (it wasn't until) the last year, maybe a little bit toward the end of last year, where I really felt like I was the tight end. I never wanted to overstep my bounds stepping on the veteran's toes."

3. One other Celek note. As Ertz has become more and more of a weapon in the passing game, Celek's production obviously has dropped, and after a career-low 155 yards last year he has just one catch for 11 yards the first month of this season. Celek, quite likely in his final year with the Eagles, has 4,879 receiving yards, and I, for one, would really like to see him get the 121 yards he needs to reach 5,000. Only seven players in franchise history have reached 5,000 yards: Harold Carmichael (8,978 yards), Pete Retzlaff (7,412), Mike Quick (6,464), DeSean Jackson (6,117), Pete Pihos (5,619), Tommy McDonald (5,499) and Bobby Walston (5,363). It's a great benchmark. Celek fell 29 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season back in 2009. I'd hate to see a guy who has stood for nothing but hard work and unselfish team play for so long fall agonizingly short of another career milestone before he takes off that Eagles jersey for the final time. (Celek does have 5,130 receiving yards including the playoffs).

4. I've been doing this Eagles thing a long time. A long time. And I have never experienced anything remotely like what I experienced Sunday at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Eagles played a Monday night game in Miami in 2003 — the Correll Buckhalter flying backward and upside touchdown game — where the stadium was maybe 30 to 35 percent Eagles fans at Joe Robbie, and that was incredible. But this? This was off the charts. I knew there'd be a lot of Eagles fans there, but that stadium was legitimately 85 to 90 percent Eagles fans. I walked the perimeter of the stadium on the concourse about an hour before kickoff and it was this ocean of Eagles Dawkins, Westbrook and Wentz jerseys. You had to really search to find a Chargers jersey. But it wasn't just the sheer volume of Eagles fans that was mind-blowing, it was just how into it they all were! The few Chargers fans I saw had no idea how to handle these loud, roving packs of Eagles fans chanting, "Eagles home game … Eagles home game," or doing E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles chants. The NFL definitely messed up big time putting this franchise in a soccer stadium on a college campus in the suburbs of a city that doesn't want them. But for one Sunday afternoon, the NFL's gaffe was the Eagles' gain. It was an amazing day.

5. Check out Carson Wentz's improvement on third down from last year to this year: 2016: 98 for 175, 1,067 yards, 56 percent, 4 TD, 6 INT, 67.5 rating. So far in 2017: 26 for 40, 349 yards, 65 percent, 3 TD, 1 INT, 107.2 rating. Last year, Wentz threw for 70 first downs on 175 attempts, or exactly 40 percent. This year, he's converted 21 of 40 chances, for 53 percent. (All third-down numbers courtesy of the Pro Football Reference database.)

6. I don't get why when I type in, for example, "drug store" in my GPS search window, it gives me a Walgreens 578 miles away. Isn't it supposed to find the closest one? There's a Rite-Aid, CVS or Walgreen's on every freaking corner in every freaking town in the area. Yet my GPS wants to send me to a Rite-Aid in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Drives me nuts. I just need deodorant!

7. If the Eagles win Sunday, it will be only their seventh start of 4-1 or better in the last 35 years. Since 1992, they've been 4-1 in 1992, 1993, 1994, 2006 and 2014 and 5-0 in 2004. Of the 16 times the Eagles have been 4-1 or better, they've only made the playoffs eight times — in 1949, 1960, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1992, 2004, 2006. They failed to reach postseason play in 1944, 1950, 1954, 1959, 1961, 1993, 1994 and 2014. Of course, the first five times they opened 4-1 and didn't reach the postseason, there were no playoffs, only an NFL Championship Game. In the post-merger era, a 4-1 start has meant playoffs for the Eagles six out of eight times. League-wide, a 4-1 start since the merger has given a team a 77 percent chance of reaching the playoffs (265 of 343 teams).

8. Trick of the Tail > Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

9. I'll be shocked if the Cards can run the ball at all Sunday. They're one of only 18 teams in NFL history that goes into Week 5 with a per-carry average of 2.7 or worse and an average of 57 or fewer yards per game. They're one of three teams that doesn't have a run from scrimmage of 15 yards or more this year. Their highest yards-per-carry this year was 3.3 against the Colts. They have 13 rushing first downs all year. The Eagles had 13 just against the Giants. Think they miss David Johnson a little?

10. I love that all of Tommy Roe's hits in the 1960s had drum breaks. Nobody else did that.

11. The Eagles have allowed 25 pass plays of 60 yards or more since 2009, second-most in the NFL during that eight-plus-year span behind only the Cards, who've allowed 26. During Jim Johnson's 10-year tenure here, the Eagles allowed only 12 60-yard pass plays, fourth-fewest in the NFL during that span. That said, I'd still rather have young, hungry cornerbacks who are finding their way than all the old, disinterested, recycled veteran free agents the Eagles slogged through here the last seven or eight years.

12. The Eagles from 2009 through 2016 are the only team in NFL history to allow 25 or more touchdown passes eight years in a row. They've allowed seven in four games this year so unless they hold their final 12 opponents to 18 or fewer passing TDs, they'll extend their NFL record to nine straight years. Only four other teams have allowed 25 or more TD passes in more than four straight years!

13. It always cracks me up how people at rock shows like to wear what they think is the hippest band T-shirt they can find to prove their indie rock cred. Pick a show and there's the obligatory Ministry T-shirt. Definitely a couple Sonic Youth T-shirts. Cocteau Twins. Mogwai. Sebadoh. Primal Scream. Brainiac. Stereolab. It's hilarious. "I'm cooler than anybody at this War on Drugs gig because I'm wearing a Einstürzende Neubauten T-shirt!" So here's my plan. I'm going to start showing up at shows wearing a Creed T-shirt. Or a Nickelback T-shirt. Maybe Maroon 5. Just one person's way of fighting back against hipper-than-thou T-shirts!

14. Jake Elliott may not have topped his 61-yard field goal Sunday in L.A., but by making four field goals of 40 yards or more he did make a little more history. Elliott is only the second kicker in Eagles history to make four field goals from 40 or out in the same game. David Akers did it on Oct. 3, 2004, in Chicago — 40, 42, 42, 50. But Akers also missed from 39 and 45 yards that day. So Elliott became the first Eagles kicker ever to attempt four or more 40-yarders and make them all. 

15. It's only four games, but Lane Johnson is playing lights out. He's really fun to watch these days. A lot of people questioned whether Johnson would be able to maintain his strength and health without the help of the supplements he's sworn off, the supplements that got him into so much trouble last year. But so far, so good. Johnson is a beast out there right now.

16. Tony Romo is already my favorite NFL analyst ever.

17. Did you know league-wide NFL kickers are 15 for 19 this year on attempts from 53 yards and out? That's insane. As recently as 2006, there were only 15 field goals made all year from 53 yards and out. 

18. And get this: Akers made two field goals of 53 yards or more in his first 145 games in an Eagles uniform. Elliott made two field goals of 53 yards or more in his first three games in an Eagles uniform.

19. The Eagles are about to face their third straight quarterback who's thrown for 45,000 yards. Eli Manning is close to 50,000 yards, Philip Rivers is just under 47,000 yards and Carson Palmer went over 45,000 yards earlier this year. There are only 10 other quarterbacks in NFL history who've thrown for 45,000 yards, only three of them active — Drew Brees (third with 67,246), Tom Brady (fourth at 63,284) and Ben Roethlisberger (ninth at 47,771). It would take hours to look up, but I highly doubt any team in NFL history has ever faced three straight QBs who've thrown for 45,000 yards. And I'm pretty sure no team has ever done it with cornerbacks who are 22 and 23. And the Eagles have a very good chance to go 3-0 in those games.

20. More Mychal Kendricks, please.

21. My five favorite views of the Philly skyline: 1. From the very top row of the upper deck in the east end of Franklin Field, 2. From the grassy area just below the Skyline Stage at the Mann Music Center, 3. When you first get on the Vine Street Expressway from I-95 heading westbound, 4. From atop the steps at the Art Museum, 5. From the Schuylkill heading westbound just before the 30th Street exit.

22. The Browns are 38-110 since opening day of 2008. Think about that for a moment. That's a .257 winning percentage. Their average season over the last decade is 4-12. They're currently 0-4 for the fourth time during that span. Their last postseason win came so long ago that the team that won that game is now the Ravens. Their only winning quarterback during that 10-year span is Brian Hoyer (10-6). The rest are a combined 28-104. Included in that group is Brandon Weeden (5-15), Colt McCoy (6-15), Jason Campbell (1-7), Josh McCown (1-10) and Seneca Wallace (1-6). The Browns haven't won back-to-back games since 2014! They haven't drafted a Pro Bowler since tight end Jordan Cameron in 2011. No matter how bad things get, you can always take solace that you're not a Browns fan!

23. Why on earth is Warren Moon in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? He was a .500 career quarterback (102-101), he was never an All-Pro, he won three playoff games in 17 seasons, he never reached an AFC Championship Game, he led the NFL in interceptions twice and he's got a worse touchdown percentage than Steve Beuerlein and a worse interception percentage than Bubby Brister. Absolute mockery. And don't tell me about his CFL stats. If you want to include CFL stats, then put Gizmo Williams in.

24. I never get tired of watching DeSean Jackson make big plays. His 41-yard catch and run against the Patriots Thursday night was his 61st catch of 40 yards or more since he came into the league with the Eagles in 2008. No other receiver is within 20 of that figure (Calvin Johnson is second with 41) during that span.

25. There's not much I can add about Tom Petty that hasn't been said. Damn the Torpedoes is the one that won me over. "Here Comes my Girl," in particular. The great records just kept coming — Wildflowers in particular I thought was fantastic — and at some point, you just realize, hey, this guy is an all-timer. I saw Petty at the Mann in 1989 with the Replacements opening and again at the Wells Fargo Center this past June, and he was always fantastic live. In fact they were better live this year than in 1989. And seeing Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell up there on stage at the Wells Fargo Center with Tom gave me chills. Those three guys had been together since 1975 (and for a few years before that in Mudcrutch). I always loved how deferential Petty was to his musicians. It may have been his name on the marquee, but he always let you know this was a band, not a solo act, and the chemistry among the whole group of them was magical. But what I'll remember most about Petty is just how genuine he was and how true to his artistic vision he remained, no matter how many records he sold or didn't sell. He was such a rare artist in his refusal to change the music he was making depending on what was popular or hip at the time or what was being played on the radio. So he continued to put out fantastic records with virtually no airplay, other than what Classic Rock radio continued to program from his early days. Petty didn't have a top-60 hit after 1994, but every album he put out since 1999 made the top-10. Really interesting dynamic. He was still making terrific music right up to the end. Petty was so true to himself and his band. I heard an interview with him recently where he was asked why he would reunite with his old Mudcrutch buddies and play small venues when he could easily sell out arenas with the Heartbreakers. His answer was simple and speaks volumes about Tom Petty the artist: "Because I can." He'll be missed immeasurably.

Zach Ertz 'a complete tight end' with much improved run blocking

Zach Ertz 'a complete tight end' with much improved run blocking

It's a play Zach Ertz wouldn't have made five years ago.

Heck, as Ertz says, it's a play Ertz wouldn't have had a chance to make five years ago.

"I probably wouldn't have even been in the game five years ago if it was a running play," he said with a chuckle.

Ertz has spoken for years about trying to become a complete tight end. We know he can run and catch, but so far this year, he's shown how far he's come as a blocker.

It was Ertz who sprung LeGarrette Blount on his record-setting 68-yard run that set up a critical fourth-quarter touchdown in the Eagles' 26-24 win over the Chargers Sunday.

It was one of several big blocks by Ertz that helped the Eagles rush for 214 yards as they improved to 3-1.

Ertz leads all NFL tight ends with 26 catches for 326 yards, but he's always been a big-time receiver. It's his blocking that has been truly eye-opening.

“He’s grown a lot in that aspect of his game since he came to us five years ago," said tight ends coach Justin Peelle, who Chip Kelly brought in back in 2013, the same year the Eagles drafted Ertz. "It’s a credit to him because he’s worked so hard on it.

"He takes pride in it. He studies it, watches film, understands, 'What do we do here? How should we attack it? What's my assignment here?' He’s really worked at it.

"He wants to be a complete tight end. That’s just who he is. Zach has got an incredible drive. He wants to be the best, that’s his drive and it’s genuine. That's one part of his game he’s known he’s had to work on, and he’s attacked it, and I give him a lot of credit for that."

It's easy to measure the improvements Ertz has made as a receiver.

He's gone from a guy who backed up Brent Celek his first couple years in the league to a guy who's putting up some historic numbers as a pass-catching tight end.

It's much harder to gauge his progress as a blocker. You have to really watch closely. But Ertz, who was rarely asked to block at Stanford and early on here, has made remarkable progress on the line of scrimmage.

"I don’t want to be viewed as a weakness in any area," Ertz said. "I don’t want to be viewed as a weakness in the pass game, and I definitely don’t want to be viewed as a weakness in the run game. So it’s a little bit of pride kind of thing.

"You hear certain things, 'We've got to take him out,' on certain plays early in my career and it's just something I’ve taken to heart, working extremely hard at. I take a lot of pride in being a complete tight end."

Ertz couldn't have a better teammate to learn from than Celek, who has been one of the NFL's top blocking tight ends for 11 years now — and was once a pretty darn good receiving tight end as well.

"He's just worked really hard at it," Celek said. "I don't think he had to do it in college. And then coming to the NFL, when you haven't done it in college a lot, it's a tough transition.

"Since Day 1 when he got here, he's worked on becoming a better blocker. He's going to continue to get better and better as time goes on."

As recently as two years ago, Celek was still the full-time starter and Ertz played mainly in passing situations.

In his five NFL seasons, Ertz's snaps have increased from 41 percent as a rookie in 2013 to 50 percent in 2014, then 68 and 75 percent the last two years and 86 percent this year. 

The more you can do, the more you're going to play.

“I’ve seen him really evolve in practice," right tackle Lane Johnson said. "He takes practice real seriously. We go against guys — Steven Means is a beast out there and every day in practice he brings it. I think he’s taking pride in getting better in the run game.

"He’s totally different than what he was a few years ago. You saw him Sunday, shoot, he de-cleated that one guy (Joey Bosa)."

Ertz said he's gained an understanding of leverage and technique in the blocking game. He's certainly not the only reason the Eagles are third in the NFL running the ball, but his progress as a blocker hasn't hurt.

"If I’m bad at my technique, I don’t have a fighting chance," he said. "Because those guys are always going to be bigger than me and stronger than me."

Peelle, who spent 10 years in the NFL, said a lot has gone into making Ertz a better blocker. It's equal parts strength, technique and just understanding the offense.

“I think he’s gotten stronger since he’s gotten into the league, just because he’s matured," Peelle said. "His footwork has gotten better, his hand placement has gotten better, bringing his hips through the contact, those are things he knows he consistently has to work on, and he does.

"And then his understanding of (the offense). When the defensive end or the linebacker is here, this is what’s going to happen because this is what we’re doing. Zach’s an extremely smart player but that just takes some time to understand how to do it. It’s not just, ‘I’m just going to block the defensive end.’ It’s, ‘I’m going to block the defensive end, and how’s he going to react,' or, 'If he’s here, what are you going to do?'

"We spend a lot of time on it during the week, just as much time as we study DB’s and linebackers and coverage and what they’re going to do and how we’re going to attack a certain route. He’s a very smart player and once he started to figure that stuff out, it’s really shown up on the field."

Improved blocking means Ertz rarely leaves the field. He's averaging 64 of 74 snaps per game so far this year.

He's also emerged as Carson Wentz's favorite target. Ertz is third in the NFL in receptions and fifth in receiving yards among all players. His 273 catches and 3,166 yards are both seventh-most in NFL history by a tight end in his first 65 career games.

"We know Zach is an elite receiver at that position," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "Zach can put up numbers with the best of any tight ends really. I haven't been around too many guys that run routes like him.

"But (there’s) really kind of an emphasis on being the complete player because there's not a whole lot of tight ends that can run routes the way he runs and be productive blocking at the line of scrimmage.

"Zach's blocked really well this year. He's really improved. He’s been physical, and a lot of that is just a mindset — being physical — and to his credit, he's done a good job."

Ertz, now 26, has gotten stronger, and that's shown up not just with his blocking but with his yards after the catch. We've seen him break more tackles than in past years and really shed the reputation of being a finesse player.

“This offseason I kind of went back to the basics, went back to Stanford and trained there all summer, went back to the same strength staff that I had in college and really dedicated myself to getting my body healthy," he said.

"Obviously, the previous two years I had two freak injuries that I wanted to avoid this year."

Ertz is off to the best start of his career — by far. His best previous first month was 13 catches in 2014 — exactly half of his current total.

The only players in franchise history with more receptions after four games are Harold Jackson, who had 28 in 1972, and Terrell Owens, who had 32 in 2005.

It's too early to start talking Pro Bowl, but …

"He enjoys ball," Peelle said. "He enjoys everything about it. He enjoys working at it. He embraces the work. He embraces practice. He likes the challenge of getting better. And once you spend some time with him, you realize it’s genuine.

"I think people understand how smart he is and his natural athletic ability, but being around him you realize it’s a genuine love for the game and the drive to be great, to be the best."

Ertz could have been content to catch 75 passes for 850 yards a year for a decade and call it a career. And he would have gone down as the greatest tight end in Eagles' history.

But he wanted more. And being the best for a tight end means more than just catching the football.

“Blocking is something that definitely doesn’t come naturally to me," Ertz said. "But … I think we’ve definitely made strides. I don’t think I’ll ever be a finished product in that regard. It’s something I’ll have to continually work on throughout my entire career."

Brent Celek still chasing dream in potential final season with Eagles

Brent Celek still chasing dream in potential final season with Eagles

Brent Celek is going to savor every rep at practice, treasure every day with his teammates, enjoy every last moment in meetings.
 
Because he knows this could very well be the end.
 
“I’m trying to have the attitude like, 'This could be it for me,'" Celek said after practice Wednesday. "I think when you have that attitude you think differently and you take advantage of things a little bit more. You pay attention to the details a little bit more. I’m just trying to have a different attitude about it."
 
Celek, now in his 11th training camp with the Eagles and entering the final year of his contract, looks no different from the 22-year-old rookie fifth-round draft pick that made the team in 2007 ahead of Lee Vickers.
 
Working mainly against linebackers and safeties who were in middle school when he began his Eagles career, Celek is enjoying a fine training camp as he approaches his 33rd birthday.
 
He's no longer the big-time receiving threat he once was, but he's still the Eagles' best blocking tight end and a respected locker room voice.
 
And he's going to make sure he enjoys every minute of his 11th — and perhaps final — NFL season.
 
"I played with a lot of guys here that were some of my best friends that are no longer here and I know a lot of them wish they could still go out there on game day and still do things," he said. "I do it for that, I do it for these guys in the locker room. I love this game.
 
“Shoot, this is my dream, to play in the NFL, so any opportunity you get you take advantage of it."
 
Celek has played 159 games in an Eagles uniform, seventh most in franchise history. If he plays all 16 games this year — and he's only missed one game in 10 seasons — he'll move up to fifth place, behind only David Akers, Brian Dawkins, Harold Carmichael and presumably Jon Dorenbos.
 
Chuck Bednarik is the only player who's played his entire career with the Eagles to play more games.
 
"I’m trying to enjoy every moment of it because it could be taken away at any moment," he said. "Especially where I’m at with my age. I’m trying to make the most of every opportunity."
 
Celek began his career backing up L.J. Smith, then, from 2009 through 2013, he averaged over 50 catches for about 700 yards, numbers only five other tight ends matched during that five-year period. Now he's a blocking specialist, although he can still catch the football and trample a couple guys when he gets the chance.
 
In all, Celek has 385 catches for 4,868 yards and 30 touchdowns. He ranks fourth in catches, eighth in yards and 12th in TDs in Eagles history.
 
“I think the biggest thing that stands out to me about Brent Celek is that he’s missed one game in his career. In 11 years," long-time friend and teammate Jason Kelce said. "He played one year with a torn labrum and both of his hips were screwed up.
 
"You want to talk about a guy who does anything he can for the team, goes out there and plays through everything, practices through everything, and I think guys who take mentalities like that, those guys stick around for a while because the organization respects you, the other players respect you.
 
"He’s just a special guy. Not only is he a great player, he’s special with the work ethic and leadership he brings every day. It just means a lot to us.”
 
Eleven years in, Celek is healthy and fit, but he said it takes more and more each year to stay that way.
 
He said he still uses a lot of the fundamentals of the sports science program Chip Kelly brought to the NovaCare Complex in 2013.
 
“I still feel like I can do a great job out there, I’ve just got to do a lot of extra stuff off the football field," he said.
 
"I have to. If I don’t stretch before I go to bed or don’t wake up early and stretch, work out, get my body feeling right, I won’t last very long, I can tell you that. But when I do those things I feel great, so I’ve just got to stay on it. The older you get, the more you have to work at it to get back to feeling good."
 
The last Eagle to play over 100 games and never spend a day with another organization was linebacker Byron Evans, who played 113 games from 1987 through 1994. Before that, it was Mike Quick, who played 101 games from 1982 through 1990.
 
Celek, whose three-year, $13 million contract is up after this year, would love to join that elite group.
 
“That would be ideal, I would love that," he said. "I love this organization, everything they’ve done for me. They’ve been outstanding. Now it’s time for me to give back and let’s try to win something here. Because that’s what matters.
 
"The city deserves that, this organization deserves that, and it’s my job to help lead this team to do that, so I’ve got a big job to do."
 
Celek is the only position player left from the 2008 run to the NFC Championship Game, so he's the only position player remaining who's actually won a postseason game as an Eagle.
 
That was nine years ago.
 
“When you go to the championship game your second year, you’re thinking, ‘OK, we’ve got a great football team, we’re going to be back here and do this again,'" Celek said.
 
"But you can’t take those things for granted. You’ve got to work like you’ve never been there before. We’ve got to do everything in our power to get back there because that’s all that matters. This city only cares about Super Bowl. They don’t care about anything else.”