Eagles

Dallas Goedert has look of Zach Ertz clone in training camp

Dallas Goedert has look of Zach Ertz clone in training camp

One of the biggest takeaways from the first week of Eagles training camp is that we are going to see a ton of two-tight end sets this year with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert terrorizing opposing defenses in the red zone.

The Eagles ran a lot of 12 personnel last year — 23 percent of their offensive snaps came with one running back, two tight ends and two receivers, according to the website SharpFootballStats. That was sixth most in the league.

That number may not go up, but the impact the two tight ends make will.

It’s early, but Goedert, the rookie second-round pick from South Dakota State, already looks like he’s ready to make an enormous impact in the red zone.

We've all seen what kind of player Ertz is. Now the Eagles have an Ertz clone.

Goedert looks smooth, poised and comfortable. Sometimes, it's tough to tell No. 86 and No. 88 apart.

"He's a smart guy," Doug Pederson said. "He knows what he's doing."

As Ertz explained, with Ertz and Goedert on the field, the Eagles will be more unpredictable in two-TE sets than in the past.

“It’s going to be different than in years past,” Ertz said. “In years past, when it was me and Brent (Celek) on the field it was more run-dominant. When it was me and Trey (Burton), it was more pass-dominant and teams went nickel. … When it was Trey and I, I was always the guy with my hand in the ground [to block].

"[Now], teams are going to really have to choose whether they want to go base or go nickel to the two of us. … Now you can kind of vary it up.”

During red zone drills on Wednesday, Nick Foles connected with Goedert three times for touchdowns against the first-team defense.

Three TDs in one practice gets you noticed.

“Yeah, it's going to be exciting, I think,” Pederson said. “I'm encouraged obviously where Dallas is and his progress.

“He's still learning just the different intricacies, the details of route running, understanding coverage and leverage. But I think that as we scale back, when we get into a game plan and we're game-plan specific, when he can really detail, I think it's going to be an exciting matchup with he and Ertz out on the field.”

Burton threw one of the most famous touchdown passes in NFL history, but he caught only 23 passes for 248 yards last year, though he did score five touchdowns.

Celek is an all-time Eagles great but caught just 27 passes for 285 yards the last two seasons combined.

Burton signed a massive four-year, $32 million contract with the Bears this offseason. Celek is currently out of football.

Goedert is going to be a force.

“He looks good out here,” Carson Wentz said. “He catches almost everything and finds a way to pull things in.

“He’s still got work to do like a lot of these [young] guys, but I like how he’s progressed and really mentally as well, just picking up on everything and learning the ins and outs of route running. He looks good.”

Ertz has 227 catches for 2,493 yards and 14 touchdowns the last three years and was brilliant last year in the postseason.

Now, with Goedert, the Eagles have arguably their best 1-2 tight end punch ever.

“You can see why he was drafted high,” Ertz said. “He makes plays on the ball in the air, he’s physical, he’s a lot further along at the point of attack than I thought he would be coming from what school he came from, so he’s obviously put a lot of work in. He has a good feel for everything.”

When the Eagles play one tight end, Nelson Agholor will generally be in the slot with Ertz at tight end. With Ertz and Goedert both on the field, there are all kinds of possibilities.

“We’re going to be able to move Dallas and me around,” Ertz said.

Good luck defending an offense with Alshon Jeffery, Agholor, Mike Wallace, Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles and these two tight ends.

“We still haven't played any games,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “We've got to get out there and play some games against some new people. But at this stage, I think he's right where he needs to be.”

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When LeSean McCoy retires, he'll retire as an Eagle

When LeSean McCoy retires, he'll retire as an Eagle

Even though he’s been gone for six years, Shady is still a Philadelphia Eagle at heart.

LeSean McCoy, whose last season in an Eagles uniform was 2014, said at Super Bowl Media Day Monday in Miami that when he retires, he’s retiring as an Eagle, according to the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, covering Media Day at Marlins Park.

What does retiring as an Eagle really mean?

More than anything, it just means even after all these years, he still considers himself an Eagle.

McCoy could sign one of those one-year contracts for show and formally retire as an Eagle. When he retires he’ll quickly be added into the Eagles Hall of Fame. And his No. 25 - which hasn’t been worn since he left - could one day be retired.

If McCoy does ever go into the Pro Bowl Hall of Fame — and he’s got a shot — he wouldn’t go in “as an Eagle,” only because players aren’t enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame “as” anything. They just go in.

McCoy spent 2009 through 2014 with the Eagles and rushed for a franchise-record 6,792 yards in just six years. He also set a franchise record with 9,074 scrimmage yards. He was an all-pro in 2013 and made three Pro Bowls.

Soon after Chip Kelly assumed GM powers from Howie Roseman in January of 2015, Kelly traded McCoy to the Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

After four years with the Bills, including three more Pro Bowl seasons, he was released this past summer and quickly signed with the Chiefs, reuniting with Andy Reid, who drafted him in 2009.

McCoy ran for 465 yards with a 4.6 average and four TDs this past regular season but has only played one snap in the postseason and doesn’t have a carry in the Chiefs’ last four games. He was inactive for the AFC Championship Game.

This is not only McCoy’s first Super Bowl, it’s the first time he’s been on a team that’s won a playoff game in his 11-year career.

McCoy is the only player in NFL history with 11,000 rushing yards, a 4.5 rushing average and 500 receptions.

He had the most rushing yards (10,434) and most scrimmage yards (13,923) in the NFL during the decade of the 2010’s.

McCoy is now 31 and turns 32 this summer. He said win or lose in the Super Bowl, he doesn’t plan on retiring after the season, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com

“I can still play, so I’m not going to retire yet,” he said. “But that day is coming.”

And when it does, McCoy is coming home.

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Eagles reportedly losing top executive Andrew Berry

Eagles reportedly losing top executive Andrew Berry

Less than a year after the Eagles created a high-level front office position for Andrew Berry, they are losing their Vice President of Football operations to the Cleveland Browns, according to multiple reports.

Berry is the Browns’ new general manager and executive vice president.

The Eagles brought Berry aboard last Feb. 25 after he spent the previous three years with the Browns as their VP of player personnel. At the time, the Eagles just really liked Berry and wanted to find a way to add a young, fast-rising football mind to the building. But with Howie Roseman firmly entrenched as the general manager in Philadelphia, Berry will head back to Cleveland.

According to NFL.com, Berry got a five-year deal and will have 53-man roster control in Cleveland. 

At 32 years old, Berry will become the youngest general manager in NFL history, taking away that title from Roseman, who was 34 when he was promoted back in 2010.

This is the second straight year the Eagles have lost a top executive to a GM job elsewhere. Last offseason, the Jets hired VP of player personnel Joe Douglas to be their general manager.

It isn’t a surprise that Berry is getting a GM job, but perhaps it’s slightly surprising it’s happening so quickly. But he’s a Harvard-educated former football player with a degree in economics and computer science. He began his NFL career with the Colts in 2009 and worked his way up from a scouting assistant to pro scouting coordinator before he left in 2015 to join the Browns.

Just a few days ago, Vikings assistant GM George Paton took himself out of the running for the GM job in Cleveland, which left Berry as the clear-cut top candidate and the Browns moved quickly. While Paton had a long history with new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, Berry got to know Stefanski during the coaching search just after the 2018 season when the Browns hired Freddie Kitchens.

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles reportedly denied a request from the Panthers to interview Berry for a vice president job. The reasoning from the Eagles was that it wasn’t a general manager position and he wouldn’t have had final say on personnel matters.

In Cleveland, Berry will be a full-fledged GM with roster control. His time in Philadelphia didn’t last very long.

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