Tyree Jackson made his NFL debut on Sunday, playing 14 offensive snaps, but his role could increase over the last eight games.
At least that’s what head coach Nick Sirianni hinted at this week.
A lot of Jackson’s snaps against the Chargers came in 13 personnel (one running back, three tight ends) as the Eagles used the ground-and-pound philosophy in Week 9. But check out what Sirianni said about Jackson this week:
“Again, we did some things out of 13-personnel that game,” Sirianni said. “And so, that gave us an opportunity to play all three of the tight ends with Jack (Stoll), and Dallas (Goedert), and Tyree. Jack's coming along nice. And so, we still want to continue to get him reps.
“But with Tyree, again, that's something that we have that a lot of teams don't know what Tyree is or what he can do. So, we'll keep that close to our vest.”
That last part is interesting, isn’t it?
Jackson (6-7, 249) is definitely an intriguing player. He’s a former college quarterback from the University at Buffalo who didn’t begin his transition to tight end until about a year ago. He was wildly impressive this summer, so much so that he earned a roster spot at final cuts despite a fracture in his back.
Because of his injury, Jackson played in just one preseason game this summer. Against the Steelers, he had two catches for 32 yards. But the Eagles watched him make play after play this summer.
And then when the Eagles traded Zach Ertz, general manager Howie Roseman on his own mentioned the opportunity to see Jackson play more than once. The Eagles didn’t trade Ertz because of Jackson, but finding out what they have in the 24-year-old tight end is a welcome byproduct.
Against the Chargers, 12 of Jackson’s 14 offensive snaps came as a run-blocker (he also played four snaps on special teams). There was one play from the Los Angeles 11-yard line in the second quarter, when he lined up in the slot and the Chargers called a timeout.
It looked like the presence of Jackson might have forced the timeout, but Sirianni thinks the Chargers were probably confused about the personnel grouping. The Eagles were in 0-2 personnel (no running backs, 2 tight ends).
“I just know it from being on headsets for a long time,” Sirianni said. “You throw two tight ends out there, you don't see the back come off, you think that probably thought, hey, they got 12-personnel in, and it was — we really were in 0-2 personnel. And so, that was probably the confusion right there.”
So maybe the Chargers didn’t call the timeout because of Jackson. From Sirianni’s perspective, why would they? The Chargers and the rest of the NFL don’t know about Jackson … yet.
We’ll see if that changes over the final eight games of the season.
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