Dallas Goedert played in his first NFL game last Thursday night and it went “pretty good,” according to head coach Doug Pederson.
There are, however, a couple plays from the 18-12 win Goedert would like to have back.
“I’m sure he would like to have that pass over the middle back,” Pederson said. “I think that was one he knows he’s going to have to have in traffic.”
Yup, Pederson’s right. Goedert would like a do-over on that one.
This play happened on 1st-and-10 with just under 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter of a one-score game. So the stakes were high.
This would have been a tough play to make and all the blame doesn’t deserve to go to Goedert. You could argue that Nick Foles simply needs to deliver the football earlier.
But Goedert needs to hold on to it too.
“Obviously, it’s a bummer when an interception like that happens and it’s on you,” Goedert said. “You gotta be better. Just hang on to it. You know you’re going to get hit.”
Goedert gave credit to the charging safety, Damontae Kazee, and he deserves it. It was a great defensive play. That, paired with a little luck, gave the Falcons the ball back.
This next play actually happened in the second quarter. It was nearly the play of the day and it would have been if Goedert was still in college.
“I was pretty close. I think I got one foot in,” Goedert said. “Obviously, that’s something I need to work on as well. I know I gotta get two feet in. The ball was up there. I just have to be aware and get the other foot down.”
Even though he didn’t pull this catch in, it is a good sign for Goedert going forward. One, that he nearly caught it. Two, that Foles was comfortable enough to toss it up to him.
The rookie said he thinks any of the Eagles’ quarterbacks feel comfortable with him in those situations that he’ll either catch the ball or make sure it falls incomplete.
“It feels good,” Goedert said. “When he signaled what I was going to do, I was pretty excited. I knew I had a pretty good chance. That’s a play that I feel like a lot of times, I can go up and make. Hopefully we do that a little bit more.”
All in all, it wasn’t a spectacular debut from Goedert. He played 17 snaps and caught one pass for four yards. But the second-round pick showed some promise. More importantly, the rest of the team showed confidence in him.
If he pulls in the ball on these two plays, we’re talking about what an impressive night the young rookie had. Instead, he left with a couple of things to improve.
“But for the first time out, as a rookie, big spotlight like that, big crowd, sort of a playoff atmosphere, was encouraging,” Pederson said. “And we’ll continue to work with him, and he’ll just get better each week.”
By the end of the season, expect Goedert to have a significant role with the team.