It’s been a strange start to the season for second-round pick Dallas Goedert. A dominant receiving tight end during his career at SDSU, the drafting of Goedert was thought to be a perfect move. The 6’5, 256 lbs, tight end was primed to replace Trey Burton and cause matchup nightmares for defenses around the league, but things didn’t start off that way.
Eagles loss to Bucs raised one massive question: Where on earth is Dallas Goedert?!
Playing in minimal snaps behind the likes of Joshua Perkins and the recently cut DeAndre Carter, Goedert registered a single reception for 4 yards. Fast forward to week 3’s win over the Colts and the return of Carson Wentz and it’s a very different story.
Goedert exploded on the very first drive of the game, catching a beautiful pass from the franchise quarterback to notch his first ever NFL touchdown. The rookie followed that up by posting 73 yards on 6 receptions. In fact, he is the first Eagles rookie TE with 70+ receiving yards and 1+ TD in a single game since Keith Jackson against Dallas back in 1988 and the first to catch a touchdown since Foles found Ertz in the end zone at Minnesota in 2013. The Eagles ran their offense through their tight ends on Sunday and it’s safe to say that the breakout of #88 provided a huge spark for the offense.
“It’s big.” Running-mate, Zach Ertz excitedly told reporters after the game. “We need him to be a player for us. His role will continue to evolve and hopefully increase. We need him. We need him to go out there and contribute each and every week in the run game and in the pass game. This is definitely a great step for him. Happy for him and his first touchdown at home. I’m sure he’s pumped.”
Goedert is likely going to be a key fixture in the offense for years to come, but there will undoubtedly be a reliance on him in the coming weeks. With a wideout corps that’s still struggling outside of Nelson Agholor and a cloud of uncertainty hovering over the run game, the Birds are going to be leaning on their safety blankets, especially as Wentz continues to find his feet.
“He’s earned it, obviously. He’s smart. He’s talented.” Pederson said of his tight end. “We see it in practice. It’s just time to play and cut him loose a little bit and don’t keep him back. It was part of the game plan again to do that with two tight ends, three tight ends, but at the same time, as he gets more and more comfortable with the offense and find specific plays for him, he’s just going to get better and better. It’s a combination, really, of all those comments.”
His positive impact ran far beyond the receptions we all saw on Television, though.
“I think with Dallas he’s shown me, first of all, he’s a smart football player.” Carson Wentz explained. “Throughout training camp and then being able to do the no-huddle stuff and getting him in different situations and getting him in different spots, making calls at the line, checks at the line. He’s very instinctive and a good football player and obviously came up big with a couple of plays.”
Goedert’s breakout provided a huge injection of explosiveness into an offense that came into this week spluttering from all angles. A refreshing sight, Goedert is bound to draw attention from defenses, opening up areas of the offense that were previously being cornered off by coordinators. The plan is slowly but surely coming together for Pederson and his returning Quarterback and Goedert is going to play a big role in that.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports