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Grotz: Frustrations pushed aside, Jalen Hurts and Dallas Goedert need to move Eagles forward

UPPER DARBY — Teammates, coaches, the media … Dallas Goedert gets along with everyone. He’s the ultimate team guy. A genuine boy scout.

The image of Goedert suddenly getting off the bench late in the ugly wild card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and very animatedly gesturing at a downtrodden Jalen Hurts summed up the frustration of the season for the Eagles. If backup quarterback Marcus Mariota hadn’t stepped between them, it could have gotten nastier.

Goedert and Hurts are talking again. The Eagles have moved on. Hopefully it won’t take a long win streak to flush away the mess of last season, in which they lost six of their last seven games. The schedule is too challenging, and the Eagles basically are starting over having hired Kellen Moore to be their offensive coordinator and Vic Fangio to coach the defense.

During a break in the ACME Dallas Goedert Pro Camp last weekend at Drexel Hill Middle School, the tight end allowed himself to look back on the past and move forward.

“Yeah, it was obviously really tough,” Goedert said. “We had the team that had the capabilities of being in the Super Bowl. We were 10-1 and we never felt like we played great. And then it started going downhill for us. We have a lot of winners on our team, and I think that made it harder. We weren’t able to get out of the rut that we were in, and it was just a trickle-down effect. I’m really glad it’s in the past so we can move on, we can learn from it, and we can use all the pain that ended last year, all the frustration that we had and use that to motivate us to get back to where we want to be.”

Goedert is feeling reinvigorated, having stuck around to learn the new offense at Eagles OTAs and the mandatory minicamp. Spoiler alert, if Moore is true to his past, you will see a rise in the use of the tight ends. Moore’s short passing game concepts setting up play action and the deeper throws worked with the Dallas Cowboys, if not the Los Angeles Chargers, his place of employment last year.

It’s early, but Goedert eventually could see his role expand on a team with star wide receivers AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith and running back Saquon Barkley, who many consider the missing piece. All but Barkley are earning more money than Goedert, whose deal averaging $14.25 million expires after the 2025 season.

“I’m hoping that all year they double AJ, they double Smitty, and they’re worried about Saquon, so I can run free down the middle all game long,” Goedert said. “No, I really enjoy Kellen being there. He’s been doing a great job of making the offense make sense. And you know, we kind of changed up the reads and different things like that, so I feel like it will play in favor of the tight end, the quick game a little bit. Getting back to the pivots, the sticks that I caught earlier in my career that went away a little bit. I’m really excited how he uses the tight end and how he feels they can be a big part of the offense and help win games.”

While Hurts hasn’t said much about the new offense, he is not a fan of having to learn another one just two seasons removed from reaching and nearly winning the Super Bowl. Maybe he’ll suddenly discover that he enjoys the short passing game that never was his forte. It’s a big year for Hurts.

It’s also a big year for Goedert. He’s at that point of a contract where the dead money isn’t a big deal should his employers decide he isn’t worth it. Make no mistake, though, Goedert is a proven commodity, and the suitors will be lining up if he becomes available.

“I’m not too worried about it,” Goedert said. “I love being in Philadelphia and I’m going to give them everything I’ve got and you know, let the chips fall where they may fall. One of the coolest things I learned at Tight End University was that Greg Olsen didn’t make his first Pro Bowl until Year 8. He said his best years came at (age) 31, 32, 33. So, I still feel like my best years are ahead of me and I’m just blessed to still be able to play a game that I love, and I’m going to just keep having fun with it.”

Goedert certainly enjoyed himself at the Pro Camp for kids in grades 1 through 8. When he wasn’t showing technique to this group or that, he was talking to the participants or cheering them on. The campers wore T-shirts lettered “Goedert 88.” When Goedert grew up in South Dakota, he didn’t have the luxury of such keepsakes.

“That’s one thing I wanted to make sure we had out here, was shirts,” Goedert said. “As a camper myself if I got a shirt I got something from the camp and it always felt really cool. For me personally seeing all these kids with 88 on their back, Goedert, it’s a really cool feeling knowing that I’m able to give back to a community that supports me so well. If I can make a few of these kids’ days, a few of these kids’ years, that’s more than worth it right there.”

Contact Bob Grotz at rgrotz@delcotimes.com.


Source: Berkshire mont

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