Old Man Celek

Posted: June 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 62 Comments »

Brent Celek is one of the longest tenured Eagles. He’s so old that he can even remember Greg Lewis trying to field punts against the Packers. How’s that for a trip down crappy memory lane?

Dave Spadaro did a good interview with Brent Celek for PE.com.

Celek referred to “the kids” when talking about the young TEs. That’s the first sign that he’s an old man. But Celek sure doesn’t look old. He’s coming off a terrific season and says sports science has him feeling great. I am really curious to see the long term effects that the sport science program has. Will this actually extend careers by a year or two? Can we try some of the stuff on Brian Dawkins right now?

The emergence of Zack Ertz will cut into some of Celek’s playing time, but he is still a key player. Celek is the better blocker of the duo and that’s critical in Chip Kelly’s running offense.

Celek loves the offense and he talked about the fact that adjustments have already been made. Chip Kelly isn’t a stagnant coach. He didn’t come to the NFL with one good idea. Kelly understands moves and counter-moves. He knows defenses will have adjusted to his schemes and Kelly has some moves already planned. It should be exciting to see the X’s and O’s battle between Kelly and defensive coordinators this season.

Celek only caught 32 passes in 2013. That was his fewest catches as a starter. But he had 6 TDs, the 2nd most of his career, and he averaged 15.7 yards per catch, far and away the highest total of his career. I can’t find an Eagles TE from the past 20 years who came close to that figure. TEs normally average 10 to 12 yards per catch. Keith Jackson once got up to 13.4. Celek once got to 13.1. Celek wasnt a volume receiver in 2013, but he was an impact receiver.

I think he can sustain a good level of play in that type of role for a couple of more years. The only concern I would have is whether blocking a lot will start to take a toll on him. Celek is in great shape and hasn’t suffered any major injuries in the NFL so he might be a guy that sports science can keep on the field until his mid-30’s.

Out of curiosity, I pulled up my pre-draft notes on Celek.

Brent isn’t all that big, but he’s a good receiving TE and has some athletic ability. Has 91 catches and 14 TDs for his career. Good receiver. Has good hands, but will drop passes from time to time. Celek had a huge play in the upset of Rutgers . He caught an 83 yd TD pass. Took a short throw in the left flat. Got by a defender and then headed down the sideline for the score. Has good RAC ability. Marginal blocker. Good positional blocker. Needs to use his hands better. Also needs to block with a wider base. Gets little straight ahead push as an in-line blocker. Moves okay, but isn’t great athlete. Good release. Works mostly short to medium routes, but athletic enough to stretch the field somewhat. Ran a 4.79 at his Pro Day. 

Backup LS at UC. Could be an emergency snapper in the NFL. 

SUMMARY 

Day 2 player. Has value for a team that likes to throw to the TE. Ideal for the WCO.

Feels good to get a scouting report right every now and then.

_


  • Mark F

    Hmm…I wonder if he starts to wear down in a few years, if he could stay on as a longsnapper? Dorenbos is superhuman, but even he won’t last forever

    • Ray888

      Every time CK refers to versatility, I keep wondering how a shelf-life there is for a LS who is only a long snapper. Could Celek fill a Mike Bartram role.

      • RobNE

        there is no way Chip thinks that is a good use of a roster spot. Remember when he interviewed and the feedback was he had very specific ideas about each roster spot.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    impressive that he was able to improve from a marginal blocker to the best one we have on the team!

  • Juanito

    I’ve always loved how he catches a pass, turns up field and punishes the first (and sometimes second and third) guy that hits him. It’s like watching a wildebeest drag a few lions before going down.

  • Mike Roman

    Tommy,

    Every time I think I’ve put down the bottle for good, you go and take us down (bad) memory lane.

    Greg

    Lewis

    Fielding

    Punts

    smh

    • SteveH

      Greg Lewis doing anything, really.

      • short bus

        . . . and the return of Reno Mahe. Wow.

        • Maggie

          love the avatar

      • Always Hopeful

        Hey! He actually made a few significant plays for the Eagles in the 2004 SB run. But don’t let that fact keep you from showing disdain for his lessor work :-).

        • TheRogerPodacter

          that catch in the SB was pretty awesome. that was him, right? i might be getting my games mixed up from… wow… 10 years ago already…

          • Always Hopeful

            Yup, scored our last TD of that torturous drive/game. Gotta dust off the tapes from those playoffs, but he seemed to make a good play in each round. Not bad for an UDFA.

            Man, time has flown, it has been 10 years…

          • RobNE

            never forget!

        • Mike Roman

          I was going to mention that too but I chose to ignore it. I figured it would be more fun that way. Actually, he had a decent game overall in the SB.

          • Always Hopeful

            That game was so frustrating for many reasons. A guy I despised, Pinkston, actually was balling that game but came up hurt and couldn’t play most of the second half.

            We should of had a nice lead in the first half but…let me stop. Should’ve, could’ve but didn’t. “Good” bitter sweet memories. Looking forward to rooting for CK’s Eagkes to make a run.

        • Anders

          The best catch of Lewis career actually came from Favre with the Vikings against the Packers in the last second to win them the game.

    • bsuperfi

      Greg Lewis had was lucky if he had 5 great plays over his career. At least he was more likeable than Pinkerton.

      • Maggie

        I understood that Pinkerton was a good detective and founded a security outfit which still operates?

        • bsuperfi

          I understood that Pinkerton is weezer’s best album. And that phones often auto correct incorrectly. Even this post.

  • Ben

    I really like Celek and how he has evolved as a TE. This guy can flat out block almost anyone and is underrated like several Eagles. I don’t know why we fans don’t value him as much as we should. Glad Chip sees his value.
    Man, I can’t wait for this season to begin already.
    I can see Matthews lining up in the slot then as the play unfolds he crosses the field with Maclin and they switch on the fly. I think Matthews can be a huge deep threat if we disguise him as a slot receiver but the route takes him to the outside and Maclin to the inside.
    I am sure Chip has many plays to exploit defenses to where we have them on their heels rather than the defense anticipating and diagnosing a play pre-snap.
    We are so lucky to have landed such a great Football mind and I think our best days are clearly ahead of us. Go Eagles !!!

    • GEAGLE

      Personally he,shocked me.. He,really fell off his last two years under Andy. I though age caught up to him. He was dropping all types of passes.l I think his career was mid nosedive, boy was I wrong. Not only did he enjoy an athletic resurgence(I was at the game where he caught the screen and turned the jets on.. But Chip training also brought his game back, transforming his lost hands info reliable,e safety nets once again..
      ..
      After his last two years under Andy I figured he would have to be a surprise roster,casualty…but Chip brought him back…with our sport science and the increased roles for Ertz and Casey, hopefully we can sign Celek to a team friendly exstension and he can retire as a Bird..

      • anon

        Everyone fell off their last two years w/ andy — would give everyone a mulligan. Shady, Mac, Djax all underperformed their talent levels.

        • GEAGLE

          Yeah but Celeks hands turned to feet during Andy’s last two years… Lol

  • GEAGLE

    James Casey and Ertz will both have increased roles, but that could be a good thing for a Brent. He really believes in chips sport science so he should be a really good test subject for us because we know he will strictly follow the regimen.. Wouldn’t mind Celek negotiating a team friendly extension and retiring as an Eagle..has a successful restaurant and lunch truck in the area.

    Everyone expects Ertz to have much bigger role, but if think we may have to start accounting for James Casey’s increased role.. Celek is still going to get snaps since I’m sue we see plenty of 12 personel(FOles was at his most efficient out of 12 last year)..then again, I’m sure Ertz will also be used as a,WR at time….we could see,Ertz split out wide as the WR with Celek as the 1 TE..
    ….
    Can’t wait for Camp. Brent a bruising blocker and I hope that rubs off on Ertz. The Motto Barwin brought with him from the Texans is “OLBs do not allow TEs to block them”…curious to see who gets the best of the Barwin/Celek battle.. Barwin needs to instill that motto in rookie Marcus Smiths Brain, and Celek needs to push Ertz to become a bruising blocker

    We started seeing some 3 TE sets towards the end of the season

    • anon

      Think we’ll see fewer since we have decent recievers that are 6+” and 200+ lbs

      • Jerry Pomroy

        Don’t forget that much of the reason why Casey saw the time he did last season was to block for Shady. He was also in on 12 personnel in passing situations to pull the extra defender from the box and crashing in on Shady.

    • eagleyankfan

      Just curious why you say Casey will have an increased roll?

      • GEAGLE

        Too many times this offseason I hearch Chip, Howie or players talk about how great Casey looks…if he looks so great now, he must have not looked so great last year. Why? Casey isn’t the type to sign a new contract with a new team, take the money, and kick his feet up, get lazy and stop working….so I believe that he looks so much better now, because he was warrioring thru an ankle injury for most of the year…

        We also saw him start to get time at the end of the year… We were involved in a closely contested playoff hunt, and that’s when we decided to start using Casey?… I’d assume the lineups we used late in the year when we were in the middle of a playoff Hunt are a better. Indication of how we feel about certain players…you don’t start using players you don’t like or don’t believe in, when it gets to crunch time of the season…

        We also didn’t adress his contract… If last year was the best it’s ever going to get for Casey in this era of eagles football than there is no way we wold have let him keep that contract.. If we didn’t expect,more out of him than what we got last year, I we no way we would let him keep that contract…

        I think we are underestimating Brad Smifhs role also

        • eagleyankfan

          That’s why I was curious. Casey didn’t seem to have that big(almost none existent) role last year and I never knew why. This makes sense. When they signed him, I thought it was a great move. Then they drafted Ertz. Then Casey disappeared. Would love to see more of this guy on the field….

  • Joseph Dubyk

    your scouting report was DEAD on about him. I remember reading Avants pre-draft and that was dead on as well

  • Vick or Nick

    “Can we try some of the stuff on Brian Dawkins right now?”

    100%

    • Crus57

      Reckon we could kickstart a cloning attempt?

  • austinfan

    I don’t think Celek is going to play until his mid-30s, 32 is old for a TE, we’ll see how well Witten holds up at that age, and he’s a tad bit more talented than Celek. I’d be happy with 2-3 more years in his current role as a solid performer but one you’re not depending on as a cornerstone of your offense.

  • Media Mike

    I can’t justify that level of salary for a 32 catch TE. I’d like to see Celek reduced next year and beyond to a $2 mil / year player.

    • anon

      Then your gripe is more with Casey than Celek

  • ACViking

    Re: Celek Forever

    Brent Celek turned 29 this past January.

    He may very well want to play another 4-5 years for the Eagles.

    To paraphrase a famous saloon owner, “but at what price, Ugarte, at what price?”

    Seems, in the current-day NFL and under the present management, for Celek to be Kelly’s best test-tube, long-playing lab rat, he — Celek — would have to take a pay-cut. Then another pay-cut.

    He’s a hell of a competitor. Probably a great locker room guy.

    But is he a difference-maker — as a blocker or receiver — who cannot be replaced in a 2 or 3 years by a cheaper, younger TE?

    And is Celek too proud (rightly proud) to want to stick around on 1-year deals in the veteran-minimum neighborhood?

    • GEAGLE

      I feel like the strength of his game is that if you take the 10 best blocking TEs, Celek would be one of the top 3 pass catching weapons out the bunch,,, being well rounded is his strength.

      I was DEAD WRONG about Celek. After the last two years of Andy I thought Celek would be a surprise cut. AMazing how Chip turned him back into a quality TE.
      ..
      Give Brent a team friendly extension, let him retire here. Casey and Ertz will have bigger roles, along with the sports science, hopefully we can get 3 decent years out of him

      • ACViking

        Casey’s actually about a year older than Celek.

        I’d be surprised if JC outlasted BC here.

        • GEAGLE

          Think Casey will have a bigger role that last year. Probably another two years in philly…

          Heard everyone from Howie, Chip to the players go out of their way to mention James Casey this offseason…don’t believe that was a coincidence, don’t believe that last year was a true indication of his role as an eagle,..I got the impression that he looks much better than he did last year and that he was hampered by that ankle for longer than we realized

    • D3FB

      Celek makes $4 million this year. That’s fine. His guaranteed money is already up though. He’s set to make $4.8 million in 2015 and $5 million in 2016. So that’s 9.8 million in 2015-16. I think you could probably get Brent to bring his salary down to the $2.5-3 million dollar range by giving him an extra year and some more guaranteed money upfront. He’s a strong veteran presence, good guy, and has embraced the community. His blocking ability is excellent for a TE and he is a solid weapon in the passing game. Could he be replaced by a younger player? Probably, but you have two options in doing that. Either bring in a late rounder blocking TE, who doesn’t offer as much in the passing game, or use a quality pick (rounds 2-4) on a decent Y-TE, like a Travis Kelce or CJ Feidorowicz. For the next couple of years at least I would rather have those quality picks for other positions and pay Celek.

      • ACViking

        D3FB:

        Remarkable how rare a species is the “very good blocking TE who poses a receiving threat.”

        And I concur that, injury aside, Celek’s a lock for the next couple years — unless, this past winter, Ertz turned into Dave Casper (former Raiders all-pro TE who played OT his first 3 years at Notre Dame).

        But I was reading T-law’s post as looking at 2016 and beyond — which would be Celek’s 10th season. How ’bout then?

        If we lived in a cap-free world, and Celek stayed healthy, I don’t think there’d be any question that he’d stay on ’til he hits 33-34. (He’s the kind of guy that Geo. Allen treasured.)

        But in today’s NFL, I don’t know.

        • D3FB

          I think that all depends on a few variables. First, how does the cap move? If the league cap in 2016 is $150 million or more, suddenly Brent is fairly affordable even without a restructure. Second, what is his role? Does he play 800 snaps a year between now and 2016? Or is it a more reasonable 500-600. Alot of this depends on the emergence of Ertz (who can be a solid blocker, maybe even above average by the time he hits his prime) and other receiving threats. The final part is how Brent holds up physically. Some players look like they could fall off a cliff for half a decade plus, to others it happens overnight. I think and hope Brent will likely remain an Eagle, but trying to ascertain the future is a fruitless endeavor. 2 years in the NFL is forever. In the words of the great John Maynard Keynes we asked to try to predict how markets would move over an extended period of time : “In the long run we are all dead”.

          • Maggie

            Ecclesiastes said it some years before John Maynard:
            “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
            and what I had toiled to achieve,
            everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
            nothing was gained under the sun.”
            Too true.

  • GEAGLE

    Serious but kind of stupid question lol:

    How much longer will we have Dorenbos? How long are long snapper careers?

    • A_T_G

      I can honestly say that I have no memories of a long-snapper retiring. Maybe teams just keep the same name and swap in the next guy, kind of like the Dread Pirate Roberts?

      • Nicodemus_09

        Jon just sticks around as first mate. All the while calling the new guy Dorenbos. Once the crew believes, he retires and lives like a king in Patagonia….: )

  • ryan pertl

    Zach* Ertz, Tommy.

  • H_Manders

    Tommy,

    I really appreciate you posts, even if on ooccasion I might disgree with you. Gives some nice insight, and helps me get my Eagles fix from across the Atlantic.

    I do like Celek, think he has been underrated, and in some ways I see him as a successor to Duce Staley – work horse, little if any flash, just trying to do his job and fight hard. The crucial type of player you need on any succesful team (in just about any sport.

    BTW, might have missed it, but have you gotten around to your H2H recording with Jimmy K? You mentioned the one intended around draft time did not work out, you guys would try to record one later that week – but I never saw it mentioned again (could be me though).

    Keep up the good work!

    Harm

  • Ark87

    I’ve wondered about Celek’s low number of catches but extremely explosive production. Is it possibly because we are leaning on him so heavily in blocking he’s just not getting his number called much? Seems like every Highlight of him is him blocking, releasing his block and slipping out wide open then barreling 20 yards down the field hurdling whatever he can and hitting whatever he can’t.

    • A_T_G

      With all the other weapons opposing defenses must address, I wonder if Celek gets overlooked often because he usually is blocking. If so, using him more often in the passing game might result in diminishing returns.

      • ICDogg

        Also, all that blocking has to do a number on your hands, probably affects how good you are at catching the ball if you do that much of it.

      • Dan

        And because Ertz can’t block

  • daveH

    I still haven’t gotten over one of Celek’s missed goal line blocks that cost us a score or the game or something .. whatever it was im still mad at him for it. hope im wrong and IM the old man curmudgeon!

    • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

      so…. u are not even sure of what u r mad at? niiiice!!!

      • daveH

        i know its drater-ed … im over it, but he couldn’t or wouldn’t block for sheeyat his first season. these darn kids!

  • Jerry Pomroy

    At this point his career & based on his skill set, Celek is efficient & effective at what he does. You can’t ask for anything more than that from a model citizen and role player. A lower cap figure would be nice and I have to think that he’d realize that being here is probably a really good situation for him.

    • GEAGLE

      He will def give us a team friendly Deal to extend his eagles career. He loves this city, I think he believes we can win a SB with Chip..he has really made philly his home and he has a successful restaurant and lunch truck

  • ICDogg

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/pSzYRo9j7YM/0.jpg

    ♫♫ Old Man Celek, that Old Man Celek ♫♫

    ♫♫ He keeps on blocking, he keeps on running ♫♫

  • D3FB

    The league is moving the draft back into April!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjjZGyYcH9E

    But it’s going to be a four day draft :(

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ_HfX9UjFI

    • Insomniac

      Someone knocked some sense into Goodel? Did he fine James Harrison again?

  • Robyn S

    Celek is a beast. I’ll never forget him hurdling over Ed Reed when we played the Ravens two years ago. That game and that play was a highlight in an otherwise dismal season. After that crazy Oakland game last year when fans were gathered around the buses he was great about taking pictures and letting us say hi. All while slurping microwaveable noodles. A man after my own heart.

  • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

    Celek has been through a lot as a player.. from mcnabb to kolb to vick to foles from andy to chip… hope he finds a way to stay an eagle.