Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni claims he’s not concerned about Dallas Goedert’s slow start to the 2023 season.
But should he be?
Through three games, Goedert — who is widely considered one of the best tight ends in the NFL — has caught just 13 passes for 88 yards.
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“I still think it's a small sample size,” Sirianni said. “There's always a combination of different things. Something may break down in a play when Dallas is supposed to get the ball. There are just so many different variations of what can happen.
“Trust me, I promise you, he's still part of the plan of wanting us to get him the football. We need to get him the football. Sometimes there's a dry spell in there, too, of what's kind of going on right now.”
Since the start of last season, the Eagles have been up front about their passing game. They’ll tell you it’s always going to run through A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Goedert, but not always necessarily in that order. But through four games in 2023 — which is just about a quarter of the season — both Brown and Smith have had their big games.
Brown already has 29 catches for 414 yards and 2 touchdowns. Smith has 22 catches for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns.
While Goedert is third on the team in receptions and yards, 13 for 88 isn’t exactly what the Eagles expected. Not for a guy who was on a 1,000-yard pace before injury last season and not for a guy who was consistently great all summer in training camp.
The success in the summer makes it even stranger that it appears Goedert and Jalen Hurts just haven’t been on the same page multiple times so far this season.
After Goedert’s Week 1 performance, when he didn’t have a catch on one target, most folks figured his time was coming. But in the three weeks since, he’s had 6 for 22, 5 for 41 and 2 for 25. And his yards-per-reception is all the way down to 6.8 after coming into this season with a career average of 12.1.
“Again, there are some different things that defenses are concerned of with Dallas that has affected some of his touches that he's gotten, and I'm not going to get into that,” Sirianni said. “I don't think that I need to get into that. It's definitely a little bit of both, right? He is a great player.”
On Monday, Sirianni brought up Goedert’s ability in the run game, calling him a “force,” which is fair. The Eagles have had one of the NFL’s better rushing offenses through four weeks and Goedert is a main component of that.
But the Eagles also need him to start producing in the receiving game. They didn’t sign Goedert to a four-year, $57 million extension a couple years ago to be a run-game blocker.
Sure, the Eagles are 4-0 but they’ve been far from perfect. And the passing offense has clearly been a work in progress. Getting Goedert more involved could help fix it.
Here’s a look at Goedert’s yards-per-game in his career:
Every season he’s been in the NFL, Goedert’s yards-per-game average has jumped. His minimal production in 2023 is obviously not where anyone expected it.
Sure, it’s a small sample size, but it has to be a tad concerning.
“He’ll get going. I'm certain of that,” Sirianni said. “But we have to do our job as coaches to get him going. But he is still a very big factor in the way our offense is playing right now because of who he is as a blocker and also who he is as a receiver and drawing that attention.”