Philadelphia Eagles

Will Brown limit Smith and Goedert's targets?


DeVonta Smith had more yards last year than any rookie in franchise history.

He needs the ball.

Dallas Goedert had 830 receiving yards, 5th-most among all NFL tight ends … and he was only a starter half the season.

He needs the ball.

Quez Watkins averaged 15 yards per catch in a breakout season.

He needs the ball.

They all need the ball, and now add A.J. Brown to the equation and it's easy to wonder how all these guys are going to get enough targets.

It’s a fair question, and Goedert had the perfect answer.

“I’m not too worried about my targets, I don’t think Smitty’s too worried about his targets, I don’t think AJ’s too worried about his targets,” he said recently.

“I think collectively we all want to win games and we’re willing to do whatever it takes. He comes from a heavy run team, we were a heavy run team last year, so I don’t think anybody’s too worried about it. We’re just worried about getting better right now.”

The Eagles were credited with 468 targets last year, slightly fewer than their 494 pass attempts, mainly because of throw aways.

But if they throw the ball 10 percent more and then you eliminate Jalen Reagor’s 57 targets, there’s another 100 targets, which would presumably be distributed mainly among Brown, Smith and Goedert.

“I was really excited,” Goedert said about the Brown acquisition. “Watching him, he’s a tremendous player, he’s a physical person on the field. I’m just excited to watch what he does when he gets the ball in his hands. To have him on the field I feel like it’ll just make everybody on the offense better.”

It would have been easy for Goedert to be frustrated last year.

Once the Eagles finally traded Zach Ertz, and he finally got to be a full-time starter for the first time in his career, the Eagles turned into a run-first offense, which isn’t conducive to piling up stats.

Goedert finished the season with the 17th-most targets among all NFL tight ends last year but the 5th-most yards.

That tells you how productive he was.

His 10.9 yards per target is 5th-highest by any tight end since 1992, when the NFL began tracking targets.

He finished with 830 yards. Safe to say in a passing offense he would have been well over 1,000 yards.

“I’m not really one that sets personal goals,” Goedert said. “You know, it’s a team game and everything relies on that so much that if you set receptions or yards, stuff like that, and you become a running team and you don’t throw the ball as much, you might get upset but you’re winning games.

“So really for me, the goal is just to win games and be the best I can be.”

Goedert is already pretty darn good.

He’s got the 7th-most yards of any NFL tight end since 2019, and 2022 will be his first full season as a starter.

“Each day I want to improve,” he said. “I want to win my 1-on-1 match-ups every play. So for me it’s really just worrying about the small details day in and day out, getting better each and every day, being great on that day, and there’s definitely things to work on.

“But numbers-wise and stuff, I want 100 catches and 1,000 yards, but that’s everybody who has a chance to receive the ball. So I don’t really worry about that too much.

"I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win games and make the postseason for the fourth time and hopefully we’re able to win some games this time in the postseason.”

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