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Brent Celek is being used as a pass blocker even more than last season. Is this the best use for the Eagles TE?
Brent Celek got off to a hot start this season with 4 catches for 65 yards in week 1 and 8 catches for 157 yards in week 2. Since then his production has tailed off a bit with 2, 4 & 3 receptions in each of the last 3 weeks.
Part of the reason, according to PFF, has been part of the Eagles adjustments to help protect Michael Vick. In fact, their game charting found that Celek has stayed in to pass-protect more than any tight end in the NFL in this year. He's actually staying in even more than last season.
In 2011, PFF found that Celek stayed in to block on 25.1% of pass plays, which put him behind mostly just blocking TEs for the highest percentage. This season, Celek is staying in to block on 28.2% of pass plays. That works out to be nearly 12 snaps per game where he's not even running a route on a pass play.
It's a bit of a catch-22 the Eagles find themselves in. For one, protecting Michael Vick is extremely important and with the rather porous offensive line, they need to rely on extra blockers to do it. The tight end, especially a good blocking one like Brent Celek, is an obvious candidate to be one of those extra blockers.
However, keeping in Celek to block takes away one of Vick's most dangerous weapons in the pass game. So while he's got more blockers, he's also got fewer places to go with the football.
So what's the solution? What would you do with Celek if you're Andy Reid?