Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Dallas Goedert proves he should have bigger role in Eagles’ offense | Film breakdown

It took a few games, but Dallas Goedert showed why the Eagles made the tight end their two draft pick. His role on the offense should expand.

Eagles' Dallas Goedert catches a touchdown pass agains the Colts. Philadelphia Eagles win 20-16 over the Indianapolis Colts in Philadelphia, PA on September 23, 2018. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
Eagles' Dallas Goedert catches a touchdown pass agains the Colts. Philadelphia Eagles win 20-16 over the Indianapolis Colts in Philadelphia, PA on September 23, 2018. DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff PhotographerRead moreDAVID MAIALETTI

When the Eagles drafted Dallas Goedert in April, they spoke cautiously about his future. He put up impressive receiving numbers in college, but he played at lower level South Dakota State and was rarely asked to block. But it was evident in the spring that he could have an impact in his rookie season. That assessment didn't change during the preseason.

But when the season opened, Goedert hardly played. The Eagles were shorthanded at receiver, and yet, they utilized "11" personnel — three-receiver sets with guys like DeAndre Carter and Shelton Gibson — rather than "12" or "13" — two and three tight ends — with Zach Ertz and Goedert at the fore. The results weren't positive.

But Doug Pederson went heavy at tight end Sunday against the Colts and the Eagles had more success. Goedert played 55 of 82 snaps (64 percent) after seeing the field only 22.5 percent in the first two games, and caught seven of seven targets for 73 yards and a touchdown.

"It's just time to play and cut him loose a little bit and don't keep him back," Pederson said. "It was part of the game plan again to do that with two tight ends, three tight ends, but at the same time, as he gets more and more comfortable with the offense and find specific plays for him, he's just going to get better and better."

Goedert's blocking was the most encouraging part of his performance. It was just one game, but he had shown in the preseason that he was at least a willing participant. If Goedert can be as consistent moving forward, the Eagles will use Ertz more as a receiver — where he thrives — than as a blocker.

"It allows me to play in the slot, kind of work in space," Ertz said. "So if we can get that package rolling and he can hold up at the line of scrimmage so I can go out, it'll be beneficial for us."

Here's a closer look at Goedert's day against the Colts:


The Eagles used "12" or "13" personnel a whopping 55 of 86 snaps. Josh Perkins was the third tight end, although he could be considered a quasi-receiver based upon his size (6-foot-3, 223 pounds) and skill set. Goedert and Ertz are similarly sized — 6-5, 256 and 6-5, 250 — and big targets in the red zone. The rookie's first career touchdown was a rather easy one, thanks, in part, to quarterback Carson Wentz's pre-snap check.

Goedert: Carson changed at the line … I just saw the middle part like that. He threw me a good ball and looked off the safety nicely.

Wentz (No. 11) looked left to his first read, but he held the single high safety long enough so that Goedert (No. 88) stayed open. The Colts clearly had a blown coverage, but it was an opening-drive six points, nonetheless.

Goedert: Nothing better than getting the first one out of the way. It felt real good.


On this Wendell Smallwood (No. 28) 8-yard run, the Eagles were in "13" personnel. Ertz and Perkins were split in the slot, while Goedert was in-line. Goedert teamed up with right tackle Lane Johnson (No. 65) on a tandem block, and he got to the second level and did enough to slow the linebacker.

Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh: He was a big part of what we wanted to do running ball the other day. … A lot of combination blocks with tackles and he did a nice job sorting it out.

Goedert had some initial struggles one-on-one vs. ends. It's a tough assignment, but it's one he must handle. On this run the Eagles were once again in "13" with triple-barrel tight ends in-line. Goedert had trouble squaring up end Jabaal Sheard (No. 93) and running back Josh Adams (No. 33) was dropped for a loss.

On this play, Wentz kept on a run-pass option. That meant that Goedert would have to adjust his blocking post-snap based on Sheard's movements. Goedert grabbed the end as Wentz ran outside and was called for holding.

Ertz: That defense was a lot of movement, so it was a lot of communication and making sure you were on point in terms of executing the calls and the changing of the calls on the snap.

Goedert's blocking improved as the game progressed. He anchored on this Corey Clement third and two conversion and drove end Al-Quadin Muhammed back on his heels.

Goedert isn't much bigger than Ertz, but he's built differently, with a stout base. Strength isn't an issue.

Goedert: I don't think [strength] was a concern for anyone. It was more technique and they just never saw me [block] in college.


Three tight ends typically means the offense is going to run, but the Eagles have the personnel to throw the ball downfield. On this third quarter, second down throw, Goedert and Ertz ran vertical routes vs. a Cover 2 zone, with the former running a corner and the latter a post. Wentz hit Ertz for 28 yards.

Ertz: We got to be able to run the ball out of that formation initially so teams are accounting for us and they're not just thinking it's a pass play with two tight ends.


Ertz will likely line up more in the slot, but Goedert can handle those routes, as well. On this play, he shook off a bump at the line, maintained his corner route and caught a 19-yard pass.

Goedert: One of the things linebackers, defensive backs like to do it re-route you, slow you down, get you off your timing with the quarterback.

Wentz: He's very instinctive.

Goedert hasn't yet shown his full set of talents. He can high-point passes and be physical after the catch. On this short out route on the Eagles' game-winning drive, he delivered a little shot to the defensive back at the end of his run.

Groh: He's a big target down the field. He's easy to find and he can elevate and make plays above the rim, too. He's got really strong hands. He's just three games in, so we'll continue to put more and more on his plate.

With the matchup problems Goedert and Ertz present to defenses — linebackers aren't fast enough, safeties too small — it would behoove Pederson to get both on the field in his two-tight end "Tiger" package, even when receiver Alshon Jeffery returns. Former Eagles Brent Celek and Trey Burton each brought a different skill set to the tight end room, but having Goedert should create more opportunities for Ertz, rather than take away from him.

Ertz: The ability to move me around is something that we haven't had in the last couple of years. I pretty much played in the same spot for the previous two years that Doug's been here. And so, the ability to get me in different positions and the defense doesn't know where I'm going to be pre-snap could be huge for us and huge for the offense and hopefully I can make plays when my number's called. … We need him [Goedert] to develop. That's the bottom line. We need him to have a role.