Goed­ert’s size, speed turn­ing heads in mini­camp

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bob Grotz bgrotz@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @BobGrotz on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA » Im­me­di­ately af­ter Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice, Ea­gles rookie tight end Dal­las Goed­ert got to­gether with a visi­tor from South Dakota State Univer­sity, where he de­vel­oped into a sec­ond-round draft pick.

Jason Eck is the of­fen­sive line coach and rungame co­or­di­na­tor for SDSU. He watched the en­tire prac­tice. And while Eck of­fered en­cour­age­ment, he also asked about the align­ments used by the Ea­gles.

“He’s look­ing for a few things that SDSU could do bet­ter,” Goed­ert said. “He’s a great guy. He was great to me at South Dakota State and he wants the best for all of the play­ers from there. He’s kind of here sup­port­ing me.”

The ap­ple hasn’t fallen far from the SDSU tree. Goed­ert is learn­ing the pro game from the likes of Zach Ertz.

Goed­ert has stood out in mini­camp by his sheer size. The 6-5, 256-pounder has long arms, big hands and the feet to run any num­ber of pass routes.

What Goed­ert lacks is knowl­edge of the of­fense. In­stead of break­ing off a route to go get the ball, he lets de­fend­ers get in the way. Or he runs the wrong route and lets de­fend­ers get the ball.

When ev­ery­thing clicks, Goed­ert looks like a Rob Gronkowski knock­off. Quar­ter­back Car­son Wentz, who shares the same sports agency with Goed­ert, thinks the real tight end will show up once the hit­ting be­gins.

“He looks good,” Wentz said. “A lot of free agents and young guys I’ve been im­pressed with. Just know­ing Dal­las, I think once we throw the pads, on that’s when you’ll re­ally see. I think any time you play a po­si­tion like that with a body frame that he has, I think once you put the pads on and let him bang around a lit­tle and be phys­i­cal I think he’ll re­ally kind of step up.”

Widely con­sid­ered a first-round prospect, Goed­ert slid to the sec­ond round partly be­cause the level of play on SDSU’s sched­ule and the lack of so­phis­ti­ca­tion in its of­fense. He’s smart enough to know that study­ing Pro Bowl tight end Ertz is his ticket to po­ten­tial star­dom.

“Be­ing able to watch him and see how he does it, how he goes about his day, I mean he’s a true pro­fes­sional,” Goed­ert said. “A great guy to kind of men­tor me and for me to fol­low his lead. I just try to fol­low in his foot­steps be the pro­fes­sional he is. It’s just go­ing to set me up for suc­cess.”

Ertz had growing pains when he ar­rived in Philadel­phia in 2013. The sec­ond-round pick out of Stan­ford stud­ied Brent Celek, who caught 398 career passes for 4,998 yards and 31 TDs be­fore the Ea­gles re­leased him af­ter the Su­per Bowl.

Ertz is im­pressed with the size and speed ra­tio of Goed­ert.

“He’s com­ing along great,” Ertz said. “He’s phys­i­cal. He’s able to use his body. He has re­ally good hands, long arms. We’re ex­cited to see him in pads come the fall. But I think right now he’s re­ally do­ing well kind of pick­ing up the of­fense and do­ing ev­ery­thing we’re ask­ing him to do.”

*** Ea­gles head coach Doug Ped­er­son said cor­ner­back Sid­ney Jones, who sat out the OTA’s and the first two days of mini­camp, is deal­ing with sore­ness.

“Not re­lated to his Achilles,” Ped­er­son said. “We’re just rest­ing him, mak­ing sure he’s 100 per­cent.”

Jones wasn’t around for com­ment. He spent most of last sea­son re­hab­bing from a torn Achilles’ ten­don sus­tained at his pro day at Wash­ing­ton.

“We’re tak­ing pre­cau­tions,” Ped­er­son said. “Again, this is not the time that we’re go­ing to push any­body. We’re not go­ing to put any­body out there that’s nicked-up, banged-up. We want to make sure ev­ery­body is ready to go for train­ing camp.”

*** The Ea­gles hired Jerome Reid as head ath­letic trainer. Reid most re­cently worked on the Ti­tans train­ing staff.

The Ea­gles chose not to pro­mote their in­house can­di­date, life­long Philly res­i­dent Joe O’Pella, who was made as­so­ciate head ath­letic trainer. He’s in his ninth sea­son with the Ea­gles’ staff.

Reid re­places Chris Pe­duzzi, who stepped down af­ter 19 sea­sons with the Ea­gles, the last five as head ath­letic trainer.

*** NOTES » The Ea­gles for­mally put line­backer Paul Wor­rilow, of Con­cord High and the Univer­sity of Delaware, on the sea­son-end­ing in­jured re­serve list with torn knee lig­a­ments. … First-year cor­ner­back D.J. Killings picked off Nick Foles in 7-on-7’s Wed­nes­day. Nine more of those and he’ll make the 53-man ros­ter. … The Ea­gles prac­tice Thurs­day af­ter­noon and pick up their Su­per Bowl cham­pi­onship rings in the even­ing. “I have no idea who’s go­ing to be there, what per­form­ers are go­ing to be there,” Ertz said. “My wife is go­ing to be there so that’s go­ing to be prob­a­bly the high­light for me.”

CHRIS SZAGOLA - AP

Philadel­phia Ea­gles tight end Dal­las Goed­ert catches ten­nis balls dur­ing prac­tice at the NFL team’s train­ing camp, Wed­nes­day, in Philadel­phia.

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