June 20, 2024   4 MIN READ

Double-Down On Dallas

Goedert Primed For '24 Bounce-Back


Combing through the Eagles’ 2023 season, which began with such promise only to flame out, the number of players who failed to meet their expectations was larger than expected.

But it’s important to differentiate blatant regression from schematic shortcomings or variables outside of a player’s control.

The Eagles essentially experienced a team-wide implosion down the stretch.

While some culprits have moved on, others will be counted on to fulfill a pivotal role in 2024, as the Eagles eye a rebound.

Taking all factors into account, here is my top bounce-back candidate for this season:

GETTY IMAGES: After a slight dip in his production, Eagles TE Dallas Goedert is primed for a bounce-back in 2024.

Dallas Goedert

A memorable performance from Goedert in Super Bowl LVII, in which the tight end corralled 6-of-7 targets for 60 yards, conceivably foreshadowed the long-awaited breakout heading into the 2023 season.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts, an MVP candidate in 2022, was widely expected to continue his trajectory toward NFL stardom in his third full season as a starter. Brian Johnson, Hurts’ quarterback coach during the Super Bowl run, was elevated to offensive coordinator last offseason to replace the departed Shane Steichen, suggesting the offense was primed to keep punishing opposing defenses.

The last time Johnson presided over an offense with a tight end in a similar realm to Goedert – when he was offensive coordinator for the 2020 Florida Gators – Kyle Pitts finished first on the team in touchdown receptions (12) and second in yardage (770) and receptions (43).

With that knowledge, coupled with star wideouts A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith commanding attention, the stage appeared set for Goedert to reap the benefits.

However, the offense was largely turbulent, lacking balance, consistency and creativity. The offense, as expected, primarily ran through Brown and Smith, who combined for 270 pass targets.

The mid-range passing game was largely neglected, with Hurts becoming overly reliant on the big play.

Surely there was room for another prominent option to better balance the target share.

Goedert’s average yards per reception (10.0) was the lowest of his career, dipping ever-so-slightly compared to the previous season.

Many of his receptions were of the quick-hit or horizontal variety, limiting his explosiveness and downfield impact.

While his 59 catches were the most of his career, his 592 receiving yards were his lowest receiving total since the 2020 season. Goedert, who produced only three touchdowns on the season, curiously didn’t factor much into the red zone equation, either.

For an offense that statistically illustrated potency, Goedert’s underutilization was perplexing.

It’s fair to point to Goedert’s availability shortcomings when viewing the full scope, as the tight end last season missed three regular-season games and hasn’t logged a full season since he was a rookie in 2018.

It’s also reasonable to wonder if at age 29, taking the hits that he does, Goedert’s likelihood of playing in all 17 games is feasible.

But the addition of new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who has a track record of involving the tight end, perhaps hints at a Goedert resurgence.

If spring practices were any indication, the short-to-intermediate passing game – largely absent from Hurts’ arsenal last year –  could be hallmarks.

It’s also worth mentioning that Goedert, who appears leaner than past years, was on the receiving end of some of Hurts’ best throws of the spring. The rapport was evident, as Hurts threaded the ball into tight windows.

Furthermore for Hurts, leaning on a safety valve like Goedert in critical moments alleviates some burden from the star quarterback, enabling him to take what defenses give him and keep the offense on schedule.

The addition of Moore is a major factor in swaying my decision, as I firmly believe the 35-year-old coordinator will draw up plays to get the ball into Goedert’s hands and take advantage of his ability to churn out yards after the catch, bringing some of the rhythm-based intermediate passing game to balance out the splash plays.

I’d also expect the seventh-year tight end to play a critical role in the red zone. If  Goedert can avoid the injury bug, a career-best 900-yard receiving campaign should be within reach.

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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