Three tight end set a weapon for Eagles' offense

Meghan Montemurro , The News Journal

PHILADELPHIA Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has received most of the attention on the Eagles' offense through the first three games of the season.

However, the Eagles' trio of tight ends Zach Ertz, Brent Celek and Trey Burton have the potential to take the offense to another level, beginning Sunday in Detroit. Their game against the Lions represents the first time this season that all three tight ends will be healthy and active. Burton did not play in the season opener because of a calf injury while Ertz (rib) missed the last two games.

With Ertz ready for Sunday, the Eagles won't need to use offensive tackle Matt Tobin in their three tight end sets.

"Think its going to grow this week because all three can catch passes no offense to [Tobin]," Ertz said. "Were really excited about that package and its going to open things up for the running game and passes because it'll be tough for the defense to go cover us in nickel."

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich is looking forward to utilizing his three tight ends and the mismatches it can create against the Lions' defense.

"You've got three guys who can block the point of attack, but yet they're also very good route runners and they're big bodies who present a different kind of a match-up dilemma for defenses if you're playing man coverage or in zone coverage," Reich said.

Burton's emergence as a more complete player this season has helped the Eagles be able to utilize all three tight ends. Burton, in his third NFL season, entered 2016 with only three career receptions, all of which came in 2015. But in his first two games, Burton has hauled in seven receptions (targeted 13 times) for 68 yards and a touchdown.

"You always want to figure out if the other team is looking at us as all big guys or small guys and see who the defense puts in while we're in," Burton said. "It's good when you have guys who are versatile that can catch and run and block. A lot of guys at this position can only do one thing and we're have a bunch of guys who can do a lot of things. That's why we're able to line up in a bunch of different positions and keep the defense on their heels.

The tight ends have been reliable options for Wentz, who has targeted the trio 26 times in the first three games. That number should jump dramatically after Sunday's game in Detroit. Ertz, Celek and Burton have combined for 17 catches and 198 yards in 2016. The Eagles are the only team in the NFL to have three tight ends with at least 55 receiving yards.

The three tight end set is more than just having more receiving options. Their ability to block can give a boost to the run game. Burton has worked hard to become a better blocker, and it's paid off for him as well as the Eagles' offense.

"We're out here for the same goal," Burton said. "None of us are selfish, jealous or anything like that. We just want to win."

these guyz are like 3 security blankets .