Dallas Goedert can thank Travis Kelce for his Eagles success

GLENDALE, Ariz. — If Dallas Goedert makes a big play on Sunday to contribute to the Eagles winning Super Bowl 2023, he no doubt will give thanks to those who helped him along the way. At some point, he might actually credit someone wearing a Chiefs uniform for making it all possible.

Goedert might thank Travis Kelce, his tight end counterpart in the game. Is there some counterintelligence espionage going on here?

No, it is simply the unusual bond those who identify at tight ends have for those in the fraternity.

Goedert was an attendee this past summer at Tight End University, basically a think-tank and skills camp for NFL players at the position. It is the brainchild of Kelce, George Kittle of the 49ers and recently retired Greg Olsen, who all believe there is a brotherhood among those who play tight end and seek to share what they know with their competition.

For the past two summers, Tight End University took place at Vanderbilt University. It was a three-day workshop that attracts the best and brightest and also the young and upcoming at the position. The event also supports the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee.

Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert

Giants rookie Daniel Bellinger attended Tight End University this past June, just a few months after he was drafted.

Kelce, one of the best to ever play tight end, has spoken of his desire to mentor others who play his position.

“I don’t think the tight end position gets enough love [or] gets enough credit for everything we do out on the field,’’ Kelce said when he launched the project. “The tight end room, everybody loves each other, Everybody watches each other’s film, and I think it’s going to be cool to get everybody in the same building to truly try and make this position a staple in every single offense.’’

That would not happen at other positions. Can you imagine Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers organizing a quarterbacks club? Goedert is thrilled it happened at his position.

“We have a bunch of different people come up and speak,’’ Goedert said earlier this week. “Travis will talk for 30 minutes and explained his favorite five routes and why he does it and when he does it, things like that. And then George will talk for 30 minutes about different blocking techniques. We had Darren Waller talk about the choice route. This last year we had [former 49ers star] Dallas Clark come, we watched one of his Super Bowl runs in the playoffs, just played he made and things he thought of when he was playing.

“It’s so fun to listen and learn people’s different views on the game, different coaching points that their coaches might tell them, compared to what our coaches tell us. We always have a good time afterwards, too. Spending it in Nashville, there’s always a lot of fun to be had.’’

Travis Kelce
Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce
Getty Images

Goedert believes the lessons and tutoring have paid off. He joined the Eagles in 2018 as a second-round pick out of South Dakota State, the replacement for Brent Celek. Three years later, Goedert took over as the No. 1 tight end after the Eagles traded Zach Ertz to the Cardinals. Among the array of weapons for Jalen Hurts, Goedert is one of the most reliable. Though he missed five-plus games with a shoulder injury, he caught 56 passes for 830 yards and four touchdowns in the diverse Eagles offense.

Kelce is the main target for Mahomes. Goedert is not so for Jalen Hurts, who has wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith to throw to and his own legs to use when needed. Kelce can take over a game. If Goedert comes up big on Sunday, he will be able to thank Kelce, in some small way, for making it happen at Tight End University.

“My favorite thing is my first year there he said, ‘You got to know if a quarterback is doing a three-step drop or a five-step drop, because that tells you how many steps you can take until you can get open.’ ’’ Goedert said. “Things like that. Just his knowledge of the game. He knows when to get open, how to get open and why to get open. That just goes to show why he’s been able to do what he’s done for so long.’’

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