PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Eagles’ first dress rehearsal revealed a few things Thursday night, when the defending Super Bowl champions hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles lost, 31-14, but that didn’t matter.
What did was the play of Dallas Goedert, the tight end out of South Dakota State who the Eagles took with their first selection and 49th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. All the 6-foot-5, 256-pound did was look like the best player on the field at times, catching four passes for 66 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass from Nate Sudfeld in the second quarter.
Goedert looks like he’ll be able to snare anything thrown within his vicinity this season. When you add Eagles’ Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz to what Goedert may be capable of doing, it looks like a match-up nightmare for every defensive coordinator tasked with trying to stop the Eagles this season.
Sheldon Gibson, the Eagles’ fifth-round selection in 2017 who looked completely lost last season, is emerging as someone who bears watching in the receiving corps. The Eagles are set in this area with a strong group of Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins all back.
Entering the preseason, Gibson was in the second-tier group of Marquess Wilson, rookies Anthony Mahoungou and Tim Wilson, Bryce Treggs, Markus Wheaton, Greg Ward and Rashard Davis. Now, it appears Gibson has emerged as the fifth wideout and someone could be a nice part of the Eagles’ return game.
Here’s a preseason version of some of the good, some of the bad, and some of the ugly that took place Thursday night.
Rookie tight end Goedert’s four catches on five targets, including a touchdown and receptions for 15 and 26 yards.
Wide receiver Gibson, whose 63-yard TD reception showed what he can do when he reaches a comfort level. He finished two passes for a team-high 77 yards.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox had a sack on the Steelers’ first drive of the game.
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld was a little all over the place. This is the good, so we’ll focus on his two TD passes.
Running back Corey Clement’s five carries for 30 yards, and two catches, one that converted a third-and-five and led to Sudfeld’s 15-yard TD strike to Goedert.
Sudfeld’s two interceptions fits well here. The first was all on him.
Punter Cameron Johnston, who is taking over for the retired Donnie Jones, may have a big foot, he doesn’t possess the direction ability of Jones. Johnson has had a rough summer, and though he booted an 81-yard punt Thursday night, which was called back due to a penalty, he hasn’t shown he could flip the field the way Jones did.
Yes, it’s the punter, but he’s also the holder, and if the Eagles may have a problem this year, this is the area where it may be.