The first question out of the shoot to tight end Dallas Goedert when he sat down to meet the media in early June made all kinds of sense, because everyone kind of, sort of wonders the same thing: What is the ceiling for you in 2022 with an offense that returns largely intact and with a new, proven veteran standout receiver in A.J. Brown joining the party?
Goedert's answer was straight from the "this is how veterans answer this kind of question," but within that, well, there was a hint of high expectations.
"I just want to keep getting better each and every day. I think I can get better every day. I think there's a lot I can improve on and keep getting better, which is a really exciting thing," Goedert said. "I was able to learn, work on some things in OTAs (Organized Team Activities), get a few corrections from the coaches and keep using this time to get better and get ready for a big season this year."
Goedert's time since the OTAs ended has been and continues to be busy – he is moving into a new home (sorry, Avonte Maddox is not included in the plans) and he's working with Lane Johnson at Johnson's home workout facility. Additionally, Goedert attended Tight Ends University, a camp that featured many of the best in the league and so, really, the work is never done.
And, yes, the "getting better every day" mantra continues in the second season under Head Coach Nick Sirianni for Goedert.
"There are a lot of things to work on," he said. "I think that's always going to be the case."
He has the right approach, and Goedert also is correct to think big things are in store for him and the Eagles' offense. Brown, a physical, catch-and-run receiver, provides a new dimension to an attack that last season led the NFL in rushing the football and featured rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith in the passing game. Goedert took over as the No. 1 tight end once the Eagles traded Zach Ertz to Arizona, and in short order he then signed a contract extension.
As Training Camp nears, Goedert is optimistic about what he sees from the offensive personnel.
"We've got a lot of good players," he said. "It sets us up to be in a good position at the start of the year."
In 15 games last season, Goedert produced a career-high 830 receiving yards, fifth among tight ends in the entire league. It was an impressive step forward for Goedert, who had 56 receptions and four touchdowns. He will open Training Camp with the starters for the first time, so it's natural to think Goedert will have a chance to have a greater impact on an offense that is, on paper, extremely well-balanced and able to create favorable matchups across the board.
That's the idea – win in a variety of ways. And having a tight end like Goedert who can do it all – catch, run after the catch, score touchdowns, block in the running game – is a big part of the offense's vision.
"People are going to have to focus on A.J., focus on Smitty, focus on me, focus on Jalen (Hurts). We've got a lot of good pieces and we need to continue to build and grow and use each other to get better each and every day," Goedert said. "That's a mindset that isn't going to change for us."
Goedert is the veteran in the tight end room, so his leadership skills will also be important in 2022. He understands what is ahead for the offense and for this football team: Another step forward after reaching the postseason in 2021.
"The goal is always to win the NFC East and make a run," he said. "I think it's been that way every season I've been here."
This year is different in many ways, of course, starting with the fact that Goedert is The Guy. So even if he's not saying it out loud, you know he's thinking it inside: Big things are ahead, and Goedert is spending every day working toward making that happen.