Take a look out onto the practice field at the 2019 Eagles Training Camp and it's impossible to miss the quality of play tight end Dallas Goedert brings to the offense. He's big, he's fast, he runs good routes, he separates from defenders, and he's a great pass catcher. In any other offense, Goedert starts and stars.
But with the Eagles, Goedert is a backup to Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz. This is a dynamic twosome that elicits conjecture among the media: How can the Eagles use more of their 12 personnel package (one running back, two tight ends) to take advantage of Goedert and Ertz on the field together?
Of course, the same can be said for a lot of the personnel groupings here. The Eagles have depth at wide receiver for when they want to go three-wide. They have running backs who can move around the formation and line up as receivers. They have tight ends who can move off the formation.
What the Eagles have is a lot of talent throughout the offense. And it's a natural thing for every great football player to want the ball. Like, a lot. But if everyone is a me, me, me guy, well, it's not going to work.
The Eagles insist, day after day, that "team first" is the way it's going to be. Winning trumps all else.
"I think when you're young and you really don't understand how much fun it is to have team success, it's hard to be unselfish," Ertz said. "I think for this team, a lot of us have had great individual success, but I can speak from my own experience and say that team success is a lot more fun even if your numbers are slightly lower.
"I think everyone is focused on one thing, and that's playing late in the season. Whatever it takes, it's way more fun to win the Super Bowl than it is to have a lot of catches."
Check out what the wide receivers have been up to so far during camp!
Nobody is getting ahead of anything here. This is a day-by-day proposition, and the Eagles are acutely aware of how early in Training Camp we are and that they will be, once the season begins, a hunted team. If everyone has his personal stats in mind, the team structure breaks down.
For a team with such a strong veteran presence and unselfish leadership, that doesn't appear to be a problem. From Ertz to Goedert to DeSean Jackson to Alshon Jeffery to everyone, the team is the thing.
"It's going to take everyone working together to make it work. I don't care about how many times I'm targeted," Jeffery said. "I just want to win. That's our goal each and every week."
The Eagles put on pads for the first time on Saturday, and a Carson Wentz strike to Goedert was one of the offensive highlights. The team's first draft pick in 2018, Goedert's talent is undeniable. He makes it happen when he's on the field.
So how much will he play? That's to be determined, along with everything else. In the meantime, Goedert is showing great maturity early in his NFL career. He knows there is only one football amid a deep treasure trove of talent. And the Eagles, they know what they've got here. Goedert is a special talent who has to be a big part of this offense.
"The guy is explosive, gets down the field in a hurry, he's a big target. He has soft hands. He's easy to spot down the field. Had a really explosive play, a really good-looking play there to Dallas," offensive coordinator Mike Groh said.
"Even more than that, he is continuing his development on the line of scrimmage as a blocker, really understands the game and the communication it takes to not only play his position but next to the tackle and all the things they have to get done together. He was really strong at the point of attack and continued to improve all year long last year."
How many reps does that get you? How much does it matter? As long as the Eagles are winning, everything takes care of itself. As camp moves on, the Eagles are building depth and creating new ways to defeat a defense with their versatility.
One unselfish step at a time.
"We had a lot of good players in college," said Goedert, a standout at South Dakota State. "We had a wide receiver who was getting a lot of touches, so I had to split touches with him. We were winning games, so that's all that mattered.
"Obviously, I want to be the guy that's getting all the touches and doing all of that, but that's just not realistic with the team we have, the skill players we have, the weapons we have. I'm going to go out there and try my hardest but winning is the number one thing for me. It doesn't matter if I have the ball or if I'm blocking for someone else downfield.
"We all have a really good relationship on this team. I think we can be unselfish and do really great things together."