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Philadelphia Eagles News

TE Brent Celek And GM Tom Heckert

Tom Heckert

Opening Remarks: "First of all, we're very happy to have Brent signed to an extension here for the next few years. I think—I was talking about this today with some of my scouts, we send our scouts out to the colleges and stuff—our main goal, and we talk about this every year during the draft, we want tough guys, smart guys that love football. Brent, he's that type of guy. We're very happy to have this thing done."

Brent Celek

On when the conversation regarding a contract extension began: "They started speaking with my agent at some point; I don't know how long ago it was. I try to keep my mind off it. I let my agent take care of it with them. They finally came to an agreement and I was happy with it and we signed it."

On his deal revealing that he is in the company of top paid tight ends like Dallas TE Jason Witten: "It makes me feel good. I'm happy to be a part of this organization for the next few years. They run this organization in a first-class way. This is the only organization I've been to, but when you talk to other players that are on our team that have been on other teams that's all they talk about, is how great it is here and how us young guys, we don't understand how it is to be on other teams, but that being here is the best team that they've ever been on."

On going into this season as a full-time starter for the first time: "My ultimate goal is to be a starter here and help this team in any way that I can. Coming into this season, just like I have every season, I worked by butt off day in and day out. I give it 110% every day and that's just the type of guy I am. That's not going to change. I didn't think about a contract situation. I didn't think about anything but winning a Super Bowl. That's our ultimate goal here, is to win a Super Bowl. In working towards that this is just a byproduct of that. Still my main goal is to help this team win a Super Bowl."

On whether he feels that this contract helps stabilize his role in this organization: "I felt stable before. This is nice for my family and me. I'm happy that I can spend the rest of my career here hopefully. Definitely the next seven years. I'm extremely happy here and I love my teammates and I'm here to work towards that one goal."

Tom Heckert

On whether he sees Celek in a similar role as Witten is in with the Cowboys: "Definitely, obviously for the last few years in the NFC East everybody's (been) talking about the tight ends, mainly because we have to cover them and defend them. I think with the (Redskins TE Chris) Cooleys and the Wittens and when (former Giants TE Jeremy) Shockey was here, those type of guys; it was a major part of their offense. We feel the same way about Brent and we think he's right in that class."

On whether the approaching Collective Bargaining Agreement affected this deal: "I think it was the same thing with (T) Winston (Justice). There's a group of guys that we sat down talked, (head coach) Andy (Reid) and (president) Joe (Banner) and (owner) Jeffrey (Lurie) and (director of player personnel) Howie Roseman, we sat down and the guys that we wanted to go to, we just talked and we didn't even think about the CBA. We knew guys, there's a chance that they're going to be up here pretty soon and so we just talked to them and if it worked out great and if it didn't we just see what happens with the CBA. It really didn't have a lot of an effect on what we're trying to do."

On whether Celek revealed his athleticism in college or if he has developed that: "I was kidding him about this the other day, there was some question about his speed and then in the bowl game he broke one and out ran a bunch of guys for a touchdown so I said, 'I guess he's fast enough.' The tight end position especially, but it's the same as a wide receiver, you don't have to be the fastest guy, you don't have to be the biggest guy, it's a combination of a lot of things: being smart, being able to get open and using your body. Brent can tell you this, just getting open, however you do it it doesn't matter. You don't have to be the quickest, fastest guy. Just if you get open you get open and you catch the football. That's the main thing."

Brent Celek

On whether there was a moment on the field when everything clicked: "I wouldn't say there was definitely a moment. I would say last year during that Seattle game I kind of felt like I can play in this league and I can play here a long time. That was one moment. I try to do everything the same way every week and the outcome is what it is. I work hard week in and week out."

On whether he worries that signing a six-year extension now will keep him from making more money in the future: "I tell you right now that I'm set and I'm happy with my deal. I can promise you that I won't be up here complaining about my deal because they put trust in me by signing me early and giving me financial security for the rest of my life, and I owe it to them to play out my deal. That's personally how I feel and that's how I'll go about my business."

On this thumb: "It's getting a lot better."

On whether the thumb was a problem for him Sunday: "It bugged me a little bit, but my thumb is no excuse. I don't care if I didn't have a thumb; I should still be able to catch the ball."

On when in the game he hurt his thumb: "I think it happened after a catch. I really didn't know when it happened. When you have adrenaline rushing through you it's hard to tell sometimes when you get injured, and then you'll come off on the sideline and start to feel it. I think it happened after I caught a ball and then got tackled."

On whether his hurt thumb will keep him from playing Sunday: "No, I should be okay for this week."

Tom Heckert:

On Celek's character playing a role in contract negotiations: "It's huge. Obviously we don't want to give a lot of money to guys that we don't feel real comfortable with in that aspect. But, the other guys that whatever, I know what you guys are alluding to, they're good guys. We haven't given money to guys that we've thought are going be an issue or problem. It's just the guys that we do extend, it's just one of those things, we feel comfortable doing it and hopefully what happens sometimes doesn't happen all of the time. It's just part of the deal here."

On what a dependable tight end means to this offensive system: "It's huge. You even go back to when (former Eagles TE) Chad (Lewis) was here. He caught a lot of balls for us. Any time you can add another weapon without adding another receiver, when you can keep guys in base defenses and have a threat it's a huge deal for us. We don't want to go four wides all the time and have to complete passes doing that, so any time you have a guy who can catch the football as a tight end it's obviously an added bonus."

On whether Celek's strong start this season led to this contract: "I think even last year, obviously in the playoffs Brent had a big playoffs. It wasn't a real surprise to us, so I don't know if it meant much to us to be honest. After last year we obviously comfortable that going into this year he was going to be our guy, we didn't do any thing in free agency or in the draft. We drafted (TE Cornelius) Ingram, but that was kind of mid-round. We felt comfortable with Brent being our guy."

On what it means for the organization that they have signed a lot of young talent to multi-year deals: "I think we have a pretty good mixture. We do have a lot of young guys and they're fortunately or unfortunately, however you look at it, with some injuries they have to play. Fortunately for us so far they've stepped up and they've played well. I do think we have enough veterans and guys who have been around, and even guys like Brent, guys that actually played for us in the past, they know how to at least talk to the younger guys and let them know what to expect. We're expecting to be a playoff team and this season is going to be a lot longer than what they're used to. I think we have enough veteran leadership that they can sit down with those guys and let them know how we do stuff around here."

Brent Celek

On whether he feels like he needs to be a leader on the team: "I definitely think I need to be a leader on this team. I think we have a lot of great leaders on this team with (QB Donovan) McNabb, (RB Brian) Westbrook, (WR Kevin) Curtis, guys on defense, but I need to show some of the young guys what to do on certain things and how to carry themselves. I'm ready to accept that role and I feel like I've done that in some cases already."

On whether he thinks this contract will help his ability to lead: "Maybe it does a little bit. I try not to think about that at all. We all go out there and play football day in and day out and we don't think about our contracts like you guys might think we do. It's still a game to us and it's just like when were five, six years old playing it. It hasn't changed. We go about it the same way and once you're off field then you think about the other stuff."

On what it means to him that the Eagles have shown so much faith in him: "It makes me feel good. I'm definitely happy to be here for a long time like I said before. I think from the day I came in here I tried to do the right thing every day and work hard and not complain, not do anything to upset anybody and I think now that that has paid off."

Tom Heckert:

On the importance of locking in youngtalent: "It is (important). Obviously, everybody talks about the financial aspects of it, but it's nice, we always say this before the draft, before free agency, it's nice to have basically your core group of guys locked up one way or another and not have to go out into free agency or the draft saying we need this position, we need that position. That's when the mistakes happen. The more guys we can have under contract and obviously the young guys and the guys we expect to be here for a long time, it's the best case scenario.

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