He had a taste last week against the Chargers, 14 snaps when the Eagles had three tight ends on the field, to get a feel for just how fast the regular season is, to understand how physical it is at the line of scrimmage for a young man new to the position. Tyree Jackson made it through, gained some experience and some perspective, and now he's gearing up for Denver on the road today, a piece of raw talent the Eagles are excited to develop.
"Tyree did a good job," Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen said the other day when asked about Jackson's NFL debut. "Obviously, that was his first time getting out there playing. He's a big body for us. We like his athletic ability. So, we'll keep looking at him moving forward."
The Eagles aren't saying a whole lot about Jackson because there isn't much to say quite yet. The story of Jackson's transformation from collegiate quarterback to NFL tight end has been well chronicled and, in reality, the thought process truly took flight about one calendar year ago, so let's keep things in perspective: The Eagles were impressed with Jackson through the spring and summer until he suffered a back injury in Training Camp, and now he's in his second week of being on the active roster and healthy. He's a long, athletic ball of ability who has a lot to learn and who wants to absorb every bit of knowledge possible.
"The time I was out, I got to learn a lot of football, got to learn a lot about tight end. Sit back, be with my coach (Tight Ends Coach Jason Michael) more and learn from Dallas (Goedert) and those guys who were out there playing. It was tough but definitely a blessing in disguise, maybe. For me, I just have to control what I can control and get better each day. Making the transition, there are going to be ups and downs, I'm just going to continue to get better each day."
When the Eagles traded Zach Ertz to Arizona, Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman made it a point to say that the team wanted to see Jackson in action moving forward, so here he is part of a three-man rotation that also includes rookie Jack Stoll. Jackson wasn't targeted against Los Angeles as the Eagles had a run-heavy menu with the three tight ends on the field. His time is going to come, one of these weeks. Jackson is potentially a favorable matchup for the Eagles in the passing game at 6-feet-7, 249 pounds.
It isn't just about running routes and catching passes at the position, of course. Jackson has worked hard on his in-line blocking and the Eagles clearly trust him enough to call his number. Jackson played quarterback at the University of Buffalo and decided last year, when he wasn't on an NFL roster, to move to tight end.
He's doing his homework, studying cutups of the Eagles' tight ends and others around the league who have similar skill sets. Every day is a new day to learn the way of the tight end world in the NFL.
"There is so much to learn. I'm doing everything I can do to get better every day," Jackson said. "I always believed in myself. I always thought I had a chance to be here. It's awesome, but I know that I have a lot to learn. I know there's a learning curve and I am going to grow and learn new things every day. I've enjoyed this and I'm going to put in the work to be the best player I can be."