Friday, December 3, 2010

On Brent Celek

Celek’s Extra Effort On 3rd And 19 Was A Key To Win

Tight end Brent Celek embodied this victory more than anybody else. It wasn’t one of the best game he has played since he’s been an Eagle but he effort his exhibited and the way he stepped up his game with the contest on the line are worth singling out.

The Birds tight end caught four passes for 55 yards which isn’t anything to write home about, but his effort on a third and long, late in the fourth quarter allowed the Birds to put get the victory. A few plays prior to him getting the first down, Celek had moved early to cost the Eagles five yards.

He also let a ball go through his hands at the end of the first half which would have given the Eagles a 24-10 lead. This mishaps set up the play which ultimately decided the contest.

It was third and 19 late in the fourth quarter with the Birds leading 27-24, when Michael Vick hit Celek on a crossing route. The tight end was about ten yards downfield when he caught the football, so he headed upfield immediately with the thought of gaining the additional nine yards. Some how he wound up knocking the tackler backwards, so that he was able to roll and stretch with the guy under him.

Celek rolled and tried to stretch to the first down marker. The referees ruled that Celek hadn’t made it to the sticks because they thought he was down prior to stretching the ball. They didn’t realize Celek wasn’t down because on top of the guy who was trying to tackle him.

Wisely after some coaxing from Celek, Andy Reid challenged the ruling. Everyone held their breath, knowing that Reid’s track record of challenges isn’t a good one. I can’t recall him coming out on top of a challenge in a long while.

Reid was reminded of that during last night’s news conference and he sarcastically thanked the reporter for bringing that fact up. This worked out as the team was awarded the first down and a few plays later, Vick hit fullback Owen Schmitt with a short touchdown throw.

“That was a rough one”, Reid said. “It was one of those traffic throws where he’s coming out of a lot of bodies and the ball was low and in front of him. They were blitzing us on that play, and he was very upset and felt that he should have made that catch. He came back and later made one of the bigger plays in the game. I’m proud of him.”

The effort by Celek will be the play I remember most in that football game. He battled through the earlier mishaps and made the play when it needed to be made.

“Listen, whatever I have to do to help this team win, that’s what I’m going to do”, Celek said after the game. “If it’s pass-blocking, run-blocking, catching the football, whatever it consists of I’m going to do it, because right now the feeling after winning is ultimately the best.”

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