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The Eagles Should Pursue Leonard Pope

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 18:  Tight end Leonard Pope #82 the Arizona Cardinals attempts to make a catch in front of linebacker Akeem Jordan #56 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter during the NFC championship game on January 18, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Haran KnightCorrespondent ISeptember 5, 2009

The Philadelphia Eagles are still extremely thin at the tight end position and need to find a trusted backup to Brent Celek quickly.

Tony Curtis looked pretty good Thursday night, but what seems to have been forgotten is that the preseason finale was played mostly by reserves on both sides. His production still doesn’t convince me that it will translate into regular season success.

Celek already suffered a shoulder injury this preseason, so the Eagles need a reliable and experienced tight end to back him up.

I think recent ex-Cardinal Leonard Pope would be a decent pickup for the Birds. He has experience as a starter and his size (6’8”, 264 lbs) would help Philly in the red zone tremendously. His addition would make wide receiver Hank Baskett more than expendable.

Forget why the Cardinals cut him (lack of blocking technique). Pope’s skill set as a receiver benefits the Eagles and would make up for the loss of Cornelius Ingram.

One reason Pope didn’t work out in Arizona is Kurt Warner doesn’t utilize his tight ends much. Unlike Warner, Donovan McNabb relies on his tight ends a lot which is why L.J. Smith was considered such a disappointment even with 37 receptions last season.

If the Eagles signed Pope he wouldn’t have to start, but it would be extremely comforting knowing he can. He also would be a threat in two tight end sets that would make the Birds offense even more versatile than it already is……

 

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