Eagles earn huge opportunity for fine-tuning by facing Mike Gesicki

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /

August nears its end. The Philadelphia Eagles are hanging out in South Florida with a Miami Dolphins team that, in many ways, is similarly constructed. The Fins have a new coaching staff (though Nick Sirianni and company exceed them in experience having already worked together for a full season). They’re also trying to determine if their quarterbacks (who are both in their third seasons and are also former teammates) are the guys that they want to rely on moving forward.

Miami, like the Birds, features a dynamic wide receiver duo. Both teams have playmakers on both sides of the ball and a young star at the tight end position that could be great for a long time.

Dallas Goedert is, without question, a top-ten player at his position, and we’re confident in stating that he could be top-five if used appropriately. Miami has a young star in his own right, Mike Gesicki.

According to a story by Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed, he’s been mentioned as a possible trade piece seeing as how he’s set to earn $10.9 million in 2022, but he’s still a Fin for now, and despite a Thursday morning cancellation of the second joint session, his presence benefited the Eagles defense on Wednesday as they continue to get ready for the regular-season opener.

Seeing Mike Gesicki this week allows the Eagles to fine-tune one of their weaknesses.

Ironically, Mike Gesicki was taken in the same NFL Draft and same round as Dallas Goedert albeit seven spots earlier at the 42nd-overall selection. Much has been made of the Eagles’ star secondary and how it matches up with some of the better receiving corps on their schedule, and rightfully so. There isn’t anyone who wouldn’t be intrigued by seeing Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle compete on the same practice field during a couple of days of joint practices. Here’s something to think about though.

We know Philly can stop the run. We know they should be better at pressuring the quarterback this season, but last year, they were torched at the second level by opposing tight ends, and they could be vulnerable there again in 2022.

Last year, no NFL defense surrendered more receptions to tight ends during the regular season than Jonathan Gannon’s group (107). They were also guilty of giving up the most passing touchdowns to tight ends. Try 14 of those on for size. We’ve said all of that to say this.

The Dolphins are seemingly a more loaded team than the Cleveland Browns. The defense was torched on day one, and the offense didn’t look much better versus Miami’s defense.

In fairness, the Eagles’ defense was missing a lot of talent from its secondary. That won’t be used as an excuse by anyone though. That happens in the NFL, so as advantageous as it is to see Philly’s secondary test itself versus a great receiving corps, it must be mentioned that the better watch might come in seeing how they function versus one of the game’s best tight ends.

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Don’t forget about the fact that they’re void of a bigger corner or strong safety that can cover good tight ends consistently this time around, so again, the second level of Philly’s defense could be a desired area for opposing offensive coordinators to attack. That’s where the defense may wind up being the most vulnerable.