Falcons: Justin Peelle named tight ends coach

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Arthur Smith continues to make underrated coaching hires, as his staff is getting close to complete


Justin Peelle was a name I wasn’t familiar with, but his track record speaks for itself:

Peelle joins the Falcons having served as the tight ends coach for the Philadelphia Eagles for the past six seasons. Peelle played a large role in the development of three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz, who recorded 525 receptions over his first seven seasons, the most receptions through a tight end’s first seven seasons in NFL history. Ertz, who caught the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl LII, also owns the single-season receptions record (116 in 2018) by a tight end in league history.


Under Peelle’s tutelage, Philadelphia’s tight ends recorded the most receptions (417) and receiving yards (4,388) of any team in the NFL over the past three seasons.


Originally selected by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Peelle played in the NFL for 10 seasons with the Chargers (2002-05), Miami Dolphins (2006-07), Atlanta Falcons (2008-10) and San Francisco 49ers (2011) and recorded 123 receptions for 1,003 yards and 12 touchdowns in 151 career games.


Zach Ertz & Dallas Goedert were fantastic in Philly, and Peelle only lost his job because he was a casualty of Doug Pederson and the Eagles parting ways. Even guys like Trey Burton have shined under Peelle, so hopefully he can guide Hayden Hurst to a breakout year and help Atlanta decide if he’s worth bringing back. His 5th-year option hasn’t been announced yet, so this may be make or break for Hurst in Atlanta. Tight End will be a need in the draft, so he should have some young talent to develop alongside Jaeden Graham if he is brought back.

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