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Who is the Eagles Biggest Surprise This Season?

By Zach Gershman, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

As of Friday morning, the Philadelphia Eagles have a 500 million to 1 chance of making the playoffs, so it is safe to say that this season is done for the birds.

This football season had a ton of unexpected twists and turns. It started off with the Eagles hiring Doug Pederson as their new head coach. Then, Howie Roseman traded what seemed like every draft pick for the next three years for a kid out of North Dakota in Carson Wentz, who is now the franchise quarterback. With the injury to Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Roseman pulled a couple of strings to trade Sam Bradford in exchange for a first-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The Eagles had a ton of surprises this season. Whether it was using three long snappers in one game or having an FCS athlete lead the team on the field each and every week, the Eagles always managed to keep the fans hands on their head and on the edge of their seats.

There hasn’t been any positive news for the Eagles in the past 11 weeks. The team is 2-8 since the bye week and Wentz has lost his game that everyone compared to Peyton Manning. So, who has been the biggest surprise this season?

Trey Burton is the biggest surprise this year for the Philadelphia Eagles. Burton made the team in 2014 as an undrafted rookie out of the University of Florida. Last year, Burton was on the field for only 69 snaps, while he had just three catches. This year, that has changed.

The Eagles tend run a three tight-end package on offense. The offense was to open up big plays for Zach Ertz, but it has given Burton more opportunities. Entering this season, Burton had only four career catches. In the last two games, Burton has 12 catches for 118 yards. Wentz has targeted the Florida product 47 times.

Burton was signed to the Eagles because of his amazing special team skills. On Sunday against the Redskins, he was in for a special teams treat. Eagles long snapper, Jon Dorenbos had to exit the game due to a wrist injury which was ultimately season-ending. His replacement was Brent Celek, who also got hurt later in the game.

After Celek, the Eagles had nobody to do the long snapping for field goals, extra points and punts. Burton and Mychal Kendricks were having long-snapping tryouts on the sideline but Burton’s leadership and willingness to do something he hasn’t done since Pop Warner led him to becoming the long snapper for the rest of the game.

Burton has had a remarkable season thus far and has been Wentz’s top target of late. It has helped Burton go from an undrafted free agent signing to a reliable member of the offense and special teams in just a few weeks.


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