To borrow a line from Mark Twain reports of Brent Celek's football death have been greatly exaggerated.

A subpar season and the offseason arrival of two heralded tight ends - free agent James Casey and second-round pick Zach Ertz - had a lot of people in these parts ready to put the 6-year veteran out to pasture.

But when the Eagles open the season in less than 2 weeks against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field Celek 28 once again will be their starting tight end.

"I love this offense" he said. "Just from a communications standpoint. It's amazing how fast you can execute it."

The Eagles have run 225 offensive plays in their first three preseason games. That's an average of 75 per game which is more than any other team in the league.

For Celek and the rest of the Eagles' receiving corps more plays means more opportunities for catches and big plays.

He has seven receptions in the preseason which is the most he's had since his rookie year (2007). Productive preseasons don't necessarily translate into productive regular seasons. But it's been clear from watching Chip Kelly's offense operate this summer that the 6-4 255-pound Celek still is going to be a big part of the Eagles' passing game.

Last year Celek came out of the blocks fast catching 12 passes for 222 yards in season-opening wins over the Browns and the Ravens including an eight-catch 157-yard Week 2 performance in the Eagles' win over the eventual Super Bowl champions.

But then the music died for both Celek and the Eagles. They lost 12 of their next 14 games and he had just one touchdown catch and notched more than 60 receiving yards just one more time the rest of the season (73 against the Cowboys in Week 13).

"I don't really care about my stats" he said. "What was so frustrating was the losing. Losing game after game. It's rough on you. Those bumps and bruises hurt way worse when you're not winning."