Brent Celek doesn't complain.
The 32-year-old tight end and longest-tenured member of the Eagles used to put up numbers. He used to be a receiving tight end and nearly had a 1,000-yard season back in 2009.
But as Celek has aged and after Zach Ertz was brought in, his role has changed greatly. He has become a backup and a blocker. And his attitude hasn't changed one bit.
That's exactly why he has been named the Eagles' nominee for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. All 32 teams nominate a player. The award, which recognizes players who "exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field," will be handed out on Feb. 3.
"He's a team player, ultimate Philly guy," tight ends coach Justin Peelle said last week. "Brent's the best. Ever since Zach got here, he's welcomed him with open arms, he's taken him under his wing and has shown him little things here and there. It's never been a competition. Brent's whole thing is he just wants to win. Brent understands that it takes all 53 guys to win. Brent has been a really good role model for Zach and Trey so that's just who Brent it. He's the ultimate team guy and that's what you love on him."
This is the fourth year for the award, named after the late owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Frank Gore (2016), Charles Woodson (2015) and Larry Fitzgerald (2014) have won before. The Eagles nominated Darren Sproles last season.
Coming into the Denver game, Celek had just four catches for 33 yards on the season. Against the Broncos, with Ertz out, Celek caught three passes for 39 yards.
After the game, Celek admitted it felt "great" to be involved in the passing game, even if it was just for one week (see story).
Celek still has some ability as a pass-catcher, as he proved against Denver, but he's not going to take opportunities away from Ertz, who has been the most productive receiving tight end in the NFL this season.
And Celek probably won't take away many opportunities from Trey Burton, who has also proven to be a viable option in the passing game.
But Celek doesn't complain and his attitude has rubbed off on all of the tight ends.
"I think that whole room has that mindset of it's all about the team," Peelle said. "There's no individual. Whatever the tight ends can do to help the team win, that's what they're going to do. They all buy into that and they all believe that. That's the great thing about coaching those guys."