Eagles’ tight end Harbor making most of opportunity

Philadelphia tight end Clay Harbor catches a touchdown in the first half against San Francisco on Sunday, Oct. 2, in Philadelphia. — AP PHOTO/JULIO CORTEZ

There weren’t many bright spots in the Philadelphia Eagles loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week. One player who certainly stood out other than Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was tight end Clay Harbor. He had three receptions for a career-high 55 yards and one touchdown on a spectacular 16-yard pass from Vick.

“The touchdown was really a great play by Mike,” Harbor said. “If you watch it over again on the film, I’m in my half. In my part, I run a blitz out. I run a four-step out and Mike was looking front-side to the play. He had pressure and you see him duck over a couple of guys.

“Then, I saw him break out and scramble. I turned up field. It’s the old scramble drill. If you’re short, you go long. I tried to sneak behind the cornerback and got there. The cornerback was beaten inside. Mike put the ball where it needed to be. It was exciting. I got my first score of the year.”

Harbor, a 6-foot-2, 252-pounder, should be a factor again when the Eagles face the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, New York on Sunday, October 9 at 1 p.m. (Fox Channel 29.) The Eagles have utilized him as a blocker as well as a receiver. Harbor gives the team a lot of depth with Brent Celek, Eagles starting tight end. Harbor has four receptions for 72 yards and one touchdown.

Harbor was a fourth round pick out of Missouri State by the Eagles in the 2010 NFL draft. He was a three-time All-American, setting a school record with 150 career receptions for 1,906 yards and 10 TDs. In just his second year, Harbor seems to be making a sold impact.

“Every week I’m getting way more comfortable and more confident at tight end,” he said. “I think whatever I can do to help the team win, whether it’s blocking or receiving, I’m going to do that.”

The Eagles have a 1-3 record and are in last place in the NFC East. The Eagles relinquished a 20-point lead in their loss to the 49ers. Nevertheless, Harbor feels the Eagles have some positive signs heading into Sunday.

“If you look at the film, our offense is looking real well,” Harbor said. “We had 500 yards. If you rush and pass for 500 yards on offense, that’s usually a 40-point game. And we have a lot of good things on tape. We just have to clean up the red zone turnovers. We’re one of the top five offenses in the league, but we’re one of the bottom three in turnovers [too.] If we eliminate that then we’ll be right where we need to be and we could be 4-0 right now. We still have a lot of confidence as a team and we’re worrying about going to Buffalo and getting that ‘W’.”


Contact staff writer Donald Hunt at (215) 893-5719 or dhunt@phillytrib.com.

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