What Should The Philadelphia Eagles Expect From Zach Ertz?


Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles selected tight end Zach Ertz in the 2013 draft with high hopes. Ertz has steadily improved throughout his first two seasons and is a prime candidate to have a monster year. The 24 year old out of Stanford has all the talent in the world to become a top tier tight end in this league, so what should the Philadelphia Eagles and fans expect from Ertz this upcoming 2015-2016 season?

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Many thought that Zach Ertz would have his breakout season last year, but as it unfolded that wasn’t the case. Instead, Ertz made steady improvement and had a solid season even though he may not have met many lofty expectations. The amount of work and progress Zach made from his rookie season to his second season was still admirable.

Ertz put up classic rookie numbers for a tight end in 2013 with 36 catches, 469 yards, and 4 touchdowns. As the Philadelphia Eagles expanded his role last season, so did his numbers. Ertz finished the 2014 season with 58 catches, 702 yards, and three touchdowns. Zach definitely had some highlight reel moments last season like making a diving touchdown catch over the New York Giants best corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, leaping over a Dallas Cowboys defender, and racking up a franchise record 15 catches in one game against the Washington Redskins.

Even with limited playing time due to Brent Celek and his ageless play, Zach Ertz has still managed to put up great numbers while playing less than 50% of the snaps. Zach Ertz has proven that if you put a linebacker on him, you might as well just give him the catch because he’s too good of a route runner, and if you line him up against a corner, Ertz just bully’s them as he has the ability to out muscle smaller defenders. The main reason for Ertz lack of playing time has been his blocking, or lack thereof. Brent Celek is still one of the premier blocking tight ends in the NFL and that has made getting on the field on first and second down difficult for Zach.

The one good thing however has been Zach Ertz willingness to constantly work on his craft and that includes his blocking. Head coach Chip Kelly prides himself on selecting players that have high talent and high personal character. Zach Ertz possess both of these traits and has really been putting in the work during this offseason to improve his blocking prowess. There has been chatter that the improvement Zach has made in improving his weakness is already evident. 

If the coaches sentiment about Zach and his blocking translate onto the field, then NFL defenses should watch out. If Zach can play all three downs, a huge jump in production isn’t that far from being a reality. Expectations continue to grow and it looks like the 2015 season will be a great one for Zach. With a new quarterback at the helm in Sam Bradford, Ertz and Sam are already making plays this offseason. The talent is obvious with Zach, and to pair that with his willingness to work everyday is a recipe for a big season.

The combination of talent and character are a perfect combination to develop into a great player. The Philadelphia Eagles envisioned big things when they selected Zach Ertz with the 35th pick overall, and it’s looking like those visions might come to fruition. Zach Ertz is primed to have a monster season and reach that potential that could land him in the pro bowl. Eagles fans should keep an eye out for Zach this upcoming season. The Philadelphia Eagles will be expecting big things from their third year tight end.

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