Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is a rising star in the NFL. He fits the trend the league is heading towards as an athletic, versatile tight end that can line-up basically anywhere on the field and win one-on-one matchups. But Ertz is still hungry to get even better this offseason and has worked with various former NFL players to sharpen his craft, especially his blocking.
In a recent appearance on NFL Network’s Total Access, Ertz phoned in to discuss various topics regarding the Eagles and his girlfriend, Julie Johnston, being a star on the U.S. women’s national soccer team. Yet Ertz made one statement that will likely grab all of the headlines and that was the team’s apparent goals for the upcoming season.
“It’s all about team goals,” Ertz said. “We wanna win each and every game we go out there and that’s the goal, 16-0 for us right now.”
This will likely be blown out of proportion and people will say “OMG EAGLES UNDEFEATED!? LOLZ,” but this should be every single NFL team’s goal during the offseason. No team should go into the season saying “oh, well we will probably go 8-8,” that just doesn’t happen. Will players usually openly say 16-0 is the goal as Ertz did? Probably not but it’s nice to see that the young tight end is so confident.
After all, Ertz has put in a ton of work this offseason, as he noted in a post on his new website, ZachErtz86.com. Ertz has made it a point this offseason to work on his blocking and received help from a former offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys, Hudson Houck. Here’s what Ertz had to say on his site regarding his offseason goals:
"When the 2014-15 season ended, I set a goal for myself: to be on the field next year each and every play, and help lead our offense. To do that, I had to continue to improve my blocking.I’ve been lucky enough to watch Brent Celek block over the past two years. He’s got great technique, and he’s been successful at it for a long time. I’ve learned a lot from him, and wanted to keep building on that foundation. I reached out Hudson Houck, a former offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Hudson is basically the guru of blocking, so I headed down to San Diego a couple months back to train with him."
If Ertz can truly improve his blocking to the level which he is working for, he should be in for a breakout season in 2015. Ertz showed what he is capable of when he’s on the field with his performance during Week 16 against the Washington Redskins this past season. Ertz hauled in a team record 15 receptions for 115 receiving yards against the division rivals.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg for Ertz and if he can consistently see the field more in 2015, watch out NFL. Considering the Eagles lost wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in free agency, other players will have to step up and replace his production. Ertz could certainly see an uptick in both his snaps and receiving numbers during the upcoming season. He already has the attitude and work ethic to be an elite tight end in the NFL but only time will tell if he’ll actually reach that level.
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