The Philadelphia Eagles Need To Start Zach Ertz


Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As the Philadelphia Eagles are inching closer and closer to their first preseason game on August 16th, one thing is crystal clear, the team needs to start third year tight end Zach Ertz. The Eagles have three official practices under their belt and Zach Ertz has showed out in each one. Even before training camp, Zach has proved himself in OTAs and mini camp. Now that the team is heading toward meaningful games, it’s time to unleash the beast that has been held back in previous years.

The biggest knock on Zach Ertz was always his blocking. As a tight end, the blocking part of the game plays a huge role in whether a player at that position is a complete one. Zach was always lacking in this area, but as a receiver, he was deadly. Zach has the ability to shake linebackers with exceptional route running, and to box out corners and safeties with his 6’5 250lbs frame.

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Zach has put in the hard work this offseason to reach this point. Ertz called upon legendary tight end Tony Gonzalez to pick his brain, and trained with an offensive line coach to improve his blocking, and trained with Fox insider Jay Glazer at his MMA style gym. Zach Ertz is making the most out of his chances this summer.

The difference in Ertz game even has head coach Chip Kelly noticing the difference in the young tight end. Kelly praised Ertz earlier this summer for his handwork –

"“His footwork, hand placement and things like that have really improved, but now, when you get to days like this, hopefully things continue on.”"

It’s gotten to the point where the Philadelphia Eagles must take the training wheels off Zach. Hertz has been held back because of the consistent Brent Celek. Brent has given the the Philadelphia Eagles everything he has, but Brent’s game is starting to erode. Celek is is still a great blocker, but as a pass catcher, Brent is starting to hold the team back.

Even during this training camp, Celek has struggled with drops and fumbles. Obviously its still early, but these are signs that the Philadelphia Eagles need to start Zach Ertz. The team needs to give Zach a shot, and throughout this summer, he’s trying to force the coaches hand with his stellar play and good attitude. With Celek in decline as a pass catcher, and Ertz improvement as a run blocker, its time to see how high Ertz ceiling is.

Zach Ertz might never reach Brent Celek’s level of blocking, but he doesn’t really have to. Zach is a huge mismatch for all defenses and has the upside to be a perennial pro bowler unlike Celek. Brent has given the Philadelphia Eagles a lot of good years, but it’s time to pass the torch and see what Ertz can do as a full time starter. The coaches see Zach’s improvement, the fans see it, and the national media sees it. Zach Ertz needs to start.

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