The Birds have never had anything like Zach Ertz.
Thank you is not enough, Zach Ertz. If Sunday night was the last time that we’ll see you in midnight green, we’ll never forget all of the memories. This year did not go the way any of us expected it to but saying goodbye is never easy. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to end. It doesn’t feel right.
It’s not easy to be an athlete in the city of Philadelphia, but you’ve embraced this city’s passion and attitude. No one can ever question your love for the game. You left everything out on the field. We’ll never forget your grit and determination even when it felt like all hope was lost. Very few players come along who battle the way that you did every Sunday. You just put your head down and went to work. It was always about Philadelphia on and off of the field.
Zach Ertz takes the NFL and the City of Brotherly Love by storm.
From the day the Philadelphia Eagles selected Zach Ertz in the second round of the 2013 draft, we knew we had something special. Your first career touchdown came in a magical game against the Oakland Raiders in which quarterback Nick Foles threw seven of them. Later that year, we saw you score the go-ahead touchdown in what ended up being a heartbreaking loss in the Wild Card round versus the New Orleans Saints. In 2014. We saw you develop right before our eyes with your first 100-yard game: 15 catches for 115 yards in Week 16 versus Washington.
One year later, we saw you develop into our starting tight end with your first 800-yard season. Fighting to keep hope alive in the last four games of the season, you racked up 35 catches for 450 yards. 2015 and 2016 both didn’t end the way we wanted but you gave us hope. 13 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the last game of 2016 was just a glimpse of what we would witness next season with you and Carson Wentz.
What a year 2017 was. What felt like a dream became reality. We couldn’t have done it without you: 93 yards in the season-opening win. the wild reception off of a Kansas City Chiefs defender in Week 2, Eight catches and a touchdown in the Jake Elliott 61-yard field goal game, two touchdowns in a crucial Thursday Night Football win over the Carolina Panthers to let the league know this team was for real.
There were nine catches to help clinch home-field advantage on Christmas night versus the Raiders. 93 more yards came in the NFC Championship Game. It was one for the history books.
Then, the Super Bowl win we waited our entire lives for happened. Without the fourth-down conversion or the dive into the endzone, who knows if we would’ve been celebrating on Broad Street on that following Thursday. Instead, that potential nightmare was avoided. Schools in Philadelphia were closed. Everyone called out of work. The Lombardi Trophy was finally ours. We were on top of the world.
You didn’t disappoint after that with your first 100 reception and 1,000-yard season in 2018 and the single-season receptions record for tight ends. Your 110 yards and two touchdowns versus the Houston Texans kept us alive in the playoff race. We thought we might have a chance at a repeat. You felt our pain when it didn’t happen.
Last year, your third-straight Pro Bowl season, you saved us on Monday Night Football with the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns versus the New York Giants. The injuries were piling up but you were still out there. Even after a lacerated kidney and crack ribs, you went back out there for the second half with the division on the line against the Dallas Cowboys. Two weeks later, you gave it your all in the Wild Card game we thought you had no shot at playing in.
If this is it, we thank Zach Ertz for everything.
None of this team’s past success is possible without you, the franchise tight end. The 2020 Philadelphia Eagles season was not what everyone had hoped it would be. If this is really where it ends, that doesn’t change what you did for this team and this city for the past eight seasons. We could not have asked for anything more. Your dedication and desire to win is unmatched.
More importantly, off of the field, you have used your platform to serve others. You’re not just a three-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl champion, and First-team All-Pro, but also a class act. Whether it was through the Ertz Family Foundation or just the love and appreciation you showed us, the fans, you impacted so many lives in this city. You always wanted to build up those around you and help out in any way possible. No amount of receiving yards or touchdowns will ever tell the full story of your time in Philadelphia. Whatever city you play for in the future will be lucky to have you in their community.
What a ride it has been, Zach. It’s one we’ll never forget. Once again, if it is time for a new chapter, thank you is not enough. You will always be a Philadelphia Eagle for life. With love from Philadelphia Eagles fans everywhere. We wish you all the best 86. Go Birds.