After going above and beyond last year’s expectations, the Philadelphia Eagles offense is certainly a unit that people have their eyes on. Tight end Zach Ertz is a key piece in this exciting offense looking to make a splash in his second season.
At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Ertz is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. In his rookie season he played all 16 games, gaining 469 yards on 36 receptions with four touchdown receptions. In coach Chip Kelly’s dynamic offense, those numbers are sure to skyrocket.
The reason Ertz is a matchup nightmare is because of his speed. He ran a 4.68 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL Combine, a very solid time for a player of his size. This speed makes him a serious threat being defended by a linebacker when going over the middle of the field.
On the flip side, if you line Ertz up in the slot he can power over just about any cornerback in the league due to his size and blocking ability, his main area of focus during the offseason. Ertz’s ability to line up and execute from several locations on the line of scrimmage make him a versatile weapon that Kelly knows how and when to use.
Ertz is often ignored because he is viewed as the second tight end on the roster behind veteran Brent Celek. Celek is also coming off a very good season and is an excellent blocker and another key piece in coach Kelly’s scheme.
In last week’s open practices against the New England Patriots, according to CSN Philly, Ertz received very positive reviews from some of their defensive stars. Pro Bowl safety Devin McCourty was quoted saying that, “[Ertz] is a good tight end, an athletic guy, really stretches the field.”
In an already exciting offense, Ertz is going to be utilized in just about every way possible. This even includes dual tight end sets where he is lined up along with Celek. These types of mismatches that he can create are going to be a thing of beauty for an already surging Eagles offense.