Zach Ertz wants to be the very best, like no one ever was. Just ask him.
"I want to be the best," Ertz said after Eagles practice last week. "I’m not going to settle for anything less than that. That’s the goal I’ve had each and every day since I was a little kid. To be the best in everything I do. I don’t think there’s any reason I can’t do that."
These aren't just empty words. Ertz has spent a lot of time working on his game this offseason. One of the ways Ertz has aimed to improve is seeking the advice of NFL legends. Ertz recently wrote about this topic in a blog post at his new site, ZachErtz86.com. Ertz notes he worked on his blocking with former Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck. The Eagles have already seen some progress in Ertz's blocking, so working with Houck may have really helped out.
Another legend Ertz teamed up with is Tony Gonzalez. Ertz wrote about what it was like to work with the future Hall of Fame tight end:
"We talked about a lot of things. When it came to football, we talked about the steps I needed to take to go from being good to great. We talked about little things — the nuances of how to run a certain route, what’s advantageous against certain coverages, that sort of thing. He also talked about the importance of having a routine. He had a routine of greatness that he would do every day. He felt it gave him the edge over the competition in the long run.
He also really focused on the mental side of the game. We put so much into our bodies physically and emotionally, he explained, that we kind of ignore training the brain, and learning new ways to train the brain. That’s kind of what we talked about. He reads a lot of books about mental training and successful CEOs to understand what makes them successful. That’s some of the knowledge that he imparted on me."
Although Ertz says he wants to be the best, he also says he's not concerned with individual statistics.
"I’m ready to get better every day," Ertz said. "The only numbers that I truly, truly care about is the wins and 16-0 is the goal for us. Obviously, it’s going to depend on how we play on each and every game but I think that’s the goal we have right now. Getting better each and every day."
Ertz certainly seems primed for a big year in 2015. He's looked great in spring practices this offseason. He's caught everything thrown his way, which is often. Eagles quarterbacks love throwing to him because he gets open and makes plays.
Speaking of Eagles quarterbacks, Ertz touched on Sam Bradford and more of the new Eagles players in his blog post. He raved about DeMarco Murray:
"He’s also one of the hardest working guys that I’ve ever been around. He has a tremendous work ethic, the kind of guy who holds everyone else to a higher standard than they might reach on their own. He also has — I don’t know how to describe it, exactly — basically, a personality that you don’t really want to mess with. He’s the kind of guy you always want to keep in your side of the ring, and he’s going to help our team a lot."