Thanks to our friends over at Campbell’s Chunky Soup, BGN Radio was able to take a few minutes with Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz just before Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft to get his thoughts on the offseason and his outlook for the 2017 season.
On how married life is treating him:
“Everything has been fantastic, the wedding was great and I was happy some of the guys were able to make it out there. The only thing that sucks is Julie and I have been on opposite coasts practically after the wedding, so there is a lot of late night flights but I couldn’t be happier.”
On newest teammate Derek Barnett:
“When I watched the SEC games this year, I caught a lot of Tennessee’s games. He was always the guy that stood out just when I was casually watching on TV. So when [Joe Douglas and Howie Roseman] went back and watched more tape I am sure that he popped out even more. It’s gonna be a huge opportunity for him to come into Philly and compete with some of the guys that we already have coming in here. We have got a lot of very talented [former] high draft picks at that position. It’s gonna be a huge competition for the room. I know that Philadelphia and Campbell’s was fully supportive of him coming here when is name got called. I am sure he’s really excited to be here as well.
On what the Eagles need to do to improve from last year:
“I think that for our team we just have to be more consistent. There was so many highs and lows, not only throughout the season but in-between drives and plays. We would have a great play and then a have a negative 5 yard play or a plenty. We have to be more consistent on both sides of the ball. For me personally I have to stay healthier earlier in the year. Not having the ability to develop a chemistry with Carson [Wentz] early in the season really hurt. And obviously I haven’t had an opportunity to develop that with any QB since I’ve been here. But that’s the thing, we all [as an offense] got excited once Carson was drafted because we know he’s not going anywhere for along time. From year to year we didn’t know who the QB of the future was going to be and going into this season it’s really nice that we don’t have to think about that anymore.”
On what he’s trying to do to stay healthy:
“I’ve just had some really weird and unfortunate injuries in my career so far. I ripped my groin muscles, which I don’t recommend to anyone … Then I got an injury that is one of the rarest injuries that happen in football, a displacement of the first rib. It’s really frustrating but that’s all football and it’s out of my control. But I also have to do a better job of taking care of my body in those situations and that doesn’t mean I am not gonna dive for a ball or anything, I just can’t be so reckless. I am not gonna help my teammates but being on the injury list.”
On working with Carson this offseason:
“Yeah we have been getting together. Obviously he’s been all over the place in North Dakota and on the East coast and I was primarily on the West coast primarily at the beginning of the offseason. But he was at the wedding so we we’re able to catch up there. We’ve been throwing every now and then since we got back [to Philadelphia]. Plus we’ve been doing some appearances together, [jokingly] I am always letting him know that I am around for those.
As much as we will all debate the legitimacy of Zach Ertz as a huge play-maker, it’s not hard to understand that a rotating carousel of quarterbacks since his rookie year is not exactly a recipe for success. But you could tell with Ertz, and the other members of the Eagles offense, they do have a different pep in their step knowing who their QB is coming into this season. If the chemistry between Ertz and Wentz can continue to grow, I think that will be the key to this season — even more so than Wentz throwing to Alshon Jeffery. Being the 1B/2nd playmaker with this new crop of WRs would open a lot of doors to this Eagles offense and certainly more touchdowns. But even if Ertz has the same kinda of track as he has in the past where he come on late in December and January, hopefully this time it will be during a run to get to the playoffs.