“I’m loving it to be honest with you,” Ertz said. “We got a lot of good guys that have come in and just, I think, truly bought into the culture that we have created. Sam [Bradford], Kiko [Alonso], DeMarco [Murray], Byron [Maxwell], some of the other guys. So it’s been a lot of fun just being out there at practice and just practicing with them.”
Ertz wants to step his game up this season and be a starter, but he’s going to need to take the starting spot away from Brent Celek. To do that, he must prove he can run block, which means coming off the line at the snap of the ball and physically manhandling defensive linemen or linebackers. You can see and hear that the third year tight end has that on his mind.
“I want to be more consistent on the blocking side first and foremost”, Ertz said. “If I can do that it’s going to get me on the field more and open up some things in the passing game for the team and add another extra threat when we’re running the ball that they’ve got to be thinking about the pass. That’s kind of what my mind and focus has been on this off season.”
Unfortunately for him, OTA’s aren’t the time to prove that he can block, so right now, he’s just catching the football and getting ready for training camp. Ertz loves the fact that the Eagles workouts are an atmosphere for improvement.
“The culture that we’ve created over the past three years is one, that we want guys to come in and work every single day,” Ertz said. “Guys are, I think everyday, have a singular mindset of getting better and I think that’s important for the team. If you want to be the best and bring a Super Bowl home to Philadelphia I think that’s what it’s gonna take. I don’t know if we had that before, but I think now we do.”
Like the rest of the squad Ertz is on board with Chip Kelly and he believes in everything the coach is doing.
“He’s gonna do everything in his power to make you as good as you can be and I think that’s all you can ask as a player, of a coach,” Ertz said about Kelly. “I think all the players truly love playing for him and that’s why everyone’s bought in.”
As for what it would be like to play a regular tempo for another coach.
“I honestly don’t know, and I don’t want to know, what it would be like to go to another NFL team and see how slow their practices would be because we get so many more reps and each and every day is like conditioning. I mean it’s a lot of fun, the uptempo.”
You can tell what is on the mind of a young player like Ertz. He wants to make a big jump in production this year by taking the starting tight end job from Celek, after proving he can run block. More playing time would mean an 80 catch season for over a 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns. It would force the Eagles to start talking contract extension with him and he could possible wind up playing his full career here for the Birds.