After reuniting with Carson Wentz, Duce Staley, and Doug Pederson through the opening 4 games of the 2022 season, the Philadelphia Eagles will say hello to another former franchise great in the way of Zach Ertz when the Birds travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals.
Zach Ertz will go down as an Eagles legend
Zach Ertz was second in Eagles history in catches, fifth in yards, and seventh in touchdowns following a nine-year career in Philadelphia. His touchdown catch in Super Bowl LII helped give the Eagles their first Lombardi Trophy.
Ertz carried himself the way fans in Philadelphia always want their athletes to. In the end, although Wentz and Pederson both left unceremoniously, it’s Ertz who we can argue should be honored as much or more for his time in Philadelphia.
Deep down, Zach Ertz still bleeds green
For the former Eagles tight end, the love he has for the city of Philadelphia is just as strong today.
“I was there for nine years and I really felt Julie (wife) and I grew up there. We gave everything we had to the city and we felt that love and passion each and every day. We have such a connection to the fans and comunnities.” Zach Ertz said to reporters Monday afternoon. “Can’t put into words how much the city means to us. The team was so close. I still talk to a lot of those guys that are still there. The city is just special.”
Zach Ertz helped the Eagles win the Super Bowl in 2017-18 and was a key locker room presence throughout two head coaching changes in 2016 and 2021. While he has tremendous memories about his time with the Eagles, the three-time pro bowler understood that the end of his tenure was a bit rocky.
“The last 18 months in Philly weren’t easy and most people didn’t know much about it.” Ertz said. When pressed to expand on the difficulties of the last year in Philadelphia, Ertz declined to comment.
Since Ertz has been traded, the Eagles have gone 11-5 including their lone playoff loss to Tampa Bay last season. The strong 4-0 start to the 2022 campaign hasn’t caught the Cardinals tight end off guard though.
“I’ve been watching from afar, but obviously excited about the team. They have a lot of talented players. A lot of guys that have played a lot of football.” Ertz explained. The tight end also touted the “culture being set a long time ago” by players like Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox.
But the Eagles go as their quarterback goes, and no quarterback has taken a larger leap this season than Jalen Hurts. That isn’t a shock to Ertz either.
“I know Jalen is one of the hardest working players I have ever been around. Even though we didn’t play together a long time, we were able to throw after practice and after training camp and work on our craft. I’m not surprised by the success he has had.” the Cardinals tight end said.
When the Eagles get set to take on the Cardinals, they’ll face their franchise tight end for just the first time, and they’ll do so in the Arizona heat.
But that doesn’t mean that Zach Ertz will ever forget about the city of Philadelphia. With most of his family still living there, and charity organizations continuing to run in the city, the Ertz family will have a long-standing love and affection for the Eagles fanbase.
Even if they are on opposite sides of the field on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire