Zach Ertz and the Philadelphia Eagles are just a few days into training camp, but that hasn’t stopped the excitement surrounding this group of Eagles receiving threats. That’s understandable, given the amount of talented and experienced receivers and tight ends on Philadelphia’s roster.
With so many great NFL talents on the roster, some outsiders may presume that there aren’t enough touches to go around. But this group understands that each one of them will all have their chances to shine, and that being selfless will lead to more team success and stress opposing defenses.
“I think when you’re young and you really don’t understand how much fun it is to have team success, it’s hard to be unselfish,” Ertz said. “I think for this team, a lot of us have had great individual success, but I can speak from my own experience and say that team success is a lot more fun even if your numbers are slightly lower.”
The seventh-year pro out of Stanford knows both feelings from his time in the NFL. Ertz reeled in an astounding 116 receptions for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns last season. His marks were remarkable for a wide receiver, let alone a tight end. While his season was fantastic, the Eagles fell short in a heartbreaking 20-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round. On the flipside, Ertz caught 42 fewer balls in 2017-18, but the Eagles hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. He clearly wants the second feeling, not the stats.
“I think everyone is focused on one thing, and that’s playing late in the season,” Ertz said. “Whatever it takes, it’s way more fun to win the Super Bowl than it is to have a lot of catches.”
Alshon Jeffrey, another one of Carson Wentz’s big-bodied receiving threats, has echoed Ertz’ sentiments.
“It’s going to take everyone working together to make it work. I don’t care about how many times I’m targeted,” Jeffery said. “I just want to win.”
The Eagles need this mindset heading into the season, as Wentz will have to spread out targets between Ertz, Jeffrey, Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor among others. It’s a good problem to have, especially with the team buying into the goal of winning, rather than racking up individual accolades.
Multiple receiving threats also give the Eagles chances to excel at every area of the passing game. Ertz, Goedert and Jeffrey all excel in the redzone, while the addition of Jackson gives Philly an elite downfield target with game-breaking speed.
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) July 26, 2019
Jackson’s career-best season in terms of receptions, yards and touchdowns came in 2013, which also happened to be the only season Ertz and Jackson ever played together in Philadelphia. The Eagles led the NFL in yards per pass attempt that season, and they finished fourth overall in points per game.
Philadelphia hopes to rekindle that magic this season with players like Goedert and Jeffrey now in the mix as well. The team certainly has the talent it takes to go deep in the playoffs, and with the selfless offensive philosophy, the Eagles could be shaping up to be one of the league’s most daunting offenses in 2019.