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Ertz Recalls Record-Setting Day


Tight end Zach Ertz has put up modest numbers through three games this season, catching eight passes for 93 yards. As he looks to get things turned around, he'll have a chance to do so this weekend against a Washington team that allowed him to catch 15 passes, a team record and tied for the second-most catches ever by an NFL tight end since 1960, for 115 yards during last year's late December meeting.

Despite those lofty numbers, Ertz isn't putting too much stock into past performances.

"When my number is called, that's the only time I can go out there and make a play," Ertz explained. "I can't focus on whether I'm getting 18 targets like I did last year against Washington or two targets like I did last week. My approach to the game doesn't differ. My goal is to go out and make plays for this team and ultimately help this team win.

"Our job is to go out there and make plays when we get our number called. If guys are focusing on how many times the ball is coming to them, then they're not focusing on making a play when the opportunity is there. I've learned in the past that it doesn't matter how many balls are coming my way. My job is to make a difference for this team, whether it's in the run game or the pass game."

In fact, Ertz said that his record-setting performance didn't even really sink in until after that game had ended, and with the game resulting in a crushing loss and all but ending the Eagles' playoff chances, Ertz had other things on his mind when the clock hit all zeroes in Landover, Maryland.

"It wasn't really until after the game when some of the guys were like 'Dang, man. You had 15 catches. Congratulations,'" Ertz said. "I thought that was great and all, but we didn't win the game. That was very frustrating, to be so close and have so much riding on the game and lose the game, it was very frustrating."

While Ertz's numbers aren't quite where he'd like them to be at this point, he's not the only member of the Eagles' offense looking to be more productive. The offense, as a whole, is still looking to fully click as a unit and reach their potential. Still, the tight end thinks the team is heading toward finding a rhythm.

"I don't think we're too far off," Ertz said. "I think it just takes one or two drives to get us going, and then once we get rolling then the confidence will be back and I don't think we'll be stopped from there. We just have to get this thing rolling.

"If you have third-and-8 and you drop a ball for 9 yards then you can't really go down the field anymore. You have to go to the sideline and talk it over again, but I think we are very close. Guys aren't stressing about it. We know we have a very formidable offense once we get this thing going, but at the same time, we have to go out there and execute."

As for his own personal numbers, Ertz believes it's just a matter of time before he and his new quarterback Sam Bradford are completely in sync and ready to put up big numbers.

"I think the opportunities are going to be there more and more as the season progresses," Ertz said. "Sam gets more comfortable with me, I get more comfortable with him, and I think that goes for all of the rest of the guys as well. Sam and I didn't have a true Training Camp. He wasn't really out there for most of OTAs when we were out there, so I think we're kind of learning on the fly together. But I think that we're going to have the opportunity to turn this thing around."

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