Ertz Looking Forward to Continuity at QB Position
What Zach Ertz did Sunday was at the very least a bright spot and maybe even something of a sign of hope moving forward for the Eagles passing game. The four-year veteran caught 13 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in his latest season finale breakout game.. The way coach Doug Pederson spoke about Ertz on Sunday suggests he’s starting to view Ertz as his main weapon.
"He's a tremendous athlete, great player, and a big part of what we're doing," Pederson said after the Eagles win over the Cowboys. "I've been in those situations and been on teams where every week is a challenge for every player to get themselves ready to play. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, but Zach is really playing his best football here at the end, whether it was that play you mentioned or just the pride that he has to play at a high level, whatever it is. He's really come in and done some great things and really look forward to his future and continue working with him.”
Ertz seems to be at his best when the season is coming to a close, in 2015 Ertz closed out the year with a nine catch, 152 yard game against the Giants. In 2014, Ertz had a 15 catch, 115 yard game in Week 16 with the Redskins.
“For each and every NFL season, each game is just as important to me whether it’s in September or January," Ertz stated. "I’m focused on going out there and making plays. Whether it’s September or January, I love the game of football. So if there’s an opportunity to go out there and show what I can do, I’m going to do it. And honestly, each and every week is a job interview for us as a player. So I think guys have got to go out there and leave it all on the line each and every game. It’s also something positive that I’m finally going to have the same quarterback going into the offseason. So I think that’s why I’m really excited about next year.”
Overall, Ertz caught at least six passes in four of his final five games with 443 yards and three touchdowns over that span but got off to slow start this season, catching only 14 passes in the teams first eight games.
One big difference moving forward for Ertz should be the ability to finally work with the same quarterback for two offseasons in a row, its something he pointed out after the Dallas game.
“Just building that chemistry with Carson first and foremost, being on the same page each and every play against each and every defense," Ertz said. "There were at times, especially early on, that we weren’t on the same page and it showed. The chemistry that we had and the targets and the catches that we had earlier in the year. Then just consistently blocking, this is the first year that I’ve been 80% of the plays so just getting comfortable with that. I think yards after the catch is always something I can work on, something that hasn’t come naturally to me in the past. But I watch a lot of film to try and improve that aspect to my game. I think I took a step in the right direction in that regard these past couple of weeks.”