Zach Ertz has said it a bunch this season, but he means it. If the Eagles aren’t winning, he doesn’t care about his stats.
That’s even more impressive when you think about his stats.
Because Ertz isn’t just having a good year. He’s putting together what will likely go down as one of the best seasons a tight end has ever had in the NFL.
But since he’s the leader of the Eagles’ tight ends room, statistics don’t really matter in there. In fact, it took some of his fellow tight ends a while to realize just how special Ertz’s season really is. In the end, though, Ertz’s season is too special to not realize.
“You’re just scrolling through Instagram and you just see a bunch of posts and things like that about Zach breaking records,” Richard Rodgers said. “We obviously all know how good he is and how good we are as a group, so I don’t think anything surprises us, but when someone’s playing at a high level like this, it’s hard to not notice it.”
Through 12 games, Ertz has 93 catches for 978 yards and six touchdowns. He’s already set the Eagles’ single-season record for catches and is on pace to demolish Jason Witten’s single-season record for catches by a tight end (110).
Right now, with a quarter of the season left, Ertz is on pace for 124 catches, 1,304 yards and eight touchdowns. Forget tight ends, there have been just four such seasons by anyone in NFL history.
Will Tye didn’t sign to the Eagles' practice squad until mid-November, so he didn’t know Ertz was on a record-setting pace until he watched the Saints game. Now, he’s rooting hard for Ertz to continue his heroics.
There are obviously a lot of new faces in the Eagles’ tight end room this season. Brent Celek retired to enter the world of real estate and Trey Burton parlayed his success into a big contract with the Bears. So Ertz went from being the top tight end in the room to the tight end in a room of fresh faces. The Eagles signed Rodgers, drafted Dallas Goedert, brought in Josh Perkins and Tye.
And it seems like everyone is impressed by the same thing about Ertz: his attention to detail.
“Everybody says they work hard, but coming here and really seeing it is different,” Tye said. “He’s the last one to leave the film room. Everything is so detailed. You sit down with him and you learn something as well. I do really respect him as a tight end and as a person.”
It’s because of that work ethic and attention to detail that his fellow tight ends aren’t nearly as surprised about his success as some outsiders are. It’s sort of like they’ve been watching a meal get made and know how much work went into it, so they’re not shocked it’s good.
And because of what Ertz learned from his early years under Celek, he’s now grown nicely into that same kind of role model for the 23-year-old Goedert.
“He’s a true professional,” Goedert said. “He comes to work every day. I just try to follow in his footsteps, try to replicate what he’s doing in practice, the meeting rooms, everything like that.”
All three of the other healthy tight ends who have been with Ertz this season admitted they didn’t know much about Ertz when they arrived in town this year. What they have learned about him since is that he’s a hard-working, humble guy who really doesn’t care about the record-setting stats he’s putting up this year.
But everyone has certainly noticed. How could they not?
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