Chiefs Star Throws Shade at Eagles: ‘They Took Zach Ertz’

Travis Kelce

Getty Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce makes a play over Rasul Douglas during Kansas City's 27-20 win in 2017.

Travis Kelce went 28 picks after Zach Ertz in the 2013 NFL draft. The Philadelphia Eagles seemed to think Ertz was slightly more talented than Kelce. That diss robbed the Kansas City Chiefs star of playing with his younger brother Jason in Philly.

The three-time All-Pro was in a jovial mood on Thursday (Sept. 30) when he met with Kansas City reporters. He joked about the Eagles – guided by then-coach Chip Kelly – “taking the opportunity” away from him. The Kelce brothers went to the same high school (Cleveland Heights) and the same college (University of Cincinnati). All that was missing for the trifecta was sharing an NFL locker room. Too bad. No hard feelings.

“Zach Ertz has been awesome for them, helped them get a Super Bowl so it wasn’t the wrong pick,” Kelce told reporters, via 41 KSHB. “I thought it’d be so cool to play at all three levels with my brother but I’m happy I landed here in Kansas City.”

Travis also revealed that a hilarious photo from 2017 showing him planting a huge smooch on Jason’s face isn’t hanging in his house. No, little brother sent it to Jason to frame and cherish. The Chiefs won that game 27-20 thanks to an eight-catch, 103-yard effort from Travis. He hauled in a 15-yard pass for a touchdown in that one.

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Stopping Kelce No Easy Chore

Kelce saw 10 targets in that 2017 contest and secured eight of them for 103 yards and a touchdown. He was all over the field and bowled several Eagles defenders over on a 44-yard odyssey. The 6-foot-5, 256-pounder is arguably the best tight end in football, a guy that has to be accounted for on every down.

“He knows how to get open,” Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. “He has a big catch radius. He’s really good run after the catch, and he’s smart. And he’s got a quarterback that he’s on the same page with.”

That quarterback is Patrick Mahomes and the duo hooked up seven times for 104 yards in Week 3. Kelce has 20 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns through three games in 2021. His 151 YAC (yards-after-catch) ranks fifth-best in the NFL.

“You see he hurts defenses with his run after the catch,” Gannon said, “so we’re going to have to have a plan for him, and we will.”

Don’t Forget About Tyreek Hill

“The Cheetah” is another guy front of mind for the Eagles’ defense. Tyreek Hill runs the 40-yard dash in 4.29 seconds, a staggering number that rivals Olympic sprinter speed. The speedy receiver has 19 receptions for 267 yards and a score in 2021.

When Darius Slay was asked how to stop him, the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback said: “Not let him go deep.”

Slay was half-joking but serious.

“He’s explosive, gotta have 11 hats to him, gotta make sure everybody containing him, everybody running to the ball,” Slay told reporters. “And make sure we are tackling him. He’s great after the catch, and great down the field, so we got to be good on all levels.”

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