The reports of Zach Ertz reporting to Philadelphia Eagles’ training camp on time proved true on Wednesday. The three-time Pro Bowler still wants a new contract, but he’s not ready to play the role of bad teammate. Ertz has built up too much good karma with the the organization and its sometimes fickle fans.
The good-natured veteran did show up sporting a big surprise, though. Ertz has dyed his hair beach blonde, a retro look drawing comparisons to old-school boy bands or irreverent white rappers. Is it some kind of sign of things to come? No, we’re not going down that rabbit hole. However, Ertz’s new hairdo did have Twitter abuzz with reaction.
Bleached locks aside, Ertz is a class-act human being who will etch his name into the Eagles’ Hall of Fame after retirement. Excitement was boiling over on Wednesday about his presence and what he can bring to the field. General manager Howie Roseman said Ertz has a “chip on his shoulder” and expects him to be on the roster for Week 1.
“We have a tremendous opinion about Zach as a player and as a person. All he wants to do is play football and he knows what kind of player he is,” Roseman told reporters. “I think, when we look at last year, it was embarrassing for this organization and this team. A lot of us have a chip on our shoulder. When you talk about Zach, it doesn’t take a lot to get him here. He cares so much about this team and this city. Just really good to see him out there.”
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Ertz Makes Eagles Better All Around
Assuming Ertz stays on the roster until Sept. 12 – and that’s still an iffy situation – the Eagles could possess one of the most dangerous tight-end tandems in the NFL.
Fourth-year tight end Dallas Goedert was expected to jump into the starting role in 2021, but he’ll likely see an equal amount of snaps with Ertz coming back. It will be up to new head coach Nick Sirianni to keep both players happy.
“That’s our job as coaches, to figure out how we can use each player and what we can do to take advantage of their abilities,” Sirianni told reporters. “Zach is no different. That’s what we’re doing right now, is seeing what we can do with him. Again, there’s a lot of tape on him that suggests what we can do. Now it’s just being out here and coaching it and seeing what he can do in person.”
Roseman doesn’t see any negatives to Ertz’s return, adding that the 30-year-old can only enhance the players around him.
“Yeah, I think when you talk about the guys that are here and the kind of player that he is,” Roseman said, “and you think about our young skill position group, and having a Pro Bowl player like that on your roster who players can learn from, it’s huge. It’s huge for us.”
Jalen Hurts Jokes About Bleaching Hair
Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts ran with the ones on Wednesday and presumably will do that for the entirety of training camp. He is the new face of the franchise and that job description includes embracing his teammates’ quirks, maybe even visiting their hairdressers.
“I told him [Ertz] I might dye mines blonde,” Hurts joked. “I don’t know about that. I don’t think I’m going to do that.”
Hurts was laughing before the words came out of his mouth, but it was nice to see the new quarterback embracing the moment. It’s his locker room to lead now. And, not for nothing, Ertz was best friends with Carson Wentz.
“People lead because their peers let them lead,” Hurts said, “and I’m a guy where I just out there and be myself. Like I said, go out there and be myself.”