TE Zach Ertz Delivers Strong Statement on Joining Lions

Tight end Zach Ertz implied to the media on January 24 that he wasn’t going to jump at his first free-agency opportunity. He suffered an injury earlier this season and has a 17-month-old son at home.

But Ertz also told the media that he couldn’t resist the chance to sign with the Detroit Lions.

“I wanted to have the right opportunity if I was going to leave [home] at this point in the year,” Ertz told reporters. “Being here with these guys. Learning from a head coach that was a tight end. I felt like it was something I couldn’t turn down.”

The Lions officially signed Ertz to their practice squad on January 24. That was two days after NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the Lions planned to add the veteran tight end.

If elevated to the active roster for the NFC championship game, Ertz could help replace tight end Brock Wright. The Lions placed Wright on injured reserve on January 24.

TE Zach Ertz Loves Lions’ Dan Campbell, Looking Forward to Working With Sam LaPorta

At the most, Ertz’s stay in Detroit will last two and a half weeks. But even with the strong likelihood of a brief tenure, the veteran tight end expressed a lot of excitement about joining the Lions.

“I love Dan,” Ertz told reporters when asked about the Lions head coach. “We had a 20-minute conversation yesterday, and so I’m excited to see him in front of the team because he’s a guy I’ve had a lot of respect for over the years.

“He’s a guy that always gets his tight ends playing the right way. So I’m excited to be around him.”

Ertz described himself as a Lions fan from afar this season. He also spoke very highly of rookie tight end Sam LaPorta.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know him better. Obviously, everyone raves about him here, and rightfully so,” Ertz said. “He’s had a phenomenal rookie year. The sky is the limit for him. He’s obviously a lot better than I was as a rookie. So I’m excited to be around him.”

Ertz Has NFL Playoff, Super Bowl Experience

Ertz has less than a week to learn Detroit’s offense well enough to perhaps play in the most important game (up to this point) of the season. That’s a lot of pressure.

But it helps that Ertz has worked with Lions tight ends coach Steve Heiden previously. Heiden served as the Arizona Cardinals tight ends coach when Ertz played for Arizona in 2022.

It also helps that Ertz has prior NFC championship and Super Bowl experience. He won the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2017-18 season.

Ertz stressed that having success this deep in the playoffs is all about putting the team ahead of individuals.

“When you get to this point of the year, it should be the most selfless version of football you can play. It’s all about the team at this point,” Ertz said. “The stats don’t matter. No one cares about how many catches I had in the Super Bowl or how many catches I had in the NFC championship game. All that they care about is the fact that we won those games.

“Whoever has the opportunity to make a has got to go out there and make it. Whether that’s offense, defense or special teams. If there’s anything I can help the guys with, I will.”

Like Heavy.com’s content? Be sure to follow us.

This article was originally published on Heavy.com

The post TE Zach Ertz Delivers Strong Statement on Joining Lions appeared first on Heavy.com.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *