“Zach Ertz,” he finally said. “The reason I say that is he’s fighting something right now. And once he gets that corrected, it’s going to be a beautiful thing.”
What’s he fighting?
Presented with Vick’s comments, Ertz agreed with his quarterback.
“I went through a little spell at the end of the preseason,” said Ertz. “I had couple drops, which I never really have had in my whole life. I think I’m getting over it and it should be done now.
“When you have a couple drops you start thinking too much and the ball doesn’t come as naturally as it normally does. When you start over-thinking things it usually gets worse…Usually it gets worse before it gets better. Luckily for me the worst is behind me and I’m ready to move on.”
The 35th overall pick had to work out of a similar funk during one spring session at Stanford, and he said it took a week or two to do so. Pass-catching is typically his strength. His senior year he led all Stanford receivers in catches (69), yards (898) and touchdowns (6). Those reception and yard totals led all FBS tight ends in 2012.
The ball was hitting the ground a bit more than hoped for during training camp, however. Ertz had a pair of drops this preseason, per Pro Football Focus. He caught 60 percent of the balls thrown his way and finished with six receptions for 63 yards.
“Sometimes that happens with me: you drop a few passes and you start thinking, ‘I’ve got to get better, I’ve got to fix that.’ Especially when you are young it’s amplified because you feel like everyone is watching,” said Brent Celek. “So you [as a teammate] just say, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it.’ He’s got some of the best hands on the team.
“Zach progresses every week, not only in the run game but in the pass game. Sky is the limit for that kid. He is going to be a good player for a long time in my opinion.”
On Monday, Ertz was targeted three times and finished with one catch for 11 yards. He was unable to hold onto a third-down pass from Vick in the opening quarter, but had a defender draped over him and was not charged with a drop.
The 6-5, 250-pounder credits Vick and DeSean Jackson for helping to try and lift him out of his spell. Says that Celek, James Casey and Jason Avant have all taken the time to try and improve his game.
“They all do a great job of helping me out. I’m a young guy and hopefully they see potential in me. I’m just trying to help the team win and I think they know that.”
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