Philadelphia Eagles: Zach Ertz still has a posse in South Philly

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images) /

Say what you will about fans from Philly, that they’re a bit too aggressive, a bit too enamored with backup quarterbacks, or that they hate Santa Claus – you know, the hits – but there’s no question they take care of their own.

From Jason Kelce, to Chris long, Connor Barwin, Brent Celek, Nick Foles, and legions more, if you play your heart out for a team in this fair city, especially the Philadelphia Eagles, you will have fans for life.

Granted, can that change? Sure. I would imagine any of the players listed above would be met with a chorus of boos so mighty you’d hear it from Voorhees, New Jersey, if they ever took the field in a Cowboys jersey, but for the most part, if you leave it all on the field for the Eagles, you will be rewarded with fans for life.

If the crowd reaction to his introduction at the Eagles’ first open practice of the 2021 NFL season is of any indication, I think it’s safe to say Zach Ertz has earned a place in that hallowed fraternity of all-time fan favorites, even if his time with the team is approaching its end.

Zach Ertz is a Philadelphia Eagles fan favorite through and through.

More from Section 215

Zach Ertz has been a member of the Philadelphia Eagles since 2013.

He’s played 124 games for the Eagles spread out over eight professional seasons – 117 in the regular season and seven in the playoffs – amassed 594 catches for 6,438 yards and 38 touchdowns, and has represented Philadelphia in the Pro Bowl in three-straight seasons from 2017-2019.

If Ertz were to hang up his cleats today, he’d rank seventh in franchise history in receiving touchdowns, fifth in receiving yards, and second in receptions behind only now-Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael.

For a player with a semi-earned reputation for not picking up yards after the catch – holding a 2.9 yards after the catch average over the past three seasons – Ertz was an absolute catch machine from 2015-19, averaging 86.2 receptions per season over that time frame.

Fun fact: Ertz is the first Eagles receiver to haul in 116 catches since, well, ever. Before Ertz’s impressive performance in 2018, the most receptions any Eagles player had ever recorded in a regular season was 90, a feat accomplished by Brian Westbrook in 2007.

Have things always been perfect for Ertz? No. He’s on his third head coach in nine years and just turned in the worst season of his career, dating all the way back to his debut season at Stanford, but clearly, that hasn’t affected how fans feel about number 86.

If this is Ertz’s last ride in an Eagles uniform – assuming he is still on the team come Week 1 – it would appear he won’t be going out quietly.

See what I mean? Ertz’s reception is near-deafening.

Whether running route, pumping up the crowd, or scoring mock touchdowns from Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco, Ertz consistently generated cheer from the assembled crowd, which settled in at right around 26,000, according to Dave Spadaro.

dark. Next. The Hakeem Butler experiment just took a turn

If this proves the final time we see Ertz on the hallowed field of the Linc, at least he went out like a hero, but do you know what? Something tells me it won’t be. No, if the incredibly vanilla iteration of the Eagles offense presented to the fans in attendance is of any indication, it would appear Ertz will be a featured player for the team this fall, filling the sort of role that made Dallas Goedert a star last season. Either way, it’s clear Zach Ertz, much like Andre the Giant, has a posse.