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Zach Ertz working for more playing time

5/4/2014

Tight end Zach Ertz improved as much as any player on the Philadelphia Eagles by the end of last season.

Ertz, who was selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft from Stanford, caught 36 passes for 469 yards and four touchdowns in part-time action.

He expects even more production in 2014.

"As for comparing myself to other tight ends -- I want to be one of the best in the game, and I've got to be on the field more, obviously, to do that," Ertz told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "And that's what I'm really working towards this offseason."

The Eagles plucked Ertz with the third pick in the second round even though it wasn’t exactly a need. The Eagles had Brent Celek and also added James Casey.

Without DeSean Jackson, Ertz’s role just may escalate.

"I've tried to get stronger this offseason," Ertz told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Obviously, the No. 1 goal is to be the complete tight end."

General manager Howie Roseman gushed about Ertz when he met with area reporters in a pre-draft discussion last week.

"He's got the ability to be a flexed-out guy," Roseman said. "He can play with his hand down. He can play in the slot. He can line up outside. He's a hard guy to cover because he's got really good feet, (and) obviously he's big."

Ertz is also an extremely hard worker, which should bode well heading into his second season.

"Nobody's going to be harder on me than myself," Ertz told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "That's how I think a lot of the very successful athletes have been in the past. ... I think to be one of the best you have to put that kind of pressure on yourself."