Zach Ertz's versatility a plus for Philadelphia Eagles


Chip Kelly's offseason program has focused on one main element: even more speed.

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Documentation of the Philadelphia Eagles' practices moving at breakneck speeds -- leading one reporter to liken them to drag races -- has been pervasive this spring.

A key element to Kelly's fast, no-huddle tempo is staying versatile, which means keeping players on the field who can perform multiple roles within the offense.

One such player who should see a boost in production in 2014 is second-year tight end Zach Ertz. The 6-foot-5 pass-catcher can remain on the field in Kelly's offense, lining up at different spots when it goes no-huddle, putting pressure on defense.

"I think that's the biggest thing: You can't be subbing guys in and out with the (tight) ends we have," Ertz said about defenses, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We're able to do that (keep tight ends on the field), whether it's in-line or out wide."

Ertz said he focused on getting better at blocking -- the lesser of his two talents -- this offseason. With him and veteran Brent Celek able to catch passes and block, Kelly can keep run and pass options alive in two tight end sets. 

Ertz's production spiked toward the end of last year, with 22 of his 36 receptions and all four touchdowns coming in the final eight games of the regular season.

"You saw in the second half of the season what kind of went on," Ertz said. "I was used all over the field."

Given the speed Kelly wants to play at, we expect Ertz to be used all over the field again, see even more playing time and put up even better numbers in 2014.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the heroes debate the Super Bowl windows of Brady and Manning.