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Minicamp report: Eagles TE Ertz strives for greatness

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PHILADELPHIA — Zach Ertz, the Philadelphia Eagles’ third-year tight end, isn’t shy about telling you what his career goal is: he wants to be regarded as one of the best tight ends to ever play the game.

Toward that end, he has spent a part of the offseason traveling the country seeking advice from people that he thinks can help him become that.

Ertz had lunch with future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. He met and worked out with one of the NFL’s best-ever offensive line coaches, Hudson Houck.

“I worked out with some great people in the offseason,” said Ertz, who had 58 receptions last season for the Eagles in only 603 snaps. “That was very helpful for me. I think it helped my game a lot.

“Tony is probably the best tight end to ever play the game. That’s where I hope to be when I’m done, hopefully, 15 years from now. He was great to me. Just to be willing to sit down with me and teach me some things he knows about the game. It was unbelievable for me.”

–Head coach Chip Kelly is excited about his new one-two running back punch of DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews.

Murray led the league in rushing with the Dallas Cowboys last season, while Mathews rushed for 1,255 yards two years ago with the San Diego Chargers and has a 4.4 yards-per-carry career average.

Mathews’ biggest problem has been staying healthy.

“Ryan’s a big, physical running back,” Kelly said. “I don’t think you really know how actually big he is until you pull up next to him. He’s almost 230 pounds, and he can really run.

“He’s explosive. I think when he sees a hole, he can change gears and accelerate through it. There are not a lot of guys who have that speed to go along with that size.”

–Eric Rowe, the Eagles’ second round pick, can play both cornerback and safety. But the Eagles are planning to keep him at cornerback this year, where he’s competing for a starting job against Nolan Carroll.

“That’s where we have him at and that’s where he’ll be for the foreseeable future in terms of where we are,” Kelly said. “It’s very difficult for someone to learn multiple positions in terms of being able to fit in. But he’s done an outstanding job at corner.”

The Eagles have moved Walter Thurmond from cornerback to safety.


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