Celek (left) and Ertz are rarely on the field together.
By Mary Cunningham
If you have been wondering why Eagles tight end Zach Ertz has been on the field much less than had been anticipated, join the club.
And Eagles coach Chip Kelly was asked point blank about the issue on Wednesday.
“Brent Celek is doing a hell of a job,” Kelly said. “It would be an injustice to tell Brent he has to sit because we want to put someone else in the game.”
Through 10 games, Celek has been on the field for 526 snaps, roughly 150 more than the 386 snaps that Ertz has played.
“Zach Ertz is on the field,” Kelly said. “We have two very, very good tight ends.”
One of the reasons Ertz has struggled to get on the field is his blocking, something the tight end worked on throughout the offseason.
“He is an outstanding blocker,” Kelly said of Celek. “He might be the best blocking tight end in the league. He is a sure-handed receiver. You saw against Carolina he had over 100 yards receiving…It doesn’t have to do with Zach, it has to do with how well Brent is playing.”
Ertz has better numbers overall this season (30 catches, 430 yards and two touchdowns) this season than Celek does (20 catches for 217 yards), but it isn’t the wide gap many expected.
“When I was in there, I thought I was open a lot,” Ertz said after the team’s win over the Carolina Panthers. “But I can’t control where the ball goes. If the first read is open, and I’m the second read, I’m not going to get the ball.”
As for Kelly, his response was:
“We have 46 guys on our team,” Kelly said, “but only a certain amount of guys can play.”