Zach Ertz calls on icon for advice

Zach Ertz has had a strong first two seasons in the NFL, but he knows it's going to take more to be one of the best. He reached out to arguably the greatest tight end of all time to find out how he can leave his mark on the game he loves.

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz has had a productive first two seasons in the NFL. Last season, he caught 58 passes for 702 yards and three touchdowns in five starts.

Now, he’s looking to improve, and who’s better to learn from than one of the best tight ends to ever play the game? Tony Gonzalez was Ertz’s idol growing up, so he contacted him earlier this year in hopes of gaining some valuable knowledge from the future Hall of Famer.

“I got his number from one of our tight end coaches — he played with Tony when they were in Atlanta together — and I just cold texted him,” Ertz writes on his personal website (h/t Pro Football Talk). “It was a no-lose situation for me. If he said ‘no,’ then I would have respectfully understood. He said yes. So I drove to see him. The funny thing was that I wasn’t nervous about meeting him at all. He was such a genuine person on the text message that it made it seem like it was something that he would love to do. He actually was fired up about it. It wasn’t like going to meet an idol, which he truly is of mine. It was just going to meet a friend.”

The advice Gonzalez gave Ertz was undoubtedly helpful. After all, the former superstar played 17 productive seasons in Kansas City and Atlanta. He never won a Super Bowl, but he did rack up 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards with 111 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl in 14 of his last 15 NFL seasons.

“When it came to football, we talked about the steps I needed to take to go from being good to great,” Ertz continues. “We talked about little things — the nuances of how to run a certain route, what’s advantageous against certain coverages, that sort of thing. He also talked about the importance of having a routine. He had a routine of greatness that he would do every day. He felt it gave him the edge over the competition in the long run.”

Lou Musto is the publisher for You can follow him on Twitter @LouisMusto.

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