Cardinals’ Zach Ertz preps to face former team in Eagles

TEMPE, Ariz. — As Arizona Cardinals tight finish Zach Ertz prepares to face the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, he stated the emotion of dealing with his former team for the primary time hasn’t sunk in but.

“It’s been a lot of just viewing them for the next opponent,” Ertz stated Thursday.

When he watches the movie, he sees numerous acquainted faces — Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, to identify a couple of. Ertz, who performed for the Eagles for just about 8½ seasons, serving to them win Super Bowl LII, stated they have change into greater than teammates at this level in their careers.

“It becomes more of a relationship, care about them and their family,” Ertz stated. “So, from that perspective, it’s going to be good to see those guys. But, on the field, it’s going to be me versus their defense. It’s not going to be Zach versus the Eagles. We just got to go out there and play a really good football game.”

When Ertz strains up in opposition to the Eagles on Sunday, he’s going to have performed in opposition to each team in the NFL, a feat that eluded him as a result of his longevity in Philadelphia. He understands they’re going to know the e book on him — however he’s going to additionally know the e book on them.

“They know me well,” he stated. “I know them well from a personnel standpoint. Obviously, some of the pieces are a little different. I was there for six weeks plus a training camp last year, so I know schematically what they’re trying to do, what their points of emphasis are.”

Ertz stated he is not essentially happy his first time dealing with his former team is not in Philadelphia. He thinks State Farm Stadium shall be stuffed with Eagles lovers, regardless.

“It doesn’t matter where the game is,” he stated. “It could be played in the parking lot, I’d be looking forward to the game either way.”

Before a contentious 2021 offseason in which Ertz and the Eagles could not agree on a freelance extension, he stated he believed he would play in Philadelphia for his whole profession. He additionally concept he would play with former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz “for a long time,” he stated Thursday.

However, Ertz was once traded to the Cardinals — a team he stated he had centered as a possible vacation spot in section as a result of quarterback Kyler Murray — on Oct. 15, 2021, finishing his tenure in Philadelphia in his 9th season.

“You spend a long time in one place, you get comfortable, you get a routine,” he stated. “And I loved playing there, obviously. I think everyone knows that. But I was excited for the next challenge. When I kind of came to grips with that it wasn’t a real possibility, it was, ‘OK, let’s figure out what situations would be great for me,’ and Arizona was at the top of the list and this was even before the start of last year.

“And, so, for me, I’m ecstatic that I were given traded right here. My circle of relatives is ecstatic that we were given traded right here. And, so, I’m simply lucky that those guys believed in me, and it is not having a look again in this recreation like, ‘Hey, Philly did not imagine in me anymore.’ It’s extra, ‘Hey, the Cardinals believed in me a ton and so they got here out and traded for me.’ And, so, that is what I attempt to move available in the market each time I step at the box, it is more or less reciprocate that trust that that they had in me.”

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