Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz said he doesn't believe New Orleans Saints star Jimmy Graham would receive much playing time if he played for the Eagles. Ertz based his claim on the nature of the Eagles' offense.
Ertz based his belief on the run-heavy, one-tight end nature of the Eagles offense and said he didn't mean it as an indictment of Graham's skills. Ertz, more of a receiving tight end, has seen his playing time dwindle this season in favor of Brent Celek, a better blocker.
"Probably not, to be honest," Ertz said on if Graham would play for the Eagles, according to NJ.com. "I don't want to take anything away from Jimmy, but the things I've seen, he is more of a pass-catching tight end. In this offense we are a run-first team and we don't sub because we go at (a fast pace)."
Graham, a two-time Pro Bowler, led NFL tight ends in receiving yards last season and finished second at the position in 2011 and 2012. In four-plus seasons, Graham has 360 receptions for 4,486 yards and 48 touchdowns.
Graham is considered such a receiving threat that he argued in arbitration this offseason that he should be considered a wide receiver for the purposes of the franchise tag. An arbitrator ruled against Graham, and he and the Saints agreed to a new four-year contract shortly thereafter.
Ertz, a second-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, said to NJ.com his lack of playing time left him frustrated initially but that a "big maturation process" gave him a better attitude about the situation. Ertz has 30 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns this season, while Celek has 20 receptions for 217 yards.
The Eagles have run the ball on 41 percent of their offensive plays, the 11th-lowest figure in the NFL. Philadelphia is 7-3 this season and tied for first place in the NFC East.
- Ben Estes