TEMPE -- Zach Ertz, a newly acquired tight end, has been spending the last few days on the Cardinals practice field, trying to establish a connection with Kyler Murray so that Arizona's offense can continue to roll.
First, we had to connect on a plane.
Ertz was traded last week to the Cardinals after more than eight seasons in Philadelphia with the Eagles. arrived in Arizona just in time to fly to Cleveland with the team for the 37-14 win over Browns. Murray was his assigned seat for a portion of the trip.
Ertz grinned and said, "I don’t believe that was an accident."
Ertz was signed by the Eagles and the Cardinals quickly moved to add him to their roster. This deal came less than one week after Maxx Williams, a tight end, suffered a season-ending knee injury. Ertz, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, has recieved 38 touchdown passes over his career and was instrumental in the Eagles winning the 2017 Super Bowl.
He'll now join an NFL offense that has been among the most successful in the league. Arizona is now undefeated and has a record of 6-0 for the first time since 1974.
Murray described Ertz's meeting as a "really good conversation". Although I've only been with him for a few days, it was a great experience that made you feel like you really clicked with him. Our relationship should develop quickly. He is clearly one of those guys that has a great sense of routes and zones. He's not open to me worrying about that.
"I believe he will fit in perfectly."
Ertz, 30, has many connections to the Cardinals. Ertz is good friends with Jordan Hicks, and was at the linebacker’s wedding several years ago. Justin Pugh, the starting left guard, has been a friend for many years.
Ertz's spouse Julie plays soccer for both the U.S. National Team (and the NWSL's Chicago Red Stars), while J.J. Watt, Cardinals defensive tackle, plays for the Red Stars. Kealia is also a Red Stars player. Julie is from the Phoenix area so it's helped with the transition.
Ertz enjoyed a little familiarity with the Eagles.
Ertz stated that red was the color I wore in college, so the transition wasn't too difficult. "Being at Stanford we were the Cardinal so that's not far from Cardinals. But I'm happy to be here. It's a great opportunity to play on this football team.
Ertz is now trying to find his place in an offense that already has receivers DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, who has made a total of 12 Pro Bowl appearances during their respective careers.