Zach Ertz would like Eagles rookies to stop hitting low

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Eagles tight end Zach Ertz was checked out for a concussion after taking a low hit from rookie Blake Countess in Friday’s practice because the training staff saw him shaking his head after the hit.

Ertz was cleared of any injury, but wide receiver Jordan Matthews has a sore knee after taking a shot from another rookie during practice and Ertz had a message for the new Eagles after the session. Ertz said that while he understands it is part of the game because of rules against hitting players in the head, it’s something that has to be addressed so that the Eagles aren’t hurting themselves in practice.

“I don’t think Malcolm [Jenkins] would go low,” Ertz said, via “I think if he went high, I’d go down a little easier with the respect factor playing in. Guys got to be pros. These rookies are coming in. They don’t know what the atmosphere is like, the respect that’s given in practice. So Malcolm, I think if me and him were going against each other, there’d be a little respect factor.”

The Eagles didn’t have full tackling in Chip Kelly’s three years as coach because they wanted to avoid injuries, but coach Doug Pederson has taken the opposite approach. For players like Countess who are trying to make the team, the prospect of holding up on a hit is going to be weighed against the prospect of getting cut and that makes it inevitable that there will be some unintended consequences when blows are delivered this summer.

19 responses to “Zach Ertz would like Eagles rookies to stop hitting low

  1. “with the respect factor playing in…” that is just too funny. One guy has made millions and one is hoping to make the team and pay rent… What would make Ertz say something so stupid?

  2. Two possibilities come to mind:

    1. This is just the individual players involved.

    2. This is a Jim Schwartz thing.

    I’m betting it’s a combination of both, with the second possibility being the more serious one.

  3. Ya can’t hit them low, ya can’t hit them high, where do you hit a player? Sorry, I forgot, this is two hand touch. Hey, I hear the lingerie league has some real football, physical, ya know, where their allowed to tackle. What a disgrace. I remember when players were allowed to…………. ah, lets just leave it at that.

  4. I’m sick of hearing where are you suppose to hit anymore. Between the shoulders and the knees is a big damn area people and that’s legal. It’s called discipline I was taught to tackle at the hip 20 years ago it’s all about wanting to. You want to blame the players for speaking up but all the old timers that use to rip each other’s heads off that you speak of are the reason we are have these discussions. Did the NFL cover up there share yes but as a player you knew the risk and times are changing. Change is inevitable people get over it.

  5. PFT with a well written article! Rookies can’t afford not to ball out. The plays they made would have been good plays in an actual game, but in practice not so much. A vet like Jenkins can afford taking a little off since his roster sport is guaranteed. It’s a fine line and just goes to show the challenge late round rookies face to make a team. Both Countess and Mills have been impressive enough that they should earn a roster spot, but they can’t be injuring important starters either.

  6. As said by another former Philly athlete, “Man, we talkin bout practice. We talkin bout practice man.”

    But in all seriousness, I see where he’s coming from. It’s practice. Don’t go low on your own players and risk injury. There’s a lot of room between someone’s head and his knee. Anywhere between there is perfectly okay. No reason to get anyone hurt.

  7. Commenters are the biggest gossips. They just think of what could be the worse possible thing and act like it happened. Well sorry but the defensive coaches laid into mills and countess for the hits. Try again.

  8. Bad sign when the Eagles’ vets are getting pushed around by the rooks in preseason. #gutless #soft #noheart #norings

  9. “bathroombenlovemachine says:
    Aug 5, 2016 8:50 PM
    And the Eagles are the only team in the NFC East that has never won a Super Bowl

    Cowboys 5
    Giants 4
    Redskins 3

    Maybe, but we know how to spell.. and yeah, since football only existed when the SuperBowl came about, nothing prior counts.. right?

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