“The most talented player I have ever seen”
The Arizona Cardinals have enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2021. After battling injuries, they appear to be back at full strength. Zach Ertz is one of the new arrivals, but he already feels at home. The Super Bowl champion’s tight end believes he can get back to the big game by catching assists from Kyler Murray.
Ertz recently paid his quarterback the ultimate compliment after only playing with him for a few weeks.
Zach Ertz praised Kyler Murray
Zach Ertz spent the first eight seasons of his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles. The front office decided to send him to Arizona in the middle of the 2021 season. While emotions were running high for the longtime Eagle, he knew the change of scenery would put him on a competitor.
The three-time Pro Bowler went from Jalen Hurts catching assists one week to Kyler Murray the following week. In a recent appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Ertz opened up about what it’s like to play with the Cardinals signalman.
“Before I came here I saw him [Murray] like a guy who’s done a lot of off-screenplay pieces, ”Ertz said. “He didn’t play much out of his pocket. In my experience, he uses his feet as a luxury. He wants to play football from his pocket.
The veteran tight end notices a skill set unique to Murray and believes the sky is the limit for the 24-year-old quarterback.
“I was so impressed with him as a passer,” Ertz added. “He’s a great quarterback. He is probably the most talented player I have ever known. There is nothing on the football field that he cannot do, and he is a very good leader. It was a joy to play with him.
Zach Ertz has performed with talented guys over the years including Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson. However, he sees something different in Kyler Murray.
The Cardinals’ QB played like a healthy MVP
The Arizona Cardinals enter their Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Rams with an impressive 10-2 record. Kliff Kingsbury’s crew have surprised a lot of people this season. Kyler Murray’s development deserves a lot of credit for the team’s success so far.
Murray is in his third season in the NFL and he’s playing the best football of his young career. The Oklahoma product looked like a legitimate MVP contender in the first seven weeks of the 2021 season.
The Cardinals appellant injured his ankle in the Week 8 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The illness caused him to miss the next three games. However, Murray came back against the Chicago Bears in Week 13 and didn’t miss a beat.
In nine games, the Bedford, Texas native threw for 2,399 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His completion percentage (72.7%) is the highest mark of his career. He also added 206 yards and five rushing touchdowns.
Murray took a step forward in his development in 2021. With such a natural talent of arms, he can sometimes have the tendencies of a gunslinger. However, he is making strides in becoming a better decision maker from his quarterback role.
Arizona are the No.1 seed in the NFC and will need their star player to keep playing to keep the momentum going into the playoffs.
Arizona expected to rely heavily on Zach Ertz in big games
The Arizona Cardinals were already proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the NFC. The addition of Zach Ertz makes this team even more formidable.
Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is still in the top 10, even though Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins have each missed three games. The Cardinals are averaging 28.5 points and 368.7 yards per game.
Signing James Conner was an underrated decision as he became a crucial part of Arizona’s Super Bowl hopes. He’s been the main defender from the goal line, scoring 12 touchdowns this season. His presence helps relieve Murray in the red zone.
Ertz is another guy who will continue to take the pressure off the third year flagger. Thanks to Dallas Goedert, Stanford’s product appears to be falling out of favor with Philadelphia. However, he filled a need for the Cardinals.
At 31, Ertz still has some football in the tank. He proves that he can still be a key contributor in a championship race. He’s recorded 23 receptions for 279 yards and three touchdowns in six games with the Cardinals.
It would be unrealistic to expect Ertz to be a stallion. However, opposing defenses must take into account its ability to open up, especially near the goal line.
More importantly, Zach Ertz is a veteran who brings championship experience. It could prove invaluable to a young quarterback like Kyler Murray.
On the other hand, Murray’s extraordinary skills could help extend the career of his new tight end.
All statistics are courtesy of Professional football benchmark
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