By Turron Davenport
The 2016 season was a building year for the Eagles. Given the success that tight end Travis Kelce enjoyed in Kansas City when Doug Pederson was the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs, expectations for Zach Ertz increased.
Ertz had a solid season in his first year with Pederson. Despite missing two games, Ertz posted 78 receptions for 816 yards and four touchdowns.
While those numbers are nothing to scoff at, there was one particular game that drew the ire of Eagles fans.
“Last year was really a difficult year, not only for myself but for the team. I never really shied away from that situation that I had to endure. There were some people that would say stuff, but it was tough obviously,” Ertz said at the podium after Super Bowl LII.
The ‘stuff that people said’ came in 2016 when they questioned his toughness after a play in Week 13 against the Bengals in which it was perceived that he purposely avoided contact with linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Suddenly Ertz’s toughness was under question. The tight end was able to distance himself from the ordeal after promising never to have a situation like that arise again. Fighting through that tough time helped Ertz connect with the fans because of how they came around on...