How did Stephon Gilmore prepare to shut down Zach Ertz in the Patriots 17-10 win over the Eagles?
He saw the tight end “crying” on film.
Not actual tears, but the cornerback used the term “crying” to describe how Ertz displays his frustrations on the field, something he noticed this while watching film leading up to the game.
“He was crying,” Gilmore said after the Patriots’ 17-10 win over the Eagles on Sunday. “He do that on film a lot. You get into him, he don’t get the ball or get the call and he cries.”
“When he doesn’t get his way he complains to the ref. We don’t do that.”
Gilmore then explained that by both the safeties and himself guarding him, Ertz could not distinctly tell who would be coming for him. The strategy proved successful, as Gilmore held him to just one pass late in the game to prevent the Eagles’ from tying.
“It’s from coaching down,” he said. “Sometimes I was going to be on him. Sometimes the safety was going to be on him. You can’t line up in one thing the whole time. You have to keep him thinking. That is one thing we did today. He didn’t know who was going to be on him at certain times. It helped us out a lot.”
With that, Gilmore did take the time to acknowledge that Ertz, who finished with nine catches for 94 yards, was a talented tight end.
“He’s a good receiver,” he added. “He’s a great player.”