Much has been made recently of veteran linebacker/special teamer Mark Herzlich changing his uniform number to 44, an eligible receiver’s number, in hopes of earning some snaps at tight end during the 2017 NFL season.
Put Herzlich’s desire to play tight end together with the NFL’s recent decision to relax the celebration rules, and there is a critical question that needs to be asked, and answered. What, exactly, would a Mark Herzlich touchdown celebration look like?
I had a chance to put that question to Herzlich Wednesday as he made the media rounds to promote the Great Cycle Challenge to benefit the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
Herzlich was surprised by the question, and maybe by the fact that he hadn’t yet considered this part of the tight end equation.
“That’s a great question because I have had my nose so far in the playbook that I haven’t even thought about that part yet,” Herzlich said. “But, I do know some guys on my team who probably have great ideas for me. I’m going to have to consult with Odell and maybe Brandon Marshall, those guys.
“I think that as long as I stay within my comfort level, which means that I am very OK with completely embarrassing myself, I should be fine.”
One thing Herzlich should never be embarrassed about is all of the charity work he has done over the years, especially for cancer research and to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. Herzlich, as most football fans know, survived a battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma while at Boston College.
“Football has been a platform for me to do what I believe I survived to do. I believe that God helped me get through my disease in order to use the platform of football to give back to people in need and help them succeed at whatever they’re going through,” Herzlich said.
“It’s all about creating opportunities for others, like other people created opportunities for me.”
Herzlich also addressed a couple of other topics during our phone conversation.
On Odell Beckham Jr. and all of the “noise” that surrounds him ...
“It doesn’t bother me at all. Odell is a professional. He’s been around. A lot is made of OTAs, but he’s been at workouts, he’s been at meetings, he’ll be back with us whenever he can.
“We love having him on the team and in the locker room. He’s just a great guy. I’m very happy for him with the new Nike deal. He deserves it and I think he’s going to do great things for them like he does for us.”
On new teammates Evan Engram and Brandon Marshall ...
About Engram: “He’s done some great things in practice in terms of catching the ball. One of the biggest things that I love to see in a rookie is his willingness to learn and his willingness to show toughness and willingness to block. That’s one of the things I’ve seen him do. Is he going to be a blocker? We know he can catch passes. He’s working on it, he’s willing to do it, which is the first step.”
About Marshall, who Herzlich said attends the same church he does: “He’s been great in the locker room. Having him in the locker room has been great for us. Seeing the way he can make plays on the field just in the short amount of time we’ve been there has been really cool.”