Super Bowl champion, starting Eagles center, and Mayor of Philadelphia Jason Kelce recently sat down with BGN Radio’s John Barchard for an exclusive interview. Kelce spoke with BGN about a number of topics following the Warrington Warriors Football and Cheerleading Camp on Sunday. Watch the entire interview in the video below via Bleeding Green Nation’s Facebook page (click here if the video doesn’t show up):
Jason Kelce at the Warrington Warriors Football Camp
From grinder to icon - #Eagles center Jason Kelce chatted with BGN Radio's John Barchard at the Warrington Warriors Football & Cheerleading Camp on Sunday! What will it take to get back to the Super Bowl?Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Monday, May 7, 2018
You just have to love Kelce telling a young Cowboys fans to “take a lap” around the 39 second mark.
Full transcript of the interview below. Lots of good stuff here.
JOHN BARCHARD: So, Jason, what brought you out here to Warrington today, to get involved?
JASON KELCE: Really, because Keshina Bouie right there. She’s been one of my biggest fans, and she’s always been there for Salute Service days and stuff like that. And she told me that they were doing this camp out here with the kids. I just said “Yeah, give me the dates, and see if we can make it work out.”
BARCHARD: And it worked out.
KELCE: It worked out.
BARCHARD: And you’re busy. You were in Ohio last night …
KELCE: [sighs] Yeah.
BARCHARD: You’re ahead to another gala today. What else is on the schedule?
KELCE: The problem is I’m not used to being this popular and this sought after. I’ve said to quite a few things. It’s been a busy [off]season so far.
BARCHARD: What is that like? You’ve gone from a guy that grinder to being obviously one of the best centers in Eagles history, and now you’ve went from that to, you’re an icon now. That Super Bowl speech pretty much changed everything, right?
KELCE: Right. The speech was really what set it out where everybody now knows my face pretty well and it’s pretty recognizable. Before that, I’ve always really been taken care of in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is one of the few cities, I think, that really embraces linemen. I feel like most other cities, you go out, if you’re an offensive lineman, they have no idea who you are. Philadelphia, because of kind of the tradition of understanding football and understanding linemen, they really do gravitate towards those big guys for sure.
BARCHARD: We like to eat, too, so. So we know what’s going on.
KELCE: [Laughs] Exactly.
BARCHARD: Is it different now that it’s, you’re doing all this stuff, everything’s very popular, and certainly everyone knows that there’s still a lot of unfinished business for some of these guys on the team.
KELCE: Oh, absolutely.
BARCHARD: Is it a different mindset now that where it’s like, man, there’s all this work that you have to go and do but now you know the end result?
KELCE: Well I think that it just further cements the process, and what’s going on with the team, and the coaches, and everything like that. I think obviously everybody had a lot of faith in [Super Bowl winning head coach] Doug [Pederson], and Jim Schwartz, and the front office, and everybody. But now that is at another level because of what we accomplished last year. And faith in ourselves, and everything like that, is at an all-time high. We know that we can get it done again. With how many great players we had on the sideline last year, just speaking for the offense, you have Jason Peters, Carson Wentz, Darren Sproles. I mean, all three of those guys, it’s hard to imagine before the season if you asked me if all those guys went down, that we were still going to win the Super Bowl, it would have been a tough question to answer. But I think we’re fortunate. We’ve got a lot of really, really good players. We’ve got a great team, great atmosphere, great coaches. It all came together last year really well for us.
BARCHARD: Which is, you know, you guys have already faced a lot of adversity. You’ve faced a ton of injuries. So what is going to be the concern about a Super Bowl hangover? Like what’s going to stop you guys from getting back there?
KELCE: Well, I mean, I don’t know. That’s a great question. I don’t know. The only thing that could really stop us is ourselves. That’s the way you always go into it, really. You always think that you’re your own worst enemy. You take care of your own stuff. But last year, we actually did. If you look at, really, the  season the year before and last year, we were in a lot of close games and very much could have been in the playoffs the season prior. But we had a lot of turnovers, penalties, things that just killed us late in games, especially, that didn’t allow us to sneak into those playoffs. Last year we really took care of that for the majority of the season and it correlated to more wins and ultimately the Super Bowl. So, I think we know more than anything, as long we take care of your own business, everybody just go out there and do your job, focus on the task at hand … be ready, prepared. Meaning, film study, work through the week of practice, and stuff like that. I think everybody’s just fully prepared to do that again.
BARCHARD: It certainly seems like it. Have you been able to reach out to any of the new draftees?
KELCE: I have not. Not yet, no. I’m excited to see [them], especially some of these offensive line guys we got. Obviously—
BARCHARD: Yeah, what do you make of [former rugby league player] Jordan [Mailata]?
KELCE: [laughs] I don’t know! I’m still kind of waiting to see. I think, the seventh-round pick, everybody’s really excited about because of the size and the athleticism and everything. You’ve always got to take it with a grain of salt. He’s never played football before. And offensive line is such a technical position, there’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve there. But I think the coaches will do a good job of managing that and I’m just excited to see the raw ability he has. Some of the raw ability a lot of these other rookies have.
BARCHARD: With that, because there’s a lot of question marks, how long does it take to understand the techniques of the position? Is it kind of almost a little bit of a silver lining that he’s not bringing in any bad habits?
KELCE: Well, there’s that. Some guys obviously have been coached by completely different offensive line coaches and they’ve got bad habits that you’re not going to break at that point. It’s either going to never happen or it’s going to be a long process. At least with this guy, he doesn’t have that. That being said, you still want, you still would prefer a grounding base of football understanding, understanding football knowledge. I mean, I played with a guy here everybody knows, [Eagles 2011 first-round pick] Danny Watkins, really well. Danny started with football very, very late. That was one of the things he was constantly trying to overcome, and he was a smart guy. So it’s just different for each guy. I’m not sure how he learns, what his best habits are, I’m sure that [offensive line coach] Jeff Stoutland has done a lot of research in that area. But he’s a big guy, he bends well, he moves quickly. If he can get all that other stuff down, I mean, that’s going to be the only thing holding him back for sure.