Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce spoke to reporters on Wednesday and talked a lot about what it takes to play for the city of Philadelphia, and why accountability is such a big factor in gaining fans respect. He also didn’t mince words about why it’s not as hard as some guys make it out to be, and how hard work and effort can matter more than any slump or struggle a player is going through.
“This city really appreciates accountability. Appreciates people being very honest, real, emotionally invested, caring. You know, I think, there’s a lot of people who say it’s a hard place to play — I think it’s pretty f**king easy to be honest with you. You just go out there, play hard. You want to be loved in this city as a baseball player, run to first base, they’re going to f**king love you. I mean, that’s what it comes down to.
If you go up here and make a bunch of excuses, you come up here and try and lie to them and act like they don’t know what they’re talking about — which, sometimes they don’t, but that’s... When you act that way, or when you aren’t accountable when you make mistakes, or you’re not getting better, or anything like that, they’re going to crush you. And, that’s most of the guys that I see. Everybody’s going to get crushed at some point, everyone’s going to go through a down turn or be struggling, right? And, at all times, this city is going to keep you accountable to be doing your job and performing. But, if you stick to it, and you fight through it, and you get better and everything like that, they’ll respect the hell out of you. Especially if you fight — even if you’re struggling, if you’re fighting and you’re really trying, they’re still going to respect you. That’s what I think most guys miss.
I really don’t think this is a hard place play at all to be honest with you. I think it’d be miserable to play in a place like Jacksonville where nobody cares.”
“You look at all the players that Philadelphia holds true to them and who they respect, all the guys that came before you, and they all fit that mold of tough, hard-nosed, physical, try-hard guys.” - Jason Kelce pic.twitter.com/hFZq2BqJhz— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 21, 2021
He went on to say that the city loving you as a player is important, but first and foremost, your team and coaches will love you if you’re accountable.
“Fans are going to point out when the productivity is not there, when the wins aren’t there, when the stats aren’t there, or when they see just flat out gross errors. And you as a player have to understand, is that my fault, what’s going on here, and be accountable to that. But the bigger issue with that is even if you’re accountable, you have to understand that it’s all correctable and it’s all fixable. And you have to realize that this is a blip in time, and that over the course of my career, I write the narrative. I’m the one who decides what this is.”
Kelce also then touched on the Ben Simmons drama and his comments about playing for Philadelphia.
“What’s going on with the 76ers and Ben Simmons and all of that, all that is because of a lack of accountability, a lack of owning up to mistakes, and a lack to correcting things. If all that got corrected, if you’re fixing free throws, if you’re getting better as a player, none of this is happening. So, everybody can bitch and complain about how tough this city is to play in — just play better, man.”
He was later asked about the fan comments that are irrational, and he admitted that it’s usually not a big deal, and the comments that really can sting players are the things that are true. Kelce touched on the fact that it’s when criticism is true and players can’t admit it or don’t want to take the actions to correct it, that can tear organizations apart.
- Kelce said it was rough saying goodbye to Zach Ertz. He noted that Ertz was very emotional after the game last week, and even though it was known he was looking to be traded this offseason, once he spent time with the team and committed to the organization, it was still tough to say goodbye, especially to the city and fans.
- The center also talked a bit about having Lane Johnson back this week and said that he’s an awesome person and player, and is a guy that makes meeting more fun.