Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce and his brother, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, started a new podcast “New Heights” which is funny, interesting, and a fun way to get a glimpse of the inner workings of the NFL. The duo had their first sit-down, in-person interview with Philly QB Jalen Hurts.
Over the past couple weeks, the friendship between Jason Kelce and Jalen Hurts has started showing a bit more — they did the Thursday Night Football post-game interview together, sang the Eagles Fight Song together, and in the days that followed, the team shared a video of the pair doing the Griddy (something they talk about on the podcast).
The whole interview is really a treat. And while we often see Jason Kelce’s personality shine, this was one of the rare moments you get to see Hurts in a more casual conversation.
Here are few notable parts of their conversation:
Jason Kelce’s distinctive snap
They talked about Jason Kelce’s unique snapping technique, with Hurts laughing and explaining that the ball comes to him quick. He said that people have asked him why his stance is so low, and it’s because he has to be in an athletic position to receive the ball — the QB pointed out several times when he wasn’t in the right place and bungled the snap.
JASON KELCE: “I snap it fast because I want my hand back”
Jason explained that he needs to get his hand back for leverage and to get a jump on the defensive line. He credits his success to being really, really quick not simply over-powering his opponents, and so he snaps the ball fast so he can get back to the rest of his job.
JALEN HURTS: “I have no complaints.”
Hurts said that Kelce asks often if he snapped the ball okay, but the QB said he has no problem adjusting to how the ball comes to him — even if that means getting a little lower.
On Jason’s retirement considerations
Travis joked that he expects Jason to play another three years, but the veteran center admitted it’s a year-to-year evaluation.
Hurts said that he wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen with the team after the 2020 season, but he did know that he was hoping Jason would be back. Then, after last season, despite Jason’s considering retirement, the QB never felt like he would actually step away from the game.
JALEN HURTS: “I think Jason understands that we could be really good next year, so I’m like — I never questioned it.”
Kelce acknowledged that he was much closer to retiring after 2020 than he was last year, quipping that Hurts’ rookie year was “a terrible year,” but he felt really good at the end of last season.
JALEN HURTS: “I’ve never said this, but I felt like — I genuinely felt like the connection we had, I felt like he believed in me. You know what I’m saying? I felt like he wanted to be a part of this.”
On Hurts’ reaction to be drafted to Philly
The quarterback talked about receiving the call from Howie Roseman in 2020, admitting that he was expecting to be drafted by Pittsburgh more than Philadelphia. So, when the call came through with a 215 area code, he was confused because the Steelers had already made their pick.
JALEN HURTS: “I had no idea I would come here. I had no idea.”
Hurts mentioned that he had an interview with the Eagles at the Combine, but from the interview he didn’t think he was coming to Philly.
JASON KELCE: “It was definitely, I think, a surprise for most of Philadelphia, but there was like rumors circulating that people in the building liked [Hurts]. Like, I knew that going into the draft.”
On college vs. NFL rivalries
Hurts admitted that rivalries are different at the college level than in the NFL, but also fandom in general is different at the professional level.
JALEN HURTS: “I think this city makes it different.”
He elaborated that if he were to say, ‘Philly, let’s tap in this Monday night,’ they would tap in. It’s not always like that in college, the stadiums aren’t always packed, especially depending on the opponent. But, in the NFL, anything could happen on any given game day, and the fans know that and show up for that every week.
On Hurts’ relationship with Philly fans
JALEN HURTS: “I’ve enjoyed them. I think I’ve embraced them and I feel like I’ve been prepared — you know, that’s why I say it’s a different breed here. It’s a different vibe here. For like, going to Oklahoma, going to Alabama, seeing passionate fans, but you come to Philly — it’s a tough place, and it’s a grind mentality, and that’s something that I’m like, ‘Okay.’
JASON KELCE: “It takes a certain type of person to be able to play in Philadelphia, and to be able to have success, and I think they want that type of person.
TRAVIS KELCE: “Once they find out you’re that guy though, man.”
Hurts went on to say that he loves that he came to a team that has so much history and pride, and really appreciates the fans who have so much love for the team and the game of football. The QB said that there’s a different level of appreciation for the fans, particularly given how much the fans value the Eagles and players.
- Hurts said his Welcome to the NFL moment was when he got to play with DeSean Jackson.
- The QB has talked to three of Philly’s most notable quarterbacks, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb, and Randall Cunningham, and he’s also spent some time talking to Josh McCown, who was with the Eagles for a bit.