Eagles’ veteran center Jason Kelce spoke to reporters on Thursday, and talked about the team signing Linval Joseph — someone he’s competed against for years —, and also explained how the team is handling the loss and why bad or missed calls don’t often directly affect the outcome of a game.
He noted that he re-aggravated his left ankle, which he’s sprained before, on Monday night but it’s nothing he hasn’t been able to play through before.
Here’s what Kelce had to say:
On adding Linval Joseph
“Not only is he a very large human being, but he’s very smart. It’s evident when I’ve played him before. He picks up on things quickly — formations, where the backs at. He’s good at reading offensive lineman. So, I think he will obviously be a good addition to this defense.
I played him a lot. I played him when he was in New York Giants, twice a year for a couple years. Played him in Minnesota in a lot of important games, so we’ve had our battles, for sure.”
Kelce admitted that it’s cool to have a lot of respect for someone you’ve competed against for years, and now be on the same team.
The center also noted that when he had his elbow surgery during training camp, Joseph was someone they recommended he reach out to about it. Joseph told him not to worry about it and that it’ll be fine, and that Kelce could always reach out.
On knowing Jeff Saturday
Kelce talked about early in his career he was comped to Jeff Saturday — Indy’s interim head coach and former center. They were both undersized and running similar systems, so Saturday was someone that Kelce tried to emulate his game after. He had the chance to meet Saturday after his rookie season, and the veteran at the time gave Kelce some technique tips and other helpful information.
On the team’s reaction to first loss
“Whenever you lose, emotions are different. You’re going to be a little more aggressive in correcting mistakes, you’re going to be a little bit more on edge. But, to be honest, I don’t think we really change it up that much and I don’t think you should. We make corrections after wins the same way we’re doing it right now.
Like I said, the emotion’s different and the urgency is different after a loss, but I think we do a good job of sticking to what we believe is the end result of us being a better team — which is correcting mistakes, being accountable, showing the right way to do it, showing the wrong way to do it. We’ve done that after every win, and we certainly did it after the loss.”
On handling injuries
Kelce thinks that they team has been and continues to handle injuries well. He said that the coaches do a really good job of preparing the young guys and depth guys to make sure they are ready if their number is called, and Kelce is also really confident in the depth they have on the team — particularly along the offensive line.
On missed calls/officiating
Kelce said that most good players probably feel like they control the outcome of a game, not the officials, and in his experience, there have been very few games in which he felt like the officials were the determining factor in a win or loss. He emphatically explained that you start focusing on missed calls or bad calls when you lose games, because if you win that game, you’re not thinking about them.
“Like, if we woulda had that call, we would’ve won that game. If Dallas Goedert doesn’t fumble because it’s called a facemask, we win the game — that’s not necessarily true. There are bigger things in that game that kept us from winning that game than that call.
As a matter of fact, we had another opportunity that next drive with a huge completion that unfortunately we turned the ball over again. So, you don’t hear winners and teams that winner complaining about officials missing calls too often. I think that is something that is highly over-emphasized when teams lose games or people lose bets.”