It’s always great to hear from Eagles veteran Jason Kelce, and his time with the media on Wednesday was no different. The future Hall-of-Famer gave an update on his elbow and explained why they decided so abruptly to have it cleaned out, but then he also spoke very passionately about why being comfortable in the NFL is a trick and how expectations don’t mean a thing.
On his elbow surgery and recovery
Kelce said that his elbow feels great, probably better than it has in a few years, so having the procedure was likely the best decision they could have made. He tried to play through the pain for a few weeks early in training camp, and in the past the pain has kind of gone away once it’s been worked out, but that wasn’t happening this time.
“When you’re playing, I feel like it’s hard. You don’t really notice things as much if it’s something that you usually push through, and this thing was just something that was starting to cause some issues.”
They came to the decision that it was probably something that would have lingered throughout the season and potentially get worse, so ultimately they opted to get it cleaned out and taken care of, and now it feels great.
The veteran also said thankfully it was an arm issue, not a leg issue, so he was able to run and work out, but admitted that isn’t the same as being in football shape. He was eager to get back on the field last week and see how he felt, but he felt “really, really good” and moved around the whole practice really well, so isn’t worried about his conditioning.
Kelce also explained that they made the decision to get the elbow cleaned out and he was on the operating table less than 24 hours later. They knew that time was of the essence if he was going to be back in time for Week 1, so they didn’t want to wait and see or delay in any capacity. They knew a three week turnaround was the quickest it would be for his return, so once they made the decision to move forward with surgery, everything happened really quickly.
He later mentioned that this was the first training camp he’s ever missed, and it was frustrating not being able to practice. It allowed him to reflect a bit on his career and gave him some insight into how it might feel when he’s no longer on the field. Kelce said that it emphasized the importance of appreciating every snap, and that’s something he’s going to do this year.
On being comfortable and ignoring expectations
Kelce acknowledged that Nick Sirianni is probably comfortable in his second year as a head coach just due to familiarity with the city and building, but then had some pretty colorful words about why comfort isn’t really a good thing.
“But to be honest, I don’t like comfort. I think comfort is a f***ing terrible place to be if you’re in this league. I think you want to talk about, you know, everybody expects us to be Super Bowl champions in Philadelphia right now, and I think that can definitely happen, but it’s not going to happen being comfortable. I can guarantee you that. It’s going to happen respecting your opponents, it’s going to happen respecting the game and understanding that if you don’t go out there and f***ing work every single day, if you don’t go out there and have the mindset that there are things that we need to work on, and improve on every single day. You don’t get to that mindset by being comfortable. So, I hope he’s not comfortable, I hope he’s very uncomfortable.”
Piggy-backing off of that, Kelce was asked about how they drown out the high expectations for the team that have been floating around heading into the season. He talked about how game film is reviewed differently after a win versus a loss, and how being critical about every single mistake needs to happen regardless of outcome.
“I think we got enough older guys around this building. I think we got enough, whether it’s executives or coaches or players to understand that expectations are just that, they’re f***ing nothing, and we gotta go out there and play. We gotta go out there, and — the moment you’re comfortable in this league, somebody’s coming for you. We got Mister T in Rocky 3, he’s going to be hunting us every single week. And we haven’t won f***ing nothing yet, so we’re not even the champion, so we better work our asses off.”
Kelce went on to say that great talent combined with good leadership and coaching is a recipe for success, and so far he’s seen enough of those things to be confident heading into the season.
- While it’s a bummer that Andre Dillard will miss time with an injury, especially after making so many improvements this offseason, Kelce still predicts the OT will have a great year and will still be a very important part of the offense.
- Kelce, who helped scout second-round pick (and his heir-apparent) Cam Jurgens, said that the rookie has so far exceeded expectations. He explained that Jurgens’ athleticism was obvious from the tape, but his attention to detail and work ethic are things they had to wait and see, and Kelce thinks he’s got a really bright future.