After a whirlwind of an offseason for Jason Kelce, the Eagles legendary center is back in Philly and back to work for OTAs. The veteran spoke to reporters on Wednesday and said that he feels good health-wise, “for the most part,” and has some nagging things they have to figure out, but he’s still strong and able to move around at a high level.
Here’s what else the center had to say:
On Jalen Hurts’ new contract
“It seems like the same guy to me. I haven’t noticed anything different. You know, still out here every day, working out, he’s always trying to get better — even in a walk-through in OTAs, we’re talking through why do we go to the WILL and not push it to the MIC, or do we want to do that out of that formation? All of that stuff is still happening, and it seems like he still has a hunger and a desire to improve and get better which is a necessity in this league.”
Kelce acknowledged that it’s extremely impressive that Hurts has been able to lead the team at a high level and earn his masters degree, but also pointed out that it’s not surprising if you know the QB.
“There’s such a drive on his end to always be improving and always getting better and then to making his time useful. It does not surprise me that he got his masters. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s turned into the player he has. It’s impressive, but I think when you see him on a daily basis, and how hard he works, it’s not really a lot of nonsense. You can joke around with him, but at all times, you know, he’s all about business. So, I’m really happy for him in every facet and not surprised.”
On the right guard position
Kelce talked about how Isaac Seumalo — now with the Steelers — is a really special player, which is something they’ve said around the team for years. The center has said that Seumalo was an unsung hero for the offensive line room, and for Kelce personally. He went on to say that Seumalo is one of the smartest players he’s ever been around, and was really gifted both mentally and physically. Kelce said that they’re not going to replace one of the best guards in the NFL, but there will be someone new in that position.
“Looking forward to seeing who does a really, really good job with that. We have a number of contenders — I mean, the Eagles are always drafting people and bringing in talent on the offensive line, and it’s something for me, as an offensive lineman, I sure appreciate because it’s a unit, and a lot of times it’s only as good as it’s weakest link.”
On Cam Jurgens
“Cam is really, really talented. Extremely physically gifted, hardworking. I mean the strength, the weight ratio that he has, it is phenomenal. Very, very strong for his size. Extremely explosive, smart, blue collar, lunch pale-type kid. Really, really happy.
I think I speak for everybody in the building, he was ready to play last year. He could’ve gone in there and done an extremely good job playing center last year. Feel very confident in that. And, he’s going to get a chance to compete at right guard, he’s going to get a chance to play center still. The future is extremely bright for him. I think he can blossom into one of the best centers in the league, easily, one day. And, I think he can play right guard.”
- Kelce talked about how he’s started doing other things in his career — like his New Heights podcast with his brother Travis, and undergoing the NFL’s broadcast bootcamp — in part because he knows his playing days are limited. He wants to make sure that he’s in a good position when he gets done playing.
“I think retirement becomes an easier decision when you know firmly what you want to do, but I just keep coming back to what Jeff Stoutland — and my wife says pretty much the same thing, which is when you don’t want to play, you’ll know it.”
- The center addressed being given the PFWA’s Good Guy Award, saying it was an honor, but joking that it meant he’s been too nice to the media over the years. Kelce said that he always saw press conferences as his way of connecting with fans, and being able to utilize it as a way to control his messages. It’s a part of his job that he’s always taken seriously, even when it wasn’t something he wanted to do.