PHILADELPHIA — Jason Kelce has seen a lot during his 11 seasons in Philadelphia. The All-Pro center has been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows with the Eagles over the past decade, and he knows that training camp hype can lead to utter disappointment. That’s why he chooses to avoid criticism or praise during the summer.
Speaking to the media on Friday at the NovaCare Complex following the second practice of training camp, Kelce explained his rationale for ignoring press clippings ahead of and during camp.
Jason Kelce doesn’t care what the Eagles look like on paper
Following an impressive offseason by GM Howie Roseman, the Eagles have been projected by national and local media as NFC Championship contenders.
The team has added several notable pieces to the defense and traded for former Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Brown, all in an effort to improve the team’s fortunes after a forgettable playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January.
While fans and media have praised the upgrades on the Eagles roster and projected success for the upcoming campaign, Kelce isn’t buying any of the hype.
“In this city, it feels like every year the media thinks that we’re really good, we end up being sh–ty,” Kelce said. “And every year the media thinks we’re going to be sh–ty, we end up being really good. So, I prefer not to listen to what everybody thinks we look like on paper.”
Kelce downplayed the Eagles’ perceived improvements on offense as he astutely noted that Brown is really the only new player in the starting lineup.
While he complimented the defense — which has added the likes of first-round pick Jordan Davis, pass rusher Haason Reddick, and cornerback James Bradberry — he still believes it’s important to see what’s on the field before basking in delusions of grandeur and unearned hubris.
Kelce walked off the field thinking the first-team offense “didn’t look good” in its second workout of the summer, which obviously proves his point that paper projections belong in a notebook instead of reality.
Kelce, one of the heroes of the Super Bowl LII win, still remembers the mediocre 2017 reviews the Lombardi Trophy-winning squad received before its epic run through the postseason. He also remembers the positive projections that came with 2020 that imploded and led to the Philadelphia demises of Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz.
That’s why he’s taking the Eagles’ training camp one day at a time.
“The only way we’re going to be any good this season is if we come out here and we work, and everybody comes out here with the mentality to get better — each and every one of us,” Kelce said. “Nobody here is so good that they can’t get better.”