Most NFL players hate training camp. They hate the endless grind of tedious morning practices, usually spent under the intense heat of a sweltering sun. It’s the first thing — sometimes the only thing — former athletes point to about not missing after they retire.
Not Jason Kelce. Then again, he’s not your average player. The nine-year veteran loves every minute and recently seemed to advocate for extending the once-hated preseason ritual. It’s a rare change of direction for a league and commissioner that has considered shortening the preseason. But Kelce sees training camp as the best way to work out the kinks before the rigors of the regular season.
“I’ll take as much training camp as you can give me before game on,” Kelce said Thursday. “You want to be as ready as you can be. I think every day we’re trying to get better. I don’t look at it like, ‘Now we’re ready to go.’
“You’re always able to get better. You’re always able to improve your craft. Every day we get is an opportunity to iron things out and to make sure we’re prepared for any and every situation come game time.”
Don’t get it wrong. It’s not that Kelce is actively advocating for additional weeks this summer, the center just knows practice makes perfect. That is something being preached everywhere you look at Eagles camp, from the coaches’ mouths to the players’ ears. The underlying message (sorry, New England Patriots) has been “do your job.”
“I think the biggest thing that we need to do is just focus on our job, our task. Do your job,” Kelce said. “We’re all trying to get better: players, coaches, everybody … I think that’s kind of the culture we have right now.”
Kelce Sees ‘Incredibly Motivated’ Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz has been at the center of every discussion involving the Philadelphia Eagles. Their so-called “Super Bowl or bust” mentality — a term coined by those outside the locker room, not those in it — starts and ends with the quarterback. Jason Kelce, in his position as the team’s starting center, is the one that hikes Wentz the ball on every snap. He should know better than anyone what to expect from the oft-injured star.
“Carson is an incredibly motivated guy,” Kelce said. “He’s been [motivated], not just for his own sake, either. The energy he brings, for our offense and for our team’s sake, and the competitor he is rubs off on everybody else, and he’s been like that since day one.”
And Kelce doesn’t believe Wentz’s opulent bank-breaking $128 million contract extension has changed anything. The guy is stoic, unfazed and unchanged.
“There’s no difference. The thing that’s changed is he’s a little bit healthier,” Kelce said. “He’s healthy … his back, his knee and all that stuff appears to be taken care of. From everything else, he’s the same guy that he was when he stepped through the door and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”
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