The Philadelphia Eagles came incredibly close to winning their second Super Bowl in five years. The team was arguably the NFL’s best team all year, going 14-3 and reaching the Super Bowl. The Eagles led for most of the game, but fell to the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-35, blowing a 4th quarter lead.
This offseason was always going to be a transitional one for the Eagles, who had plenty of players that were due for free agency and potential retirement. Players like Kyzir White, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Javon Hargrave, and Miles Sanders have all moved on to other teams.
But, one big returnee is All-Pro center Jason Kelce. Kelce, who was part of the first tandem of brothers to play against each other in the Super Bowl when he faced off against his superstar bro Travis, had contemplated retirement after 12 seasons of standout football. But, the five-time first-team All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl selection decided to return to the Eagles. That is a huge boost to an Eagles team that loves to run the ball, and has one of the best offensive lines in the national football league led by Lane Johnson and Kelce.
Recently, the Eagles star spoke out about why he decided to return for his thirteenth season, and it had a lot to do with his team falling short in the Super Bowl. Here are more details, courtesy of Pro Football Talk.
“I do think it played a factor ,” Kelce said Friday on The Rich Eisen Show. “I don’t think it should. I wish it didn’t. But I do think that when you go that far and get that close and it doesn’t happen, I think your emotions and energy get going, and you want to do that. You know it’s close, and you know the team is going to be good next year as long as everybody stays healthy. We’re returning a lot of pieces on offense. So, yeah, that all plays a factor.
“If it was a different situation, I don’t know what the answer would be. I still think I would play.”
“The physical part, knock on wood wherever there is, I’m in pretty good shape for a guy going into his 13th year,” Kelce said. “I’ve got some knee pain, ankle pain, this and that, but it’s really what you’re talking about — the mental grind. The level of attention you have to have on a daily basis to do it right. Because part of my job is, one, being prepared myself. Two, being prepared to put everybody in the right position. Center, quarterback, middle linebacker and safety are the four spots on the field where you get to actively make other players play better or influence how they play.
“Just by the calls you make. Just by the communication that you do. To do that well requires attention in the meeting rooms, requires film study, requires communication throughout the week. And all of that takes energy and effort. And all of that ultimately on some levels gets distracted from other areas of my life. You have to really think whether you’re willing to do that again.
“I was still in a position where I felt like for another year I wanted to do that. I do think losing the Super Bowl does play a factor, but I think ultimately, I still want to play football.”
The Eagles have a great chance to bring home the Lombardi Trophy next year, and it’s not hard to see him riding off into the sunset then.