Philadelphia Eagles Jason Kelce Mulling decision to return or retire, Hall of Fame talks
Jason Kelce was on 94WIP sports radio Friday morning to talk about his Super Bowl memories from four years ago up to the day the Eagles defeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII, played in Minneapolis, Minn.
To the hosts’ credit, they didn’t let the veteran center escape questions about his immediate future and his thoughts on the Hall of Fame.
Joe DeCamara asked Kelce where he was thinking when it comes to returning for 2022 or retiring.
Kelce, 34, said he was still thinking about what he would do. He’s doing what he’s been doing for the past few years, clearing his head and letting the emotions of last season fade away.
“We started so badly and finished really strong, then obviously the playoff game went really badly,” he said. “I think the most important thing for me right now is to walk away and let it all calm down.
“Right after the game, I’m like, man, is this really going to be my last game in the NFL? But unless you win the Super Bowl, they’ll all end on a low note. I think my competitive side really wants to keep playing. There’s no doubt about it, but it gets harder and harder every year.
Kelce said one thing that has helped prolong his career, and that of others, is the way practices are conducted now. Veteran players are usually given Wednesdays, and sometimes Thursdays, to rest.
Still, he wouldn’t commit to a decision, even if he looked like he wanted to return, especially when he said in the interview that he looked across the pitch and saw Doug Pederson during the visit. of the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Philadelphia this fall.
“We’ll see (to come back),” Kelce said. “I want to, but I have to make sure it’s the smart thing to do, that I can still do it and be a good teammate, a good leader and a good player. As long as I can do all three, I’m definitely coming back.
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As for the possibility of one day entering the Hall of Fame, DeCamara asked Kelce what he thinks of this possibility.
“I thought about it just because people talked about it, I guess,” the center said. “I remember talking about this with Chris Long – he was talking about the Hall of Fame – and I was like, why are we even talking about this, man? This is such a rare opportunity that so much has to go good for that to happen.
“I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine being in that type of business as a player because, to me, a Hall of Fame player is someone who’s independent of the scheme, like this guy is. so good, he can go out there, no matter who the coach is, no matter who’s playing next to him, he’s going to go out there and dominate, and that was never me.
“But I have a skill set that when used correctly is very very…it’s just different. It allowed us to be successful and it allowed me to be successful. When I play alongside great players and have great coaches, I play really well, but I don’t know if that’s indicative of a Hall of Fame player.
Kelce added that the possibility of the Hall of Fame will not enter into his decision-making process when returning or retiring.
“It doesn’t motivate you to try and play further to try and get there,” he said.
“I think I thought about it because people have written articles and guys have asked me about it, but if it happens it will be largely because I played next to incredible players, an incredible offensive line that the Eagles have invested in every single year, and incredible coaches, whether it’s Howard Mudd or now Jeff Stoutland, finally getting the accolades he deserves.
“All of these plays allowed me to excel and play at a high level, so if I ever get that achievement it won’t be just for me.”
Ed Kracz is SI.com’s Eagle Maven editor and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles Where www.eaglemaven.com and follow him on Twitter: @kracze.