Eagles’ loss in Super Bowl LVII played a part in Jason Kelce’s decision to return for 13th season
Jason Kelce might have retired had the Eagles won Super Bowl LVII over the Chiefs and his brother, Travis. They didn’t, so that made the center’s decision easier than if he had a second ring.
A desire to win another Super Bowl, after getting so close last season, was a contributing factor in Kelce’s return for a 13th season.
“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.”
Kelce, 35, has played every game the past eight seasons. He has earned All-Pro honors five of the past six seasons and has made six career Pro Bowls.
“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.”