Eagles blog: Jason Kelce speaks on Eagles’ decision in season finale
Just a few weeks ago, Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce gave an impassioned answer about why NFL teams shouldn’t tank and about the dangerous precedent it could set for an organization.
So, naturally, we have all been waiting to hear his thoughts on what happened in the Eagles’ regular season finale on Sunday night. In a tight game, Doug Pederson pulled starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in favor of Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter and the Eagles went on to lose the game and solidify the No. 6 spot in the 2021 draft.
It sure looked like tanking from the outside, but Pederson has continued to claim he was coaching to win.
On Wednesday morning, Kelce released a lengthy statement on his Instagram account detailing the brief conversation he had with Pederson on the sideline, his thoughts on the move and his support for Sudfeld.
“I understand the optics of how it looked, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little surprised given the circumstances that the move happened when it did,” Kelce said, “but every one of just did our best, an all of us believe we can win with Nate Sudfeld.”
Here’s the full statement from Kelce:
One of the more important pieces of information in that statement is that Kelce said, “At no point was anything from me or anyone else confrontational.” A Philadelphia Inquirer story recently stated that two defensive players had to be held back from approaching Pederson about his decision. Of course, Kelce might not have been confrontational but it would have been hard for him to account for everyone on the sideline, especially as he was working getting in snaps and working on cadence with Sudfeld.
In the days since the Eagles’ 20-14 loss to Washington, this story hasn’t gone away. Giants coach Joe Judge ripped into the Eagles at his season-ending press conference, vowing to never disrespect the game in that way.
And then on Tuesday, running back Miles Sanders spoke out against the decision to sit Hurts, saying “nobody liked the decision.”
But the main person we were waiting to hear from was Kelce. The 33-year-old was pretty clear on how he feels about tanking. If he has a problem with Pederson’s decision, Kelce is choosing to not air it publicly.
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