Jason Kelce has been with the Eagles since 2010 and he’s been through tough seasons before.
He was here in 2012 when the Eagles went 4-12 in Andy Reid’s last season. He was here in 2015 when Chip Kelly got fired mid-season. And he’s here now as the Eagles have stumbled their way to a 3-6-1 start.
“I think integrity is often tested in times of adversity,” Kelce said on Wednesday. “And in my opinion, there's not much you can do. A leader, in my opinion, they hold through the times of adversity with who they are as individuals. They stay true to themselves and stay true to the team, they stay true to what they believe in to be right and wrong. And when times get tough, guys expose themselves for who they are, and what they believe in, and what their values are. And you find out a lot about people through times like this into adversity.”
As one of the longest-tenured players on the team and as one of the Eagles’ captains, Kelce is an unquestioned leader in the locker room.
When he talks, players listen.
And they’ll also watch how he handles the final six games of the 2020 season.
“He gives of himself for his teammates,” Doug Pederson said. “He's a great leader, not only in the offensive line room but I think on this football team. "
A lot will be determined in these last six games and we’re not even talking about the NFC East race. We’re going to find out which players want to continue to fight, we’re going to find out if Pederson still has command of the locker room, we’re going to find out who has pride.
Kelce is confident in the group they have after watching the team fight through adversity over the last few years.
But this year, the adversity has seemingly reached a new level.
“I think that we have great people here, I think we have great coaches, great people of integrity,” he said. “And I think that that's allowed us in a lot of seasons here to push through tough times and to continue to fight. I don't see a lack of fighting, a lack of effort, a lack of accountability in the team. It's not getting done, and that's not acceptable. But that's kind of my job.
“My job is to stay true to all that, so the young guys, people in this building that are looking for guidance, and people, even outside of this building, that are looking at me as a role model, young people or whoever, see that, and they say, that's that's the right way to do things. That's the way that it should be done. And I'm far from perfect. Everybody knows that. But you just try and do the best you can. That's all you can do.”
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