Wake-Up Call: Kelce On Culture Change

Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce has developed into a respected voice over his three-plus years in Philadelphia, so his comments regarding the team’s decision to move on from DeSean Jackson — delivered just 20 minutes after the receiver was cut — carried some weight.




Some took this as evidence that Jackson's teammates were glad to see the enigmatic receiver go. This theory was bolstered by a report -- filled with anonymous quotes allegedly coming from various  members of the organization -- suggesting Jackson was a "blatantly insubordinate" distraction that needed to be removed. Kelce was quick to distance himself from those who did not attach their names to their opinions ("You'll never see me hide behind the title 'Unnamed source,'" he said), and on Monday explained the intended meaning of his message as the clouds of controversy swirled outside the NovaCare walls.

"It was read into a lot. I really have no personal problems with DeSean. Never did when he was here," said Kelce following Monday's practice. "The main thing I was trying to do was, there was a whole fan base that was in an uproar right when it happened, and you knew it was going to happen because leading up to it there was people saying how negative it was going to be, how negative it was going to be. And all I was trying to say is, 'Listen, this team has been going in a great direction this whole offseason, let's not lose focus on what we've been trying to do the entire offseason. This one instance gets blown out of proportion when really the entire offseason we've had great direction, we've had great focus by our coaching staff and our organization, let's have trust in that.'"

Prior to the Jackson news dropping, the Eagles acquired Darren Sproles via trade and added safety Malcolm Jenkins in free agency. They also took care of some of their own, striking deals with Kelce, Jason Peters, Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper. They were identified as players the team wanted to build with moving forward. Jackson, clearly, not so much.

"Obviously DeSean has tremendous playmaking ability and I don't know that we have any receivers on the roster now who are quite as athletic or dynamic as he is," said Kelce. "But I think this whole thing is about a culture that we're trying to build here. And the organization felt it was time to move in a different direction. Probably a lot of that had to do with a multiplicity of factors. I don't think you can narrow it down to one thing."

With two offseasons worth of moves to analyze, we are gaining a better understanding of what Kelly wants. He is looking for certain measurables at each position. He values versatility. And he wants his guys wired a specific way.

"I think this culture Chip is trying to build, he's trying to get a lot of guys who are hungry to learn, driven, passionate about the game, smart," said Kelce. "I think he puts a lot of emphasis on guys being accountable and being good teammates because at the end of the day, accountability and consistency are usually what win football games."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Sheil with a running diary of Monday's practice, which included a Jeremy Maclin health scare. (He's OK.)

LeSean McCoy told us to check the numbers when declaring that he is a better back than Adrian Peterson, so we did.

Says Nick Foles"If I don’t play well, it’s the NFL; you’ll be gone."

Expect Kelly and the offense to pick up the pace in Year 2, Kapadia writes.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Jeff McLane wonders whether Carey Spear has a real chance of pushing Alex Henery for the kicking job.

I’d hate to kill “Muderleg” after just one bad kick, but his pull hook of a chip shot field goal during 11 on 11s makes me wonder if he has any legit shot to push Alex Henery. It was always going to be a long shot for the undrafted rookie to unseat a three-year veteran, but he hasn’t done anything during the two practices I’ve witnessed that has made me go, ‘Wow.’ Last spring, when punter Donnie Jones starting booting sky-high punts, it was evident that undrafted rookie Brad Wing had no chance to win that job. Carey Spear deserves more time and the Eagles will surely give it to him, but the whole kicker competition seems like a façade right know. Spear’s field goal was from about 30 yards out. He hooked it at least ten yards wide left, missed the building that’s behind that field goal and sailed the ball into the parking lot.

Brandon Lee Gowton from BGN offered his observations from Monday's session.

-- Mark Sanchez seemed to struggle again today. The biggest issue I've seen with him is overthrowing his receivers when aiming towards the sideline. To Sanchez's credit, he made a really good pump fake to the left before turning around and throwing right for a short screen pass to TE James Casey for a nice gain.

-- Ifeanyi Momah, everyone's favorite 6-8 WR, had two catches that stood out to me today. The first one was in traffic down the field with Brandon Boykin all over him. The second came on a play-action roll-out where Sanchez found Momah open along the sideline. Momah is still a long-shot to make the Eagles roster, but at the least he looks improved from last year. Perhaps he could earn a practice squad spot this year.

COMING UP

More from our time at NovaCare Monday, including an update on Lane Johnson.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • cliff henny

    kelly ‘ wants his guys wired a specific way’…and Kelce’s it?! makes me nervous and exited at same time. can easily see guy looking like that hand fishing in Alaska and eating fresh salmon out of streams.
    .
    this group of Eagles are reminding me of the ’93 Phils. bunch of guys who were gamers, but also very good players, plus extremely easy to watch/cheer for.

    • IG:blkboyflyy

      I definitely see it. I trust the direction in which the coaches and front office are directing the team in. On another note I want Momah on the team ever since he got here and was getting tips from Carmichael on how to use his size.

      • guest

        Every WR on the team gets tips from Carmichael. You dont think Cooper gets tips from Carmichael on how to use his size? Everyone’s so fascinated with Momah. No team in the league brought him in last year. He wasn’t even worthy of a practice squad spot – not just on the Eagles, but on any of the 32 teams. Not even a practice squad spot.

        Can he make the practice squad this year? Its a definite possibility if he continues to improve, but there’s no way he’s making the 53 man roster. Not without 2 injuries ahead of him.

        • Johnny Domino

          It’s all part of the plan. Force teams to use roster spots to combat real or perceived advantages based on their understanding or lack of understanding of what Kelly is trying to do. Momah makes the team, tall but less capable corners will be retained. Momah makes the practice squad, somebody will sign him because they figure Kelly must know something they don’t.

          [evil scientist laugh]

      • Philip Soloninka

        I appreciate the enthusiasm for Momah as well, but we also have to keep it in perspective, as the guy is PS material at best.

        I 100% agree with you on the direction of the FO and the coaches though, exciting stuff!

        • IG:blkboyflyy

          It seem like you two are the ones who took it out of perspective simply because I expressed I liked a guy. Are you serious? I’ve come to the realization that he’s a camp body but can’t people root for the underdog anymore without being criticized.

          • Philip Soloninka

            Nah man, I like him too, and there was no criticism coming from me, just tempered expectations. I feel the same about Villanueva … actually, who is the bigger underdog between those two?

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            I’d say Momah, because (1) he’s already shown he’s pretty bad, and (2) more depth in front of him. After starting 3 DL, it’s all competition

          • Philip Soloninka

            Agreed. Also, do we have a nickname for Momah yet? If not, I submit “Black Snake Momah” for consideration.

          • IG:blkboyflyy

            I feel Momah still underdog there with Villanueva having less competition at his position.

          • Maggie

            Very good question.

    • Philip Soloninka

      how did you miss this??? this was right around the beginning of the offseason I believe

      • cliff henny

        ha…nothing says ‘I don’t care what you think’ like going out in public in grey sweaties.

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          uh….not sure that qualifies as “going out in public”. but I see what you did there, and it is truth.

          • cliff henny

            someone took his pic. and where is he? is that snow caps in background? not like there’s pile of clothes next to him either. JK is a piece of work. glad he’s an eagle, fun to root for

          • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

            yup. my favorite by far. probably my favorite since Westy and Dawk. I’d give my left pinky toe to watch a flyers game with the OL, followed by going to a show with barwin

          • EaglefaninAZ

            He’s my 2nd favorite. They actually rank out at
            #1- Jon Dorenbos
            #2- Kelce
            #3- Donnie Football

          • Andy124

            #1- Julie Dorenbos
            #2- Kelce
            #3- Donnie Football

            ftfy

        • Corey Dawson

          They tend to be the only pants that fit athletes with strong, big ass legs without having to be tailored first. Buying jeans is next to impossible because the limiting dimension is around the legs and ass. Even with the loosest fits, the waist is huge. You can belt down if it’s only slight, but most of the time it’s so bad it needs to be tailored down to fit. Powerlifters, hockey players, and skiiers all have the same problem as our legs are disproportionately large compared to most people and we buy jeans en mass when we find a stock pair that fits.

          The above is why you see lineman mostly in sweats when in comes to long pants if they’re not in a suit, which is almost always bespoken. Most other pants simply don’t fit them, especially not comfortably.

          • Reasonableeaglefan

            Just curious, which category do you fall into(powerlifter, skiier, or hockey player)?

            That explains why those awful Zubas(sp?) were so popular with meatheads like Conseco back in the late 80s-early 90s.

          • Corey Dawson

            I’m an amateur powerlifter. I’m just starting to get strong enough to compete without embarassing myself and already can’t shop for pants easily despite having a bit of a belly and a 36-38″ waist due to my thighs.

          • Maggie

            Same reasons elderly people wear them. Comfortable, no zippers.

        • Andy

          Kelce said in an interview after he got the new contract that he wears sweatpants every day.

  • addicted2mula

    Fly Eagles Fly . Thanks to this site and fans. I’ve turned into a Eagles junkie and this site is the only site to fix my fix. Unless its BGN when they live tweet from OTA’s

    • Philip Soloninka

      Prove your loyalty… change your name to addicted2MAmula

      The BGN OTA tweets are how I get through the work day

      • addicted2MAmula

        There

        • Philip Soloninka

          haha that’s awesome

          • Andy124

            Oh god, change it back. It hurts my eyes! It burns!

          • Addicted2MAmula

            i think its time to change my avi too

          • Philip Soloninka

            You motivated me to get one.

          • Addicted2MAmula

            lol nice choice

  • cliff henny

    interesting tidbit from everyone’s favorite, Elliot shorr-parks…
    .
    “One player that makes you notice how far Cole has come is Brandon Graham, who doesn’t look much different than he did last season, which is not a great sign. The Eagles could decide they want to use him as a situational pass-rusher, but any hope Graham had of winning the start job appears to be slipping away.”
    .
    glad Cole is stepping up. if he can transfer most of what he was as d-end to LB, should still bring a lot. BG has his hands full, Smith and Barman(who was reported as running around yelling at nothing during practice) are locks, and Long is getting serious looks

    • JofreyRice

      seems like Graham really struggles with his weight. Issues with it in high school, when he was recovering from the ACL, here. Unable to adjust to OLB. Beyond just the fact that he’s not going to be able to do what he needs to, physically, I think it sends a bad message to the current regime, that seems to put a ton of focus on fitness, conditioning, nutrition etc. If he goes to a 4-3 team to play LE in a system with a bunch of rotation, alternating between 270-290 won’t be as big a deal. Playing OLB on a Kelly defense with all those snaps is going to require someone with better physical conditioning than that.

      • JosephR2225

        Speaking of which it’s after June 1. How come he hasn’t been traded for Dion Jordan yet?

        • paul from nc

          I’m still hoping

      • NickS1

        So his visits to Lee’s Hoagie House aren’t helping?

        • JofreyRice

          haha, remember how when he was recovering from the injury, he ballooned up to 300 pounds and said he was addicted to cheesesteaks? He’s had a tough row to hoe here, but letting his conditioning and weight get totally out of hand is nobody’s fault but his own.

          • NickS1

            Yeah, that was absolutely ridiculous, too. I love me some Phil & Jim’s cheesesteaks, but I know the limit.

        • cliff henny

          be my first stop if/when I get back to philly for a lunch. those chicken cheese steaks with onions and peppers, toss in some fries, on a Friday made me worthless after lunch.

          • NickS1

            Wouldn’t be a bad place to go. Not my #1, but there’s nothing wrong w/ it. Reason I mentioned them, though, is that my buddy sent a few of us a picture of BG at the table next to him. Fat SOB.

          • cliff henny

            you haven’t been eating California and South Carolina cheese steaks for last 10 years. 3 ingredients, meat (hopefully) cheese and bread, think it wouldn’t be that hard to find a decent one.

          • NickS1

            Thankfully not. And let’s not forget that the bread up here is superior.

          • paul from nc

            One of the things I really miss about Philly. The NC cheesesteaks are nothing to brag about. The rolls make the sandwich and ours aren’t good. But the pulled pork BBQ is great. Now if they’d only get scrapple.

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          too far for a drive during lunch for me…..but I can make it to a WaWa in the county and back in 45 min. you’ve inspired me

          • Richard Colton

            WaWa has gone down hill. Don’t get me wrong, if I really need a meatball classic at 2AM, its great. But once they got rid of the Deli – the quality left with it.

          • NickS1

            They have. I’m not as much of a fan of them as I used to be, which is probably a great thing for my health.

      • cliff henny

        yeah, sounds like it’s about time to bite the bullet on BG. aint going to happen. he’s not even getting looks as d-end in even fronts. I’m more excited that Cole might put it together, cause he’s a legit NFL talent, albeit on downside of career.

        • http://www.corcommunity.com/ theycallmerob

          i’m betting some DE goes down in camp and a team gives us a mid-late. last chance at value for the guy

          • cliff henny

            yup, one good thing about 90/75 cuts being so late in August.

          • Andy124

            I’m whichu.

          • anon

            surprised cowboys haven’t offered something. BG for Mo Claiborne? I’d live.

          • JofreyRice

            very possible, I think Graham’s worth a 7th at this point. FASTBALLZ!

      • anon

        i didn’t realize he was fat.

        • JofreyRice

          I think he’s had so many other issues–the first round pick “bust” thing around his neck, the microfracture surgery, being stuck behind Washburn’s golden boy, Babin, that it hasn’t gotten as much pub, but he definitely admitted he was way out of shape when he tried to return from the injury in 2011, got back in shape in 2012, and who knows about last year?

          Apparently, he also had a thing for Popeye’s as a high schooler, and got all the way up to 310 pounds before getting to Michigan, where he worked his weight down each year he was there. I think the year for him to breakout was really 2012, when he had his max motivation, most well-suited role, and was in the best shape.

    • Andy124

      I would caution against taking ESPs word for it on how Graham looks. He’s a decent writer, and I’m not saying he’s worthless as a pretend scout, but I’d wait until I hear it from more sources before I have any reaction.

      • cliff henny

        true, but I’m more encouraged by how Cole looks. BG is only a sub package guy, and if he isn’t even that, Howie and Kelly did nice job of getting real 3-4 OLBs.

      • anon

        true remember that article about djax’s gang affiliations? i would have fired him, but he probably got a raise.

        • Andy124

          Yeah, that’s the article I was thinking of when I said he’s a decent writer.

          He dug up a lot of facts that I sure didn’t know about and presented them well. I know there were complaints about it, but him trying to make it sound like the coach was talking bad about DeSean, but I never got that out of the article so I don’t share those complaints.

          • paul from nc

            But the gang ties never were proven. Except for having a gang member on his record label, everything else was denied by the police and the team.

      • Bert’s Bells

        That’s a generous assessment.

    • paul from nc

      Do you mean Braman? He’s going to be a character if he makes the team. He’s crazy. .But how many fans would ever buy a Braman jersey?

  • Andy124

    and you knew it was going to happen because leading up to it there was people saying how negative it was going to be, how negative it was going to be.

    So, they new about it before hand hm? Smells fishy to me.
    #intentionallyreadingtoomuchintothings

    • JosephR2225

      Everybody knew about it before hand. There were like six weeks’ worth of stories about them moving or cutting Desean.

      • Andy124

        Everybody knew there were rumors and jumped to conclusions. Those conclusions happened to be right this time. Doesn’t mean that they actually “knew” anything. And there was denial by many right up until the end.

        More importantly, #intentionallyreadingtoomuchintothings :)

        • Maggie

          Agree. and if I may repeat myself (and Tim McM.) “meaning of his message as the clouds of controversy swirled OUTSIDE the NovaCare walls”.

  • Token

    So Will Hill…… What an idiot.

    When are we signing him?

  • DEBO 215

    Alex Henery better not be our kicker next season.

    • myeaglescantwin

      looking more and more like that’s what’s going down.
      we better get some speed on the KO team.

      • paul from nc

        There will probably be some decent kickers available as teams cut down. I’d be happy with somebody to kick touchbacks, even if their a little worse on accuracy.

        • myeaglescantwin

          hell,, i’d be happy with keeping two kickers, one for KO’s and one for Field goals..

          That doesn’t fit Chips theme of Versatility though.
          maybe Donnie Jones can get some reps on kickoffs.

  • myeaglescantwin

    Any article that quotes un-named sources is crap.

    This is usually a reporter just creating their own quotes based off their own emotions and requirements to hand in a juicy story to their editors.
    A good reporter that is respected by players and fans alike puts names to his sources. They never work off of hear-say, but facts.

    and if there is a player that is dishing out team gossip, but is too afraid to stand by their words .. . . WHO THE F CARES ABOUT THAT PLAYER ANYWAYS.. philadelphians love people with backbones, whether they are on our side or not.
    It’s a thing called respect.

    • Bert’s Bells

      “This is usually a reporter just creating their own quotes based off their own emotions and requirements to hand in a juicy story to their editors. ”

      No. Not in a real newspaper like the Inquirer, anyway. Editors source all quotes even they run them anonymously.

    • Richard Colton

      Wow. do you really feel that way or are you still mad at the DeSean situation?

      Using unnamed sources is a time honored tradition in journalism. Yeah, it makes it hard to verify the information, but protects the relationship between the source and the writer. Once that confidence is betrayed once, good luck getting another story. Makes a beat guy’s life pretty difficult, doesn’t it? If I’m an Eagles player, I might be willing to speak off the record about things I’ve observed in the locker room. I don’t want to be labeled a “snitch” or “company man” in order to do it. Only 32 teams, I may have to play with DeSean again.

      You’re suggesting that it’s common-place to use the blanket of unnamed sources for a reporter to turn his opinion into fact. Like they just make it up? It’s sad that people’s opinion of journalism as a profession has gotten so low that people actually think that.

      • Andy124

        I will say, Les Bowen’s “sources” were very wrong during the days of DeSean’s dismissal. I gave him some flack for that. Hurts his credibility anytime he quotes anonymous sources in my eyes. That’s neither here nor there really. I’m just talking about one guy rather than even thinking about making any blanket generalizations.

        I wonder if Les will avoid that source in the future.

        • Richard Colton

          It really isn’t beneath the Eagles to lie about a player on their way out the door. Chris Carter – we cut him for drugs. Truth stayed hidden for years. Trot – we cut him for $$$, and the Eagles slandered his game.

          My issue is with the idea that reporters make stuff up and say “unnamed source.” It’s real incredible how people from the internet age have a conspirator’s mindset about everything.

          • Andy124

            Hmmm, you’re starting to sound like “one of them” Richard. A mole sent by the writers to try to convince us that their “sources” are actually legitimate. I see right through you, Mr.

          • paul from nc

            There was a lot of quoting other writers as sources, along with the “unnamed”. ( ” X had this in yesterdays article citing an unknown …”) It just snowballed one after the other.
            I agree with Kelce, if you’re ashamed to have your name cited, shut up, especially about inside team information.

        • JofreyRice

          yeah, he came out looking a little dooshy. Sort of dissing the new kid on the block in Kempski, while putting out bogus information. I gave Kempski a lot of flack for those reports, because I was incredulous that the team would get rid of Desean, but tip of the hat, Kempski predicted the move.

      • Andy124

        The writer that really came out of that whole thing looking smart is Kempski, who seemed to somehow be legitimately in the know more than anyone else.

        • Richard Colton

          Jimmy’s a hard worker. Not much of an artist though.

          • OldDocRoss

            Sacrilege! Kempski’s stick men are modern classics.

        • paul from nc

          He did get it right in the end. But did he just guess, or if he had real knowledge, why didn’t he share it?

      • myeaglescantwin

        yes, that is what i think.

        and i agree with your last line too.

      • myeaglescantwin

        what i found more interesting is that no other athlete on the team corroborated these stories of outburst and arguments.
        in fact most said the complete opposite.

        I guess i’m just against anonymity. I feel it’s more cowardice.
        but then again, i’m not immersed in the journalism field.
        i get that he’s protecting the lead on this one.

        • paul from nc

          Richard Colton, how did you upvote this? It’s opposite of what you said earlier about unnamed sources.

          • Richard Colton

            I upvote good posts that make me think, even if I disagree. I down vote d-bags.

          • myeaglescantwin

            Thanks Rich.

            i feel like that’s the theme here. The usual posters will argue to their death, while respecting each others positions. I like that.

    • John E. Zang

      If that player or players were to name themselves do you know what a media frenzy that would create? Now more than ever the media eats that stuff up and runs it into the ground. That player or players were smart not to name themselves. They would’ve created quite a negative situation for the team.

      • myeaglescantwin

        that’s coward talk.

        the guy isn’t even on your team any more. what, are they afraid of the Jacpot lash back?

        • anon

          CK / Howie Roseman flashback. If a pro bowler can get dumped for attitude what do you think would happen to these other mid-tier guys.

          • myeaglescantwin

            i can see how the Eagles brass would want to support their veil of secrecy here,

            i highly doubt that speaking to the media on one issue will weigh on their patience as much as player that knowingly undermines the coaching staff.

        • John E. Zang

          How is it being a coward? Do you think these people or person is afraid of Desean Jackson? And they didn’t say it was just an ex-player doing the talking. It’s pretty simple. At that time, with the release of him being fresh, if they were to identify themselves the entire sports media world would’ve gone crazy.

          • myeaglescantwin

            well i understand this dynamic within the media, as far as protecting your leads.

            but i do believe leaking “facts” anonymously is cowardly. They fear any repercussions from what they say. Whether the back lash is players or organizational.
            Either way, not putting your name to your words is rooted in fear.

            that’s just how i feel.

        • Maggie

          “meaning of his message as the clouds of controversy swirled OUTSIDE the NovaCare walls.” I don’t see anything in the article to indicate controversy INSIDE the team. That’s the only place that matters.

      • paul from nc

        If it would create a negative situation, then shut the hell up. How is “an unnamed player” not going to do the same thing in the locker room? If anything, it would cause more bad vibes since more players would be suspected than if he used his name.

    • Maggie

      I don’t know. Plenty of people needed to know about the Nixon garbage back in that day and were quite willing to take ‘Deep Throat’ at his word.

  • Johnny Domino

    How about Uhrlacher to the Cowboys to replace Sean Lee? Lee Roy Jordan didn’t want any of that?

    Could they be any more fun?

    • cliff henny

      yup, when Romo drags his broken back out onto field…at 60m for 3 more years

    • Reasonableeaglefan

      Gargano was talking to a national guy yesterday, maybe Mike Garafolo. He said Urlacher is totally done. Too broken down and no desire to even try. Ready for the glue factory. It shows how screwed the cowboys are, they’ll prob am end up with someone like Dan Connor, and he hasn’t made a play since he left PSU.

  • Jerry Pomroy

    I think Kelce is destined to play Santa in the future.

  • Bird of Prey

    Love Kelce. I still remember when he told guys holding up signs in front of the Nova Care complex to beat it.

    On a separate note, I still can’t believe they didn’t look at Jeff Budzien out of North Western as a kicker for this team. He ended up signing up for the Jaguars. He was a machine at North Western last season, probably the windiest stadium in college football.

  • paul from nc

    Doesn’t Kelce look like Hugo, from “Lost”?

  • Ben

    Actually he looks like a Viking. A true Warrior type of guy who would sacrifice himself to get Shady one more yard. Intelligent and powerful.
    A dominant force on our road grading offensive machine that helped the Eagles to be the #1 ranked rushing offense in the NFL.