Kelce: ‘We’re Going To Find Out the Cowards’
DETROIT, MI — Jason Kelce‘s left knee was swollen nearly twice its original size, the upper half of his leg black and blue from the strain. Inflammation of the bursa near his knee joint pushed against a nerve, causing pain to the point where he was having difficulty walking leading up to the game.
But he played, and stayed in there the whole, disastrous game against the Lions. Asked if that’s as good of proof as any that he is still fighting and fighting for Chip Kelly, he responded, “I guess.”
Kelce has been on of Kelly’s biggest advocates, and a defender of his methods. After a pair of horrible losses and all signs pointing to dysfunction, has his confidence in Kelly been shaken?
“I will never doubt Chip Kelly and I will never doubt these coaches,” he said. “That’s the only way you can go about this business in my opinion. Doubters and people that don’t trust their teammates and don’t trust their coaches, those are losers in my opinion. That’s the way you lose games. And obviously we’re losing a lot of games right now, we’re not doing very well. But that’s not ever going to change my approach or my trust in the players in this locker room or the coaches that are telling me what to do.”
Even before the Thanksgiving loss, there were signs that cracks were starting to form along the foundation. There was talk of guys in the locker room bailing on the head coach; an anonymous quote from a player suggesting that other teammates weren’t giving full effort. Kelce was around for the final days of Andy Reid, and knows that dissension in the ranks comes with the territory when a season goes bad.
“At this point, we’re 4-7, we’re going to find out what this locker room is made of. We’re going to find out who are the guys that are all in and with each other, and we’re going to find out the cowards, quite frankly. We’re going to find out the guys who will give you an anonymous reports to a reporter; we’re going to find out who are the guys that talk behind people’s back,” he said.
“I think that’s good, because then you find out who’s all in and who’s not.”
Asked if he sensed any quitting among his teammates, Lane Johnson responded: “Not really. I’m going to have to go back and really analyze the film.”
Most players interviewed try to put the best possible spin on things, perhaps a last attempt to try to keep it together. But their play has spoken volumes about the quality of this team and the amount of fight they’ve been willing to put forth, and there are still five tests remaining.
“You try to find out who the guys are that are all-in and hopefully we have a lot of guys that are going to stay on board,” said Kelce. “I trust everybody in here more than anything. I’m going to fight to the death for all the guys in here. Right now the product is absolutely embarrassing that’s on the field right now. The last thing we need, and the last thing a team ever needs, is separation.”