Jason Kelce explains why he’s still hanging around Eagles’ facility so much

Eagles legend Jason Kelce speaks with John Clark about life after football and his outlook for the 2024 Eagles.

Back in March, Jason Kelce announced his retirement after a Hall of Fame career … but he’s still been at the NovaCare Complex quite a bit this spring.

And, no, it’s not because he’s thinking about a comeback.

Part of the reason is that he still enjoys being around his former Eagles teammates.

“Part of it is that,” Kelce said to John Clark at the Mike Quick Celebrity Invitational on Monday afternoon. “Part of it is just getting a free lift down in the NovaCare. I’ve gotten accustomed to going down there. I love going down there. It keeps me involved with it. Whether it’s being around the guys, being around the coaches, my mind in the game from what teams are doing to try and prepare for this coming season. And things the defense is getting ready to do.

“The game is always evolving and if you want to stay knowledgeable about it you have to continue to stay involved, stay around the game, stay around the guys that are in it, coaches that are in it. For me, I kind of get a two-fer. I get to be able to work out and kind of poke my head around a little bit.”

At rookie minicamp, sixth-round center Dylan McMahon said Kelce gave him his phone number and offered to help with whatever he could. That also goes for starting center Cam Jurgens and plenty of other players on the team. Kelce wants to continue to be a resource even though he’s no longer playing.

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Kelce, 36, retired in March after 13 seasons, 7 Pro Bowls and 6 All-Pros and he’ll have a very different vantage point for the 2024 season. Kelce has taken a job with ESPN as an analyst on Monday Night Countdown.

That means he’ll be talking about the Eagles in the Birds’ home opener in Week 2, when they host Kirk Cousins and the Atlanta Falcons.

“It’s nuts. Home opener in Philadelphia,” Kelce said. “I’m going to be right back here. I think it’ll be a pretty awesome environment. It’ll be interesting to experience it on the other side for the first time. I think it’ll be, we’re going to take it in. We’ll see how it goes.”

When asked about his new job as an analyst, Kelce said he doesn’t expect being critical to be the hard part. He always looked at the game with a critical eye and wants to carry that over to his broadcasting career. The only difference is that he’ll be sharing those opinions with millions of football fans at their homes.

If you’re wondering what Kelce thinks about the 2024 Eagles, he expects his former team to be good this season.

“I feel great about this season, quite frankly,” Kelce said. “I’m really, really upset that I’m not going to be out there with them. I think very, very strongly it’s going to be a phenomenal season for the Philadelphia Eagles. So I’m looking forward to watching that.”

Kelce acknowledged the disappointment of how the Eagles’ 2023 season ended with a historic meltdown but has high expectations for the 2024 version after the team brought in OC Kellen Moore and DC Vic Fangio.

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Hopefully, Kelce will be able to watch some Eagles games in person this season. And maybe he’ll even get to a tailgate or two. We all saw how much fun he had tailgating his brother’s game in Buffalo last season.

“For sure, depending on the night,” Kelce said. “I don’t know how much Bills mafia tailgating I’m going to do Sunday before I gotta work Monday. But I’m sure we can find some days that are going to work really, really well. That’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to this year not being a player. This is my first year I can just take in the NFL landscape. …

“Now, I’m going to be able to sit on my couch, take in all the games, go to games. I’m going to be able to experience the tailgating like I did up in Buffalo, which was such a joy to be on that side of the game. I’m looking forward to that to an extent. Certainly, that doesn’t outweigh how much it’s going to hurt having to watch it and not be out there, but every point in your life is a time for something. And I’m looking forward to this time for me.”

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