We all know that the Philadelphia Eagles had their fair share of injuries to their offensive line last season.
One of the biggest losses came in week two when center Jason Kelce went down with a partial ACL injury. This led Kelce to decide to sit out for the remainder of the season, which turned out to be a good choice. It was tough to see Kelce go down because ever since he was drafted by the Eagles in 2011, he has been a fan favorite. He started all 16 games as a center in his rookie season, despite being undersized — 6-foot-2, 290 pounds — but what he lacked in size he made up for in athleticism.
Former offensive line coach Howard Mudd praised Kelce’s quick feet and explosion off the ball. Mudd admired Kelce’s talent so much that he even compared him to the long time Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday. Kelce isn’t a top-five center in the league, but the one thing he brings to the table is camaraderie among the offensive line. He always seems to keep a good relationship on and off the field with his teammates which is something an organization needs in this day and age.
Kelce’s performance from his rookie season had it’s ups and downs. He instantly showed potential by being the opening day starter. He struggled at times going up against bigger offensive lineman, but was able to hold his ground by using good technique, quick feet and solid hand placement to slow the defender down. Kelce is expected to make solid improvement in his third season. He seems to be getting bigger, stronger, faster and has a good understanding of the game at the NFL level.
Now Kelce’s knee should be able to hold up since he injured it about nine mouths ago. Hopefully he should be good to go by the start of the regular season, because his back-up Dallas Reynolds struggled a lot last season, but seemed to improve toward the end of the year. With how good the Eagles offensive line should be this season, they need a healthy Kelce to control the offensive line’s adjustments and audibles. Kelce is an intelligent center who rarely makes a mistake, which is why he is a vital part of the Eagles entire offense.
It should be exciting to see all of the Eagles offensive linemen back from injury, especially Kelce. Be prepared for the Eagles offensive line becoming a much more consistent group this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are considered to be the best in the league sometime during the season, assuming there are no injuries.