Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce and his brother, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, started a new podcast “New Heights,” which is funny, interesting, and a fun way to get a glimpse into the inner workings of the NFL. The duo had their first sit-down, personal interview with Philly QB Jalen Hurts.
In recent weeks, the friendship between Jason Kelce and Jalen Hurts has become a bit more visible – they did it Thursday night football post-match interview together, sang the Eagles Fight Song together, and in the days that followed, the team shared a video of the pair doing the Griddy (something they talk about on the podcast).
The whole interview is really a treat. And while we often see Jason Kelce’s personality shine through, this was one of the rare times you get to see Hurts in more casual conversation.
Here are some notable parts of their conversation:
Jason Kelce’s signature snap
They talked about Jason Kelce’s unique snapping technique, with Hurts laughing and explaining that the ball comes to him fast. He said people have asked him why his stance is so low, and that it’s because he has to be in an athletic position to receive the ball – the QB pointed out several times that he wasn’t in the right place and the snap messed up.
JASON KELCE: “I get it quickly because I want my hand back”
Jason explained that he needs to get his hand back for leverage and to jump on the defensive line. He attributes his success to being very, very fast and not simply overwhelming his opponents, so he snaps the ball quickly so he can get back to the rest of his work.
JALEN IS IN PAIN: “I have no complaints.”
Hurts said Kelce often asks if he’s snapped the ball right, but the QB said he has no problem adapting to how the ball comes to him – even if it means going a bit lower come.
About Jason’s retirement considerations
Travis joked that he expects Jason to play for another three years, but the Veterans Center admitted it’s an annual evaluation.
Hurts said he wasn’t quite sure what would happen to the team after the 2020 season, but he did know he hoped Jason would be back. Then after last season, despite Jason contemplating retirement, the QB never felt like he would actually get out of the game.
JALEN IS IN PAIN: “I think Jason understands that we could be really good next year, so I’m like — I never doubted it.”
Kelce acknowledged that he was much closer to retirement after 2020 than last year, joking that Hurts’ rookie year was “an awful year”, but he felt really good at the end of last season.
JALEN IS IN PAIN: “I never said this, but I felt like — I really felt the bond we had, I felt like he believed in me. You know what I mean? I felt like he wanted to be a part of this.”
On Hurts’ reaction to being called up to Philly
The quarterback spoke about receiving the call from Howie Roseman in 2020, admitting that he expected to be called up more by Pittsburgh than by Philadelphia. So when the call came in with an area code of 215, he was confused because the Steelers had already made their choice.
JALEN IS IN PAIN: “I had no idea I would come here. I had no idea.”
Hurts said he had an interview with the Eagles at the Combine, but from the interview he didn’t think he would come to Philly.
JASON KELCE: “It was certainly, I think, a surprise to most of Philadelphia, but there were rumors that people in the building [Hurts]. Like, I knew that when I got into design.
About rivalry between college and NFL
Hurts admitted that rivalry at the college level is different than in the NFL, but fandom in general is also different at the professional level.
JALEN IS IN PAIN: “I think this city makes it different.”
He explained that if he said, “Philly, let’s join Monday night,” they would join. This is not always the case at the university, the stadiums are not always full, especially depending on the opponent. But in the NFL, anything can happen on any game day, and the fans know that and show up every week for it.
On Hurts’ relationship with Philly fans
JALEN IS IN PAIN: “I enjoyed it. I think I’ve embraced them and I feel like I’m prepared — you know, that’s why I say it’s a different breed here. It’s a different vibe here. For example, going to Oklahoma, going to Alabama, seeing passionate fans, but you come to Philly — it’s a tough place, and it’s a grind mentality, and that’s something I thought, ‘Okay.’
JASON KELCE: “It takes a certain type of person to be able to play in Philadelphia and to be successful, and I think they want that type of person.
TRAVIS KELCE: “Once they find out you’re that guy, man.”
Hurts went on to say that he is thrilled that he came to a team that has so much history and pride, and that he truly appreciates the fans who have such a love for the team and the game of football. The QB said there is a different level of appreciation for the fans, especially given how much the fans value the Eagles and players.
- Hurts said his Welcome to the NFL moment was when he got to play with DeSean Jackson.
- The QB has spoken with three of Philly’s most notable quarterbacks, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Randall Cunningham, and also spent some time with Josh McCown, who was with the Eagles for a while.