Chuck Dickens famously wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Go watch the press conferences by Jason Kelce and Riley Cooper and you’ll come away feeling that Dickens could have been writing about those PCs.
Kelce was one happy dude. He was excited to have the new deal and to talk about the future. You get fired up listening to Kelce talk about how optimistic he is for the Eagles future.
Cooper’s PC had a different tone. It wasn’t nearly as upbeat or celebratory. Maybe he was in a defensive mode since he knew he was going to get hit with a bunch of questions about last summer. Or maybe Cooper just isn’t Mr. Personality. Whatever the case, don’t watch that PC and expect to come away fired up. Cooper did get hit with several questions about The Incident. Anyone who thinks that wouldn’t have been a major factor in him going to a new team is being hugely naive. That will now drift into being a forgotten story here in Philly.
Kelce had a lot of interesting things to say. He mentioned he’s trying to bulk up and get stronger. I get questions about where he ranks among NFL Centers. Kelce must get stronger before he can be mentioned in the Top 5 guys. He is one of the most athletic C’s, but he still gets pushed around too much. That will change as he gets older. He’ll put on a few more pounds and he will get stronger. In a couple of years, I expect Kelce to be among the best in the league.
He also talked about the need and desire to get better. Chip Kelly pushes this idea on his players. Never settle. Push yourself to be better, to do more, to never be satisfied. If you believe what Kelce says, a lot of players have bought into that mantra. If so, that’s great news. Complacency is one of the biggest enemies of success. Coaches can yell at players, but that only works for a while. At some point, you need players who truly want to get better and will be self-motivated to go the extra mile.
I’m really excited to see what Chip Kelly does with this team in 2014. A good coach should show improvement each year. If Kelly and the players can get better, the 2014 season is going to be a lot of fun.