Skip to main content

Tough Talk with Jason Kelce and  'A Bronx Tale' Reference

Eagles All-Pro Jason Kelce is as tough as they come and he was asked about Wednesday

PHILADELPHIA - Days after Boston Scott got emotional discussing Jason Kelce's desire to fight through a knee injury to return to Sunday's disappointing 13-7 loss to the New York Giants, Nick Sirianni went even further.

"I got chills thinking about how much it means to him to be out there and fight through things that he fights through," the Eagles head coach said in between walkthrough practices at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday. "They should do a case study on him to see what makes him this tough."

Kelce is in line to start his 118th consecutive game on Sunday against the New York Jets, despite what he called a "weird deal" against the Giants.

"I fell down on the play I got hurt on and some guys fell on the back on my leg," Kelce explained.

The impact was a domino effect with Kelce's knee affecting his quad.

"Something happened, it got twisted or something like that and I got up on the next play and I noticed I really couldn't fire my quad in my stance so I kinda walked off after the next one and we were just trying to get the knee to be able to be stable again," he said. 

"The quad [has] to fire because you need to be able to protect yourself and stuff like that so just tried a bunch of different things and eventually in the second half, I think it had calmed down a little bit. We were able to get back out there."

Sirianni texted Kelce after the game: "You're the toughest guy I know. We appreciate the heck out of you coming back in."

RELATED: Don't Doubt Jason Kelce on Game Day - Sports Illustrated

Like most tough guys, Kelce downplayed his willingness to push through things that would have others tapping out.

"I mean obviously you appreciate it," Kelce said when asked about Scott and Sirianni's sentiments. "I really care about the game, I care about my teammates, and I care about this sport and this team.

"I just try to do everything I can and it's nice to hear that guys appreciate it, teammates appreciate it whenever they say something like that. ... I think that's kinda the way it should be done and I think for the most part how guys in this organization go about it."

Read More

Kelce himself had an interesting take on toughness.

"Toughness is a weird thing. ... the conventional mold is like this macho, very physically dominating, sometimes angry type of fellow," he said. "But I really think toughness, and that's what I used to think it was, but the more I played football and even going through college with certain guys, you really realize toughness is the guys that can do the same thing over and over and over again."

To further explain his point Kelce reached into his back pocket to reference the 1993 film "A Bronx Tale," the coming of age crime drama featuring Robert De Niro, who also directed the film, and Chazz Palminteri, who wrote the play of the same name in which the screenplay was adapted from.

"I'm trying to think of the quote from this movie "A Bronx Tale," when they're talking about the rich, mob boss [Palminteri] being the tough guy and Robert De Niro has to remind [his son in the movie] I'm the guy who goes to work every day," he said.

Kelce then got emotional himself when thinking about the message.

"That's toughness, right," he said. "So I firmly believe, you know I've been around a lot of guys that just come in every single day, work their asses off to be better. To service their teammates. That's toughness. I've been around a bunch of guys that are like that through college and the NFL."

MORE: Jalen Hurts Flushes Giants, Says Ankle is Fine - Sports ...

Whatever toughness is or how it's defined you'll see the living manifestation of it at MetLife Stadium on Sunday wearing No. 62, because he thinks his knee, which he said is swollen, will be ready to go against the New York Jets.

"I think I embody the values of morals that my parents and life experiences have given me," Kelce said. "I do think teams take on the embodiment of where they're at and the fan bases that root for them.

"I think it's no question that the majority of Philadelphia Eagles teams are labeled tough, hard-nosed, physical football teams and I think a large part of that is because of the vibe, energy, and what the city demands, so I am the product of a lot of different things."

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at or and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.