Eagles' All-Pro Center Jason Kelce Has Some Unique Advice for Rookies

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Jason Kelce somewhat relate to what the current NFL rookies are dealing with. In 2011, Kelce's rookie season, Kelce didn't have an offseason as the players were locked out due to labor disputes. He didn't receive his playbook until two days before the season started. If anyone understands the inconvenience the coronavirus pandemic has created for this years rookies it would be him. Kelce recognizes this situation is different from what he dealt with nine years ago. Although this class has the mental advantage having already received their playbooks. However not being able to go to team facilities or a gym to workout is something Kelce's class didn't have to deal with. Eagle Maven Ed Kracz tells Madelyn Burke what advice Kelce gave to all the rookies as they try to prepare for the upcoming season. 

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Madelyn Burke: Eagles All-Pro Center Jason Kelce has some unique advice for this year's rookie class. Kelce was a rookie back in 2011 when they didn't have a virtual offseason. They didn't have any offseason at all as the players were locked out amidst labor disputes over the collective bargaining agreement. So joining me now is SI's Eagles reporter Ed Kracz. And Ed, what are the similarities that Kelce is drawing here?

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Ed Kracz: Well, you know, he he talked to us earlier in the week and he mentioned the fact that back in 2011 when he was a rookie, there was that lockout, the NFL lockout that lasted over four months beginning in early March, and that until July 25th, which was two days before the Eagles began training camp. So that is when he got his playbook was two days before camp opened. He was just talking about that being a challenge and then comparing it. What's happening now here nine years later in that these rookies, while they have their playbook, they're going through these virtual workouts, which really isn't the same as actually getting on the field and drilling what you're learning in that playbook. But he also mentioned one of the challenges that he didn't have nine years ago in 2011 is the fact that players really can't get to a gym to work out and to stay fit. Whereas back in 2011, obviously, you at least could exercise, get stronger and build your body up while you waited for that lockout to end.

Madelyn Burke: Absolutely. I mean, this year's rookie class has the mental advantage being able to prepare, get the playbook that class had, the physical advantage being able to get into the gym. But what are some of the advice that he gave these young workers in pursuing this different kind of offseason?

Ed Kracz: Yeah, and it is a challenge for the rookies and even the even the free agents that some of these teams signed. You know, the Eagles have a couple of free agents, every team has them. So it's gonna be a little challenging for them. But at least they're experienced professionals. They kind of know what to expect. His advice was to make sure for these rookies that they are getting into the playbook, that they are tuning into these virtual workouts and keeping focused and engaged on what's being taught to them. In those meeting rooms via Zoom or however they're doing it, because once they hit the field, they're gonna be expected to know what's going on. So he said that they need to hit it hard. Until that day comes when they can actually put that knowledge that they're getting now into use on the field.

Madelyn Burke: One benefit, of course, is all 32 teams are in a virtual offseason program right now SI Eagles reporter Ed Kracz. Thank you so much for the insight.

Ed Kracz: Thank you.