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Eagles Center Jason Kelce Will Take On More Offensive Line Responsibility

I remember my reaction a year ago when I found out the Eagles were adapting the Indianapolis Colts method of picking up the pass rush and blitzes of opposing defenses.

Unlike the manner in which the Birds had done for years with center Jamaal Jackson making the offensive line calls and then quarterback Donovan McNabb making the adjustments if any were needed.  The Eagles decided to adopt the method which offensive line coach Howard Mudd brought to town with him from Indy and they put all the weight of the calls and adjustments on the back of Michael Vick.

I knew that one of the reasons they were putting all the responsibility on Vick was because Mudd was leaning toward starting rookie center Jason Kelce.   He didn’t want to weigh down Kelce with that responsibility.

It sounded like trouble to me because it would mean the Eagles would spend more at the line of scrimmage and add to their number of delay of game calls.  I knew Vick didn’t have Peyton Manning’s ability to read the pass rush and blitzes with ease, so this could overload the Eagles quarterback and result in him making mistakes in his decisions regarding which receiver to go to.  Manning is on of the best at pre-snap reads, so it made sense to give him all of the control, but this wasn’t Vick’s strength and the Birds were probably asking too much of Vick.

NFL defenses have made blitzing Vick and the Eagles their top strategy in keeping the Birds offense off balance.

This year, the Birds are making a change.  Kelce will take on the responsibility of making the first call and taking some of the task from Vick.

“Last year, my involvement in the protections was just to get us started,” Kelce said to Philadelphia Eagles.com. “Whatever the rule was for the week, whatever the rule is for the protection for a given opponent, I would get us started. It was Michael Vick’s job to make the corrections and to make the audibles if that first initial play was off or if the defense was giving us something we weren’t expecting. Now, they’re giving me a little bit more leeway to make those corrections right out of the bat so that we’re not eating up as much time off the clock, we’re not having to make me make a call that Mike has to change. We’re trying to eliminate as much of that as we can.”

The key to making this transition is the fact that Kelce will have the entire off season to prepare for his new responsibilities.  I know this isn’t a sexy aspect of the game, but the quicker the Eagles can figure out the pass protection and snap the football while making things easier for Vick, is going to make them a better football team.

Mudd hasn’t been in town this off season, but assistant strengthening and conditioning coach Eugene Chung, has been working with Kelce and trying to make sure he’s ready when the season arrives.

“It’s very beneficial,” Kelce said. “An offseason I think for any position where a lot of mental duties are involved is important, whether it’s the quarterback, the center, the middle linebacker on defense or the safeties. Those guys have to know mentally the offense and defense in and out to be able to make adjustments and be able to make corrections as the game goes along. We’re so far ahead of where we were last year that it’s ridiculous.

“Everything isn’t just thrown on you all at once. Right now, we’re just basically starting from scratch, we’re learning everything over. The difference is this time I already know the basics and now I can pay attention to the little nuances and minor details that can make a big difference over the course of a season.”

Again, if Kelce masters the line calls and it makes Vick’s job easier it will make the Eagles offense better.  Hopefully it will free up Vick to make better decisions when throwing the ball downfield because he will have less on his mind and that will eliminate the turnovers he made a year ago.  It could take the Birds offense to the next level and I know you’re all interested in that.

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Posted by on May 28 2012. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Offensive Line. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

24 Comments for “Eagles Center Jason Kelce Will Take On More Offensive Line Responsibility”

  1. It’s being done because Vick can’t read defenses & blitz coverages. Kelce said as much, during his spot on DNL. Vick has never had to do it, so what makes anyone think in his twilight years, he is going to miraculously get any better & change. So anything to alleviate his responsibilities, is a plus.

  2. Vick is what he is, an Atlete who plays QB and he does need all the help he can get from his OL, WR’s and RB’s in picking-up coverages,blitz,hot reads,etc, for VIck is generally not going to pick them up himself until it’s too late..
    Got to like this Kelce Kid though, Tough, Smart and willing to work his ass off to improve.. Maybe another Jeff Saturday on our hands which means a long career, solid leadership qualities with All-Pro potential for a long, long time.. What a steal he as in the 6th Round last Draft.. What’s funny is that the University of Cincinnati never does much in the NCAA Fotobeall world, but they have turned out some quiality pros for the Eagles and the NFL..
    Eagles alone have Trent Cole,Brett Celek, Jason Klce nad returnman/Wr Mardy Gilyard on their Roster from U Of Cincinnati.. What I like about their players is that they are strong in the fundamentals, a strong work ethic and desire to improve and very coachable.. You don’t these traits with larger name College Programs (USC/FLorida/LSU/Texas) where they rely on their athletic ability too much and lack that overall burning desire to become the best that they can be…

  3. This isnt uncommon in the league. There are many teams that give the center the authority of line calls and things like that. It will make Vicks job much easier and less stressful, now he can just go out there and play. Of course he will still have some responsibility with audibles and blitz recognition. Thats still on him. But with Kelce handling some of the responsibility, and hopefully the wrs and rbs having a hand with it to like most other teams have the luxury of having, it will drastically improve this offense and overall team

  4. Only the Teams with Elite QB allwo th QB run the show, the most of the NFL Teams have their CEnters try to help out..
    Rodgers,Bbrady,Brees,Rivers,Mannings, Romo,Ryan are proabably the few who still call shots themselves but Vick is not in their Category football Smarts-Wise..he just isn’t..
    Center R Kalil calls the signals for Cam Newton, Center Matt Birk calls the sIgnals for Joe Flacco, Browns Center Alex Mack for McCoy, Jets Center Mangold for QB Sanchez,Bronco’s Center JD Walton did for Tim Tebow
    Former Cowboy A Gurode used to call them for ROmo, Former Bears Center M Garza for Cutler.etc,etc so it not uncommon to see

  5. I dont care if Vick or kelce is calling the blocking shifts or blitz pick up etc etc as long as Vick plays the game the right way, if he cuts down on turns and plays efficiently and this team wins, he will be considered an elite QB. Hes already close enough in all honesty, he just had a rough year last year and so did this entire team. I believe Vick will play at a high level all year long and will bring us to greater heights and as long as he does that, i do not care if hes making the line calls or not

  6. I dont appreciate Kelce coming out and saying what he did on dnl. He could have kept the Vick stuff in house. Him saying that about Vick was alittle much. Your a second year guy,so shut up and play. You may look like Jeff Saturday but your not at that level yet, remain humble and play the game. I like the kids game but hes a little cocky, he needs to keep a humble disposition and play football

  7. Like VIck isn’t a little cocky, C’Mon JH, Stop your whining, If Vick was able to do this and make blocking changes baces on oppsogin Defense’s Alignments and tendancies, as true Elite QBs in the NFL do on a weekly basis, then the Eagles would not have asked Center Kelce to his his QB out… Here’s a Paulman Prediction for you, Kelce will make more Pro-Bowls and and have a longer Career in SIlver in Green than Vick will…. You can take that to the bank…

  8. We all know your a closet Vick hater paul, your still viewing him as the guy he was 10 years ago. Hes not the same guy. Your also mistaking cockiness for confidence. Hes very confident and i want my starting QB to be that. What has Vick said or done that was cocky? Nothing at all. If anything hes been humble and appreciative for this opportunity.. As for Kelce, hes a 2nd year guy who is cocky and arrogant and looks like Jeff Saturday but isnt on the same level as a saturday at all, yet. And lets not guarantee how many years he”ll be in the league, he has to get through his 2nd year first. He should’nt have said anything about taking more control of the line calls and what Vick isnt good at doing and that Vick isnt off the hook he still has work to do, way too much talking. Shut up and learn and grow as a player. Stop speaking on things pertaining to the QB. And let him make a probowl before anointing the guy. Sheesh paul relax. You really hate Vick huh.. haha

  9. vinnietheevictor

    Paulman may very well be viewing him as the guy he was 10 years ago….and why? Because he is exactly the same QB.

    What has he said that’s cocky? Have you ever read a transcript? Here’s a head’s up. It’ll go something like. I I I I I Me Me Me Me My My My My My My Game My Game to the next level I I I I I’m just doing my thing Me Me Me My My My I just have to make a play….

  10. Jon Hart – Good stuff buddy; don’t let these vick haters make you get on their level man. They also really hate the fact that desean got the contract and will be here for the next 5 years. The only thing some of these guys salivate on is what the media puts into their ears and what they believe as the only way to win is with a QB like these”golden boys” who the media puts up on a perch. Keep on believing in Vick and the team and he’ll take us to the lombardi promise land buddy! Peace

  11. vinnietheevictor

    Funny you should say that Rocko…when Vick himself is the complete embodiment of a media creation.

    The mythical Vick that you so lovingly praise doesn’t exist. The idea of the dream QB you relish is a complete construct created by ESPN highlight films and talking heads rambling on and on about how “special” Vick is. All style, no substance. But the idea sells. And you drooling slackjaws can’t get enough of that image can you? The mythical Vick. All in complete opposition to his actual accomplishments, of which there are very little.

    One year left.

  12. “one year left”- and then what? you root for the team again? i dont get the philly fans these days- not the kind of fans i grew up with. You root for the home team, you get behind your players- not root for him to break their own legs.

  13. @ Rev….your answer is that Vinnie isn’t a Philly fan as you remember….he is a Canadian who states that he is an Eagles “fan”…..a guy who clearly has an obsession with the QB and has taken it to an un-healthy level if you ask me….there are still plenty of Philly Fans out here that are fans of the team and root for them with through all of the ups and the downs. We are still here Rev.

  14. We are here, alive and breathing. I ignore the fake fans. Alot of it is there dislike for Vick. Some of it involves his color, or the image he had 10yrs ago, other has to do with his dog fighting. Then it goes to his play on the field. They root for him to fail and its sad bc hes the starting QB. But if he has the year i think he will, he ll be here a long time

  15. vinnietheevictor

    I may live 8 hours away, but have probably been to more home games than you clowns combined.

    I’ve also seen the birds play in Cleveland, NE, NYG/J, Pitt, Cinci, Det, Chic, Wsh, Buff,

    Of course its a dislike for Vick, but the “one more year” does not represent when I (or others) can start rooting again, its just the understanding that it will only be after Vick is gone that another SB appearance will be possible.

    I rooted for the Birds when Pat Ryan was running the show, but I didn’t hold any illusions that he was going to take us on a 10 game winning streak to the Supe. I wanted that string of shitter QBs out of here so the team could move forward.

    This is no different.

  16. good to see REAL Eagles fans on here today… Not just the attention whores..

    This is lining to be a good season hopefully. Lets keep the injuries to a minimum. I like the way the Eagles are going about their business so far.

    keep up the good work

  17. Vinnie – You sir are operating under closed thinking which has been proven to be a bad way of doing things. You’re of course entitled to your opinion. But you’ve locked yourself into a box – It will Never Happen with Vick -. That sir is a cognitivie distortion. It might indeed never happen, but it might happen. You are thinking in extremes/all-or-nothing. You’ve closed your mind.

    It’s kind of f’d up. You’re allowed to think that way. Your opinion is your opinion. But you sure have closed your mind and convinced yourself that you know more than you possibly can.

  18. vinnietheevictor

    What’s closed thinking? That a player has to be smart to play the most cerebral position in all of team sports. (except perhaps catcher)

    He’s not a point guard or a centre in hockey. Its not a “reactionary” position. It’s a thinking position. And its why he fails. DO I think that athleticism like what Vick has is impressive…of course…but not at the qb position. I am excited to see how RGIII is going to work out….from all acounts a very bright guy, with pretty remarcable athleticism….

    But as for Vick…I may believe in miracles, but I think wishing that Vick’s IQ is suddenly going to rise 30 points come September is a little too much to ask. When the season gets tough, and the D-coords start scheming, just don’t be shocked when you see the patented spin out/hit/fumble or stare down one guy pick from Vick. I won’t be.

  19. vinnie – well if you want to go there – IQ is only one limited measure of smarts and there’s been no demonstrated link between IQ and QB performance.

    See you will rework any argument to fit your point that Vick won’t succeed – that’s closed thinking.

  20. Patriots release WR Anthony Gonzalez

  21. No surprise to hear.. Expect Ocho Cinco to be next..
    Look at the PAt’s WR and they have 7-8-9 NFL Proven WR’s on their Squad for about 6 Spots
    #1) W Welker (more receptions the last 3-4 years than noyone in the NFL)
    #2) D Branch (one ofr Brady’s favorite targets)
    #3) Brandon Lloyd (one of OC Josh McDaniels favorite targets)
    #4) Jabar Gaffney (one of Bradys Favorite targets)
    #5) Donte Stallworth (only WR with pure down the field speed)
    #6) Ocho-Cinco (on the outside looking in, already took pay cut)
    #7) Justin Edleman (a younger version of Welker, Beleicheks plays him everwhere, Defense, SPecial Teams)
    #8) Matt SLater (Probably won’t make the Cut)
    #9) Anthony Gonzales (Already was cut)

    plus the 3 have new WR’s they Drafted and or brought into camp

  22. The pats like ocho, they wont cut him. If he wouldnt have accepted the pay cut then he would have been released. His issue is that hes not fully understanding the playbook. Someone needs to tell Chad to stay off the reality shows (basketball wives?) and get in the playbook. Gonzalez is talented, i would bring him in if i were the birds and take a look at him

  23. vinnietheevictor

    Do I really have to rehash the overwhelming evidence that to win the SB in the 20th century, a QB has got to be academically inclined. Not “multiple intelligences – kinesetic learner” BS. Book smart. Study skills. Reading. Memorizing.

    Dismiss IQ – or whatever measure you want to use (perhaps the results from the incredibly easy wonderlick the NFL uses)…but why don’t you ask Bill Parcells if there’s a link? He might give you a different answer. And you really should double check your statement on your own. Its not 1972 anymore and teams run complex offences.

    Just take a look at the SB QBs over the past 10-15 years and you’ll see a propensity of college grad academic-all americans….the days of Terry Bradshaw (or Mike Vick) “making a play” and chucking it up and long gone.

  24. @vinnie…then how do you explain the success of Ben Rothelsburger?
    On top of a borderline sociopathic personality regarding women, he also suffered a brain injury from a motorcycle crash where he wasn’t wearing a helmet (a sure sign of stupidity in itself)…..I don’t see where MENSA is knocking on the guys door for entry into it’s club…..if what you say were true, the league would be full of QB’s from Yale, Harvard and Princeton

    Give the Vick bashing a break and let some of us enjoy the thought of our team…..he is our QB and gives us our best chance to win…get over it.

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