Jason Kelce discusses if Eagles have leadership void after retirements

This past March, Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl left guard Landon Dickerson spoke about potentially accepting more of a leadership role following the offseason retirements of center Jason Kelce and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

At a fundraising event on Wednesday, Kelce discussed whether he feels the club lacks leadership heading into the 2024 season.

“I’m not there on a daily basis, so I don’t know that I am qualified to answer that question, but I think there have been guys stepping up for the last few years,” Kelce said about the Eagles’ situation, as shared by Chris Franklin of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. “To be honest, I’ve never really liked the captain system. In my opinion, with the best teams, you have all sorts of players who step up and are leaders throughout the season. I like the leadership committee, and I like when each room has a good blend of veteran and youth that pairs well together.”

Criticisms of the leadership style featured by quarterback Jalen Hurts arose after the 2023 Eagles fell from 10-1 to 11-6 before they suffered a blowout 32-9 wild-card playoff loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Off-the-field issues allegedly impacted the club throughout its collapse, and at least one unnamed NFL executive said this past spring that the Eagles lost “culture guys” after Kelce and Cox retired.

Earlier this week, Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson insisted that Hurts has “gone out of his way to connect with his teammates” and become “a more vocal leader” this offseason. Kelce suggested Hurts and others will figure things out by the time the games start to matter in September.

“The responsibility of leadership and teamwork in the sport of football is too great for any one person,” Kelce added. “I think they’re in a good spot as a team. They have good leadership and a good blend of older and young talent, probably more than it’s been in a long time. They have a lot of hungry players and coaches, and I feel very good with where they are as a team right now.”

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie reportedly has head coach Nick Sirianni on the hot seat and could contact living legend Bill Belichick about replacing Sirianni at any point. Philadelphia has enough talent throughout its roster to compete with the league’s best teams on any Sunday. Still, somebody like Hurts may have to bring the locker room together and get everybody on the same page before September arrives.

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