<
>

Jason Kelce vital to Eagles' success

LeSean McCoy led the NFL in rushing with 1,607 yards.

Nick Foles threw for 27 touchdowns against just two interceptions.

Neither McCoy nor Foles likely would have put up those impressive numbers for the Philadelphia Eagles without a strong offensive line, anchored by center Jason Kelce.

Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis and Lane Johnson received plenty of accolades last season, but Kelce was the O-line's glue.

“This player, in my opinion, is the most underrated player around here,” offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Our players and our coaches know his value and how important he is to what we're doing, though. A lot of players (shy) away from the position, and if you ask them to play it, they're very uncomfortable. He's perfect for the position.”

Kelce was the Eagles’ sixth-round pick in 2011 and started all 16 games as a rookie. During the second game of the 2012 season, Kelce tore two ligaments in his knee. By last season, he was fully healthy and started every game on the way to a 10-6 record and an NFC East title.

“I get calls from other line coaches about Kelce, and they are like: 'This guy is unbelievable in space,'" Stoutland told the Inquirer. “Many times, those big offensive linemen in space look like cows on ice. They can't change direction or stop on a dime. Jason Kelce is totally the opposite of that. When he gets outside the blocking box -- whether on a screen pass or a sweep or a play to the perimeter -- he always takes the right angle at the right target.”