Jalen Hurts wasn’t necessarily mad at Jason Kelce, but he was upset that a sideline-clearing brawl forced the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts to end their joint practice early. The All-Pro center took umbrage to linebacker Zaire Franklin hitting running back Kenny Gainwell a bit too hard and a bit too late on back-to-back plays.
Kelce’s temper boiled over and bull-dozed Franklin at truck driver speed from 50 yards across the field. Then, a scrum ensued, and practice was quickly called. Hurts, citing daily deposits and building an identity, lamented not being able to finish the scrimmage. The dual-threat quarterback wouldn’t reveal what head coach Nick Sirianni told the team after the scuffle – “it’s an in-house thing,” Hurts said – but he wasn’t happy.
“Obviously would have loved to finish practice but we’ll learn from it,” the Eagles QB said. “We’re moving on.”
Meanwhile, Kelce walked up to the post-practice podium with a somber expression on his face. The heart and soul of the Eagles’ franchise was ashamed he was the one to blame. Kelce apologized multiple times for the incident, then promised to be more accountable for his actions in the future.
“I crossed the line,” Kelce said. “Tensions just got the better of me, certainly we try to keep things civil on the field and I think for me I pride myself on being a guy that sustains the emotion and the level of play out there, and I let my emotions get the better of me. That certainly doesn’t belong out there on the field and a little bit ashamed that it got to that level, and I did what I did, so certainly not happy about that. I think very highly of the guys that were out there, particularly 44 Zaire [Franklin]. I think he’s a tremendous player. I think a lot of all of their guys up front and they brought a lot of intensity to the day which made the practice intense, and I think I didn’t handle things properly there at the end.”
Eagles’ Jason Kelce Embarrassed by ‘Cheap Shot’ on Zaire Franklin
Jason Kelce has never been a guy to mince words and he wasn’t going to start after picking a fight at training camp. The 35-year-old called his actions “unacceptable” and admitted it was a “cheap shot.” While Kelce didn’t seek Zaire Franklin out after the brawl, it was clearly weighing heavy on his mind. There isn’t a lot of time to process things in a practice setting versus a game situation, although he wasn’t using it as an excuse.
“In practice you have more time to process things and you have a higher … more opportunities for your temper and for you to get in your own head about things, whereas in a game there’s so much onto the next play,” Kelce said. “You got to get the play in the huddle, you got to go to the sideline, you got to make corrections … there’s a little more time to take things personal in practice. Again, not trying to say anything about this [cheap shot]. I’ve gotten into it with teammates, and I think a certain level of intensity and fisticuffs is in practices is okay but that was not okay.”
Boston Scott, Tyler Steen Address Media at Eagles Training Camp
Boston Scott was asked to compare Jalen Hurts’ mindset from last training camp to this one. Could he see any noticeable difference in his temperament? Or in his attitude? Not really. Hurts is always the coolest cucumber in the room.
“I don’t really like doing the compare game. I like taking it year by year is the most important thing you can do,” Scott told reporters. “For Jalen, I think he wants to be better than he was last year, and just his attention to detail each day, just staying in the present, and just his hunger. His hunger is one thing that stands out. There’s still a lot of things in front of him that he wants to accomplish for the team first and foremost, and then I’m sure for himself. So, it’s been cool to watch him develop.”
Boston Scott on Which Eagles Teammate to Watch: “Jordan Davis. I think he’s kind of settled into the scheme, and you obviously see genetically he’s a blessed guy. But, also, he’s an incredibly hard worker, great personality, and he’s committed to being the best player he can be. And with all those intangibles combined, with his talent, and his size and his … I think he can be one of the better players in the league.”
Tyler Steen, a third-round pick (65th overall), has been seeing snaps at multiple offensive line spots during the Eagles’ summer practices. He lost the starting job at right guard – to be fair, it was never a competition as Cam Jurgens saw all the first-team reps – then cross-trained at left tackle where he has been serving as the primary backup behind starter Jordan Mailata. The experiment has been working despite a few rough patches here and there.
“It could be difficult at times just because it’s two different positions and having to go back and forth and adjusting, and use different techniques and stuff like that,” Steen said. “But I feel like that just takes time, a little bit of time just to get used to playing two different positions really – it’s still on the offensive line but there’s different subtleties with it and different things that you see pre- and post-snap, it just takes time and reps.”
More importantly, Steen is ready to fill-in at either position if needed.
“I feel like I’m pretty ready to do that,” Steen said. “I’ve gotten the opportunity to play left tackle and right guard all throughout camp and I feel pretty confident in both spots.”
The Eagles will lock horns with the Colts on Thursday in the final game of preseason.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire