Jason Kelce is the best in the business – again.
The center was named first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press for the third year in a row in a vote of a 50-member nationwide media panel. Kelce was the only Eagle to make either the first or second team.
And, as usual, Kelce said he appreciated the honor but places the team and its success ahead of any individual honors.
"I reflect more on the team, to be honest," Kelce said. "That's why this game is the greatest game, in my opinion, there is. It's the teamwork required, especially up front on the offensive line. That's the reason this game is special."
Kelce is more than special to the Eagles, and his value is certainly not lost on head coach Doug Pederson.
"I don't know if I've been around a center that can do the things athletically, number one, and mentally, number two, that Kelce does," Pederson said of the team captain on Friday. "It's pretty impressive."
Pederson added, "I could spend the whole press conference and longer talking about Jason Kelce, what he means personally to me and what he means to this football team and organization.
"He's one of the guys who epitomizes what we're all about – his toughness, his mental and physical toughness. I think about the offseason and he's one of the first guys back in the building weeks after your season is over, back in the weight room. That's the type of guy he is. He's hungry for the next game, the next opportunity. That's the way he is. That's the way he prepares during the week. He puts his body through the grind each and every week. He's so sharp mentally, on point with the game plan."
A true ironman, Kelce was the only Eagles player to line up for every snap on offense in 2019. Kelce has started 89 consecutive regular-season games, a streak dating back to 2014 that is the longest among all NFL centers.
"It's a lucky stat," Kelce said on Thursday of playing every snap in 2019. "The injury rate in the league is pretty high and I've been fortunate the football gods are taking care of me. Hopefully, that continues."
During the Eagles' four-game winning streak to get into the playoffs, the offense generated at least 400 total yards of offense in each game. The Eagles finished the year with the third-best red zone offense and the fourth-ranked third-down offense. Quarterback Carson Wentz threw for a franchise-record 4,039 passing yards. Running back Miles Sanders set the franchise rookie records for rushing yards, yards from scrimmage, and all-purpose yards.
On Sunday, the 6-3, 295-pound Kelce will suit up for his seventh career playoff game in his nine seasons with the team. With so many young players being counted upon to help out the team against Seattle, Kelce explained how he's helped them prepare for what lies ahead.
"Our job is to try and keep everybody grounded. You want to keep everybody fully understanding of the situation, make sure everybody's locked in," Kelce said. "You want to have energy; you're going to naturally have that going into a playoff game at the Linc with the crowd that we're going to have. But at the end of the day, you doing your job, our offense working together as a unit, and playing together as a team is going to be ultimately how we do on Sunday and probably determine whether we win or lose again."
A sixth-round pick of the Eagles in 2011 out of Cincinnati, Kelce signed a one-year contract extension this past offseason through 2021.