LeSean McCoy praises ex-Eagles teammate Jason Kelce: ‘They need a statue’

Monday afternoon, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce announced the news that many were dreading would come. After an illustrious 13-year career in the NFL, the seven-time Pro Bowl selection announced his retirement from the sport.

[Related: Eagles star Jason Kelce announces retirement]

Following the news, the six-time First Team All-Pro received praise across the sports world for his impact on the game and the city of Philly. And during Monday’s edition of “Speak” on FS1, LeSean McCoy took time to reflect on Kelce’s career and their time as teammates.

Jason Kelce announces retirement from NFL | Speak

Jason Kelce announces retirement from NFL | Speak

“Imagine a lineman, a center … with people wearing his jersey. Most people don’t know what the linemen look like. That’s how big he is in Philadelphia,” said McCoy. “The type of player he is, is what Philadelphia is reminded of who they are. You talk about brotherly love. He loves all his teammates. You see from his speeches, his interviews, always talking so highly about his teammates, right?”

In his press conference announcing the news, Kelce gave a shoutout to McCoy as he reflected on the Eagles’ “Blizzard Bowl” against the Detroit Lions back in December 2013.

Looking back on the memorable snow game, Kelce shared: “The second half was all to LeSean McCoy. He somehow figured out a way to cut on a dime, and man, it was incredible to watch. It was probably the most fun game of football I’ve ever been in. It felt like we were all kids again that day.”

That game, McCoy rushed for a franchise-best 217 yards, including two touchdowns, before going on to become the all-time leading rusher for the Eagles after the 2014 season. In 2011, McCoy also rushed for a franchise record 17 touchdowns, with Kelce, who was a rookie at the time, as his center.

On “Speak,” McCoy then shared a story of his own about his former teammate, taking it back to where it all started when Kelce was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 Draft.

“If I’m being honest, after the third round, I don’t ask who’s drafted. We had a guy named Jamal Jackson who was a starter for so many years. He did really well. Kelce was there to replace him, kinda. So I remember Andy Reid drafted him … I said ‘Big Red who the hell is this little white dude at center? He’s my height and my size, what are we doing with him?’ And he said ‘Trust me. Do I make mistakes?’ Fast-forward, we get the kid. He’s a rookie … he’s playing and I remember the first practices, they were shaky. After, he got better and better and better. I start seeing drastic changes. So I go back to Coach Reid and was like, ‘Hey, you was right’  We need him.’ And in all my special plays I’m either going behind Jason Peters or Jason Kelce. That’s how good Kelce was and, since then, I’ve never seen a center as good as him since I left Philadelphia. So, enjoy your retirement brother. I’ll be calling you.”

[Related: Eagles, NFL stars react to Jason Kelce’s retirement]

Since that rookie season, Kelce has played all 13 years of his career with the Eagles, helping the team to two Super Bowl appearances and winning Super Bowl LII in 2017.

During the show, McCoy also recognized Kelce’s determination to play through injury or surgery, which was reflected in the 2023 season as Kelce started all 17 games as a center, setting a new franchise record for consecutive regular season starts (156). It also represents the longest streak by an NFL center since Casey Wiegmann from 2001-11 (175).

“I’m so happy for this dude,” McCoy said. “Kelce should be the type of player who they need a statue outside the stadium as he stands for the Philadelphia Eagles is all about.”

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Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce

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