Jason Kelce is one of the better quotes in Philly sports.
The Eagles center went on WIP this morning to talk about a variety of topics, from his All-Decade Team snub to Andre Dillard and the departure of Malcolm Jenkins.
The most interesting exchange was when Angelo Cataldi touched on the Alshon Jeffery situation, with the circumstantial (but not concrete) evidence linking the receiver to Josina Anderson, which resulted in a quality answer from Kelce:
Cataldi: If you thought there was a member of the team that was anonymously speaking negatively about the team to a reporter, would you take it upon yourself as a leader to speak to that teammate?
Kelce: It depends on the situation and depends on the teammate. I can tell you this; I didn’t have any conversations with Alshon Jeffery about being a potential unnamed source. Alshon and I have a working relationship and I talk to him and want to know things every single week, what’s his perspective on what’s happening in the passing game or what’s going on. We’ve had discussions numerous times but I haven’t talked to him about that. I’ve talked to people in the past, usually younger players, if there’s a question of whether they’re leaking information (via) an unnamed source to the media. It’s hard. The way the media has free access to the locker room and the way the media tries to buddy up to a lot of people and act like they’re your friends, this type of stuff happens all over the place. And it’s not just players. There’s stuff coming from unnamed sources in the front office, “unnamed sources” coming from coaches, this is something that generally is very common in the NFL and it’s been common since I was brought into this league since 2011, especially in a Philadelphia market that is very media-dominant. One of, if not the top media franchises in the NFL. The spotlight is there. The reporters are there every single day. During the course of a struggling season, it’s easy to get a false (sense of) security with someone you think you have more of a working relationship than you actually do. Or you’re flat out doing for selfish reasons to try to further a narrative that you’re not the reason that the season isn’t going well. So as I’ve gotten older, I take less offense to these types of things.
At the end of the day, if your locker room is strong enough to handle it, you can be stronger coming out of it than going into it. It has a way of uniting people. I’ve had conversations with certain guys, but I did not have, as I feel like this conversation is being directed, I did not have a conversation during the season with Alshon Jeffery on him being or not being an unnamed source.
Intriguing answer, and maybe people will try to read between the lines there and take a guess as to how Kelce feels about the situation.
But the thing about the media is accurate. The Eagles beat probably has a top-five amount of media members covering the team on a weekly basis, across the “four major sports.” You can go down to NovaCare during absolutely useless summer training camp sessions and see upwards of 50 people there, tweeting live updates about practice reps. It’s bonkers, and competitive, too, which means that getting a scoop or breaking a story sets you apart from the crowd and raises your profile in a world where we worship the likes of Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski. Angling for information or trying to build relationships with players leads to good things and bad things, with the Alshon situation currently falling into the latter category.
I should mention that Angelo was probably hinting/alluding to the article that Jeff McLane wrote a while back, reporting that “A prominent player on offense confronted Jeffery to the point where they had to be separated.” Obviously Kelce wouldn’t admit to that, but you can use that story to help form your own opinion if you’re looking for tea leaves in the answer above.