When the NFL team was announced for the decade Monday, a notable Eagle was left out.
Jason Kelce had a case for being called the best center in the NFL in the 2010s, but he was not one of two named centers on the team. My colleague Reuben Frank called it a “blatant” snub.
Kelce, on WIP’s morning show on Tuesday, was very diplomatic about his name being dropped from the list.
“I’m not upset,” said Kelce. “First, because the guys who have been nominated are guys for whom I have great respect and admiration for Alex Mack and Maurkice Pouncey. Maurkice has been without a doubt the most decorated center of the decade, the quantity of Pro Bowls and All-Pros of which it has been a part is spectacular.
“And then Alex Mack was probably the most consistent center throughout his stay in the NFL. He’s a great versatile player, he plays the position that each team would appreciate. Tall, strong, intelligent, athletic, fast, everything you would want in a center and he also deserves this honor. “
Over the past decade, this is how their individual accomplishments stack up:
Maurkice Pouncey: 8 Pro Bowls, 2 All-Pros
Alex Mack: 6 Pro bowls
Jason Kelce: 3 Pro Bowls, 3 All-Pros
One big difference between the three is that Pouncey and Mack were both first round picks and Kelce was a sixth round. Sometimes, as Roob pointed out, it takes subsequent choices, especially offensive linemen, to get their due. And the fact that Kelce had a season where he was an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler is laughable; it shows the flaws in the process.
But Kelce, 32, said he really understood why he wasn’t on the list.
With myself, if I look at it realistically, I don’t think I was consistent enough to get this job, “said Kelce. “If you look at my career, at my best, I have probably been as good, if not better, than the majority of the guys in my position. At worst, I had a few years of hindsight. Especially especially where I was not as good. In the NFL, the real hallmark of a great player is consistency. The guys who are able to win every week are the guys who, in the long run, are going to get these kinds of honors and distinctions.
This is a fairly honest assessment and there is some truth. For me, when Kelce has been at the top of his game in his career, he is the best center in the league. Her athleticism allows her to do things that no other center can do. But he is right; it wasn’t always consistent.
When he mentions this particular year, Kelce is probably talking about 2016. He once called it the worst year of his career, which is funny because it was actually when he made his second of three Pro Bowls. While ProFootballFocus isn’t perfect, Kelce’s rank this season has been the lowest in his career (by a good margin) outside of his rookie campaign.
But since this 2016 season, Kelce has dominated. He has been the top center in the NFL for the past three years, being named a member of the All-Pro First Team in all three seasons. It’s an incredibly high level of sustained play that even Pouncey or Mack can’t say they’ve achieved.
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