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Eagles’ Cam Jurgens thrilled Jason Kelce is back for another year, even as starting-center plans put on hold

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PHILADELPHIA — Jason Kelce didn’t need to offer an apology to Cam Jurgens after coming back to the Philadelphia Eagles for another season. Kelce is arguably the best center in football and a future Hall of Famer coming off a First Team All-Pro season. No explanation was needed. 

Jurgens got one anyway.

“He told me ‘Sorry I’m coming back for another year.’ I told him ‘you owe me nothing,'” Jurgens said Thursday at Eagles minicamp. “Jason is such a great guy. He’s done so much for me and I’m pumped he’s back. 


“You can’t have a better locker room guy and team leader than that man.” 

Jurgens was selected in the second round of last year’s draft to be Kelce’s heir apparent at center, but that will have to wait at least one more year. The Eagles couldn’t keep everyone this offseason, so they let go of longtime starting right guard Isaac Seumalo as part of the roster decision crunch. 

The Eagles had someone to fill the void in Jurgens. With Kelce back at center, Jurgens cross trained at right guard last season as a way to have more position versatility on the offensive line — a staple of offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.      

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Learning a new position is paying off, especially since Jurgens will slide into center at some point in his career. 

“It helps a lot just for center, because you don’t just wanna memorize your calls,” Jurgens said on playing right guard. “You wanna know the scheme in and out and we wanna know where the ball is supposed to hit, what the call should be here. When the defense is different, this call goes to that call.

“When you’re at guard, you get a little more perspective on what everyone else is doing around you. You’re learning scheme, so you’re learning the offense a lot better.” 

The way Kelce is playing, he could keep going for another few seasons if he wanted to. In the meantime, Jurgens will compete with rookie third-round pick Tyler Steen and veteran Jack Driscoll for the vacant right guard spot. Jurgens is more than okay with having to wait his turn to become the Eagles’ next center. 

Kelce is already showing Jurgens the ropes of what he expects from the right guard. The two are working on communication at tis stage of the offseason in order to perfect their craft come September. 

“When we’re going combo blocking, he knows what it’s supposed to be like, feel like,” Jurgens said. “The big thing is he’s gonna show me how he’s gonna hit the block and how he expects the presence of a guard right next to him. A lot of times we’ll go in and walk through (it) and fit it up. Then we’ll go do the rep and if it feels right, we can move on. 

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“If it doesn’t feel good, we’re gonna keep doing it until it gets right. I think that’s super helpful in that aspect.” 

As long as Kelce is going to be on the roster, Jurgens is going to pick his brain. Jurgens wants to be everything Kelce is for the Eagles when Kelce eventually retires and moves onto the next phase of his life. 

Kelce is more than a mentor. He’s a friend. 

“I just try to be a sponge in that room,” Jurgens said. “Just the way he carries himself, how he talks to coaches, how he talks to young guys and old guys — it’s different. He’s been around, he’s a pro. He knows the game better than anybody. 

“It’s cool getting to see his leadership aspect of that. If I can emulate that later in my career, and the sooner I can get to that point — the better.”

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