JJ Watt reflects on Jason Kelce’s ‘unbelievable career,’ explains why he was so ‘frustrating to play against’


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J.J. Watt was in tears strolling off the sphere for what he knew could be his ultimate NFL sport in 2022 with the Arizona Cardinals. 

Jason Kelce was unsure what he would do subsequent, however after making issues official earlier this month that he could be achieved, the tears have been flowing throughout his 45-minute-long retirement speech in Philadelphia. 

As Kelce mirrored on his illustrious profession because the Philadelphia Eagles’ heart, Watt did his personal reflection about how “irritating” it was enjoying towards him.


Former NFL participant J.J. Watt visits the set of the Amazon Prime “Thursday Night time Soccer” pregame present previous to an NFL soccer sport between the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on Nov. 2, 2023 in Pittsburgh. (Cooper Neill/Getty Photographs)

“He’s irritating to play towards, man. He’s too sensible. He’s too athletic. He can do all of it,” Watt instructed Fox Information Digital whereas discussing his new partnership with DICK’S House of Sport, DICK’S Sporting Items’ extra large, experiential retailer. “He’s only a good dude additionally.”

Watt and Kelce each entered the NFL on the similar time, although the previous knew the place he was going effectively earlier than the latter. Popping out of Wisconsin, Watt was one of many premier prospects on the defensive position, and the Houston Texans took him eleventh total within the 2011 NFL Draft. 


He might have had a sluggish begin to his profession (5.5 sacks in 16 video games), however he broke out in 2012 with 20.5 sacks and 39 tackles for loss, occurring to win AP Defensive Participant of the 12 months and being named first-team All-Professional for the primary of 5 instances. 

In the meantime, Kelce was taken within the sixth spherical by the Eagles, although the 24-year-old was thrust right into a beginning function that 12 months. He would ultimately make his first Professional Bowl in 2014, and he would make it six instances after that, whereas being named first-team All-Professional six instances as effectively. 

Watt defined why Kelce was a ache to go towards when he was on the schedule.

Jason Kelce retires

Jason Kelce, #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles, reacts after saying his retirement from the NFL at NovaCare Complicated on March 4, 2024 in Philadelphia. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Photographs)

“He’d name out the blitzes as you’re lining up, and also you’ll get pissed,” Watt defined whereas laughing. “Or he’ll change the safety to my aspect though I do know it’s not purported to go to my aspect. He’s going to make it go [over there]. It’s irritating to play towards him as a result of he’s so good. And he can also accomplish that many issues athletically. He can pull across the edge, he can maintain as much as a bull rush. He can do a bunch of various issues.”

Watt and Kelce might have been on reverse sides of the road, however one factor they each have in widespread is their capacity to make an enduring impression on the organizations they performed for, whereas additionally making an affect on their communities. 

“I simply assume the way in which he handles himself – each single person who comes out of that group talks in regards to the teammate he’s, who he’s as an individual,” Watt mentioned. “It shines by and everyone knows that.”

There isn’t a query Kelce can be heading to the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame, and it’s possible going to be Watt with him at some point as effectively. 

Jason Kelce winks after the Chiefs

Jason Kelce winks after the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs gained Tremendous Bowl LVIII towards the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024 in Las Vegas. (Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Photographs)


“He’s had an unbelievable profession, and he will definitely stroll proper into Canton and get a gold jacket right here in 5 years,” Watt mentioned, indicating that he feels Kelce can be a first-ballot Corridor of Famer.”

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