Kelce takes on new role as father
But he’s back to man O-line after birth of daughter; defense also has something to be celebrating
PHILADELPHIA — The newest member of the Philadelphia Eagles is definitely a developmental player.
Wyatt Elizabeth Kelce, born Wednesday to parents Jason and Kylie Kelce, is only 8 pounds, 6 ounces, so she’ll be in shorts and shells for a while. But she’s already ahead of her father, the Eagles starting center, who was given Wednesday off to welcome her into the world.
“That’s not too bad,” Kelce said of his daughter’s birth weight. “I was only 5 1⁄2.”
Kelce couldn’t be happier, but he also knew that taking any more time off wouldn’t make that much difference at home.
“We’re really fortunate,” he said. “[Kylie is] from the area, both her parents are here, my parents came in, she has a lot of friends, family members. She’s not alone by any stretch of the imagination. There’s not much I can do.
“Obviously I can be supportive and whatnot, but I don’t that there’s too much else I [can do].”
The name Wyatt was sort of a compromise, Kelce admitted.
“We were thinking before we knew the sex that it was going to be Wyatt for a boy and Charlotte for a girl,” he said. “But a couple of our friends took that [Charlotte name], so … we kind of liked Wyatt regardless.”
The play before the play
By now, everything about cornerback Craig James’ game-saving pass breakup on Green Bay’s final play last Thursday night has been dissected and analyzed ad infinitum.
But what about the play before that? On first-and-goal from the 7, running back Aaron Jones was able to get some good traction on a run up the middle and plowed into Fletcher Cox, who was off balance from trying to get off a block from guard Billy Turner at the line of scrimmage. Cox was dragged 4 yards before barely being able to drag Jones to the ground at the 3.
It was a huge stop because Jones’ momen
tum and power almost carried him into the end zone.
“You just put it all on the line every game, every down,” Cox said. “There was just something about the game at that point. You had to dig deep, and we did. Craig made a play and that was great.”
Cox and the Eagles have been good against the run in all four games so far, allowing opponents just 3.2 yards per carry. The Eagles have allowed an average of just 62 rushing yards per game, good for fourth in the NFL.
That could have been in the minds of Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers on their previous series, when the Packers attempted four straight passes from the 1 and were turned away each time.
“I think it’s a sign of respect,” Cox said. “We do a good job against the run game. But I don’t know — if I’m the coordinator, I still think I test it. You know, Detroit ran the ball and they scored. So I don’t know.”
Favorable field position
Eagles punter Cam Johnston has pinned opponents inside the 20 on eight of 14 tries this season (57%). Only three other punters in the league have done that at a higher percentage this season.
“It’s been good,” Johnston said. “The coverage unit has been playing really well. It’s a good start to the season.”
To his credit, Johnston never thinks about individual stats. But here are some that can’t be ignored: Since he made the team coming out of training camp last season, Johnston is second in the league in both net average (43.1) and gross average (48.2). His net (42.7) and gross (48.1) averages as a rookie in 2018 were franchise records.
CB Ronald Darby (hamstring), TE Alex Ellis (knee), WR DeSean Jackson (abdomen), DT Timmy Jernigan (foot) and CB Avonte Maddox (concussion, neck) remained out on Thursday.
DE Derek Barnett (groin), CB Sidney Jones (hamstring) and T Jason Peters (knee) were limited. Peters is a new addition after practicing fully Wednesday.
Fletcher Cox and the Eagles defensive line have been solid against the run this season.