Jason Kelce: Lack of accountability at root of Eagles' struggles

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles center Jason Kelce has seen a drop in accountability from last year's Super Bowl team, brought on in part by the departure of some key veterans.

Speaking about what is ailing the 4-5 Eagles, Kelce offered an extensive, nuanced response during a conversation with reporters following Wednesday's practice that kept returning to a central theme -- accountability.

"Last year, it just seemed like everybody was clicking. We had guys like Brent Celek who had been here a long time who was very accountable, Torrey Smith who had been in the league for a long time, very accountable. Mack Hollins was a guy that gave great effort. LeGarrette Blount and all of these running backs that, they had their limited amount of stuff that they had to know, but they knew what to do, and they knew how to do those things. That's what we're missing. We're missing that accountability."

Several of the players that Kelce mentioned like Celek, Smith and Blount were valuable figures in the locker room during the Eagles' title run. Celek was released and ultimately retired, Blount left in free agency for the Detroit Lions, and Smith was traded to the Carolina Panthers for cornerback Daryl Worley.

Kelce stressed that he isn't suggesting current players on the team are "bad guys" or giving poor effort, but that a mix of departures and injuries have depleted them in areas both tangible and intangible.

"This isn't just players, this is coaches, this is everybody. Everybody takes accountability in making sure that everybody is ready to go. From a players' standpoint, it's on you to make sure that you're watching the film, you're doing everything during the week necessary for you to improve, to make sure that you understand the finer coaching points, every little detail, so that when you're in the middle of the game, you're not playing slow or apprehensive, you know exactly what you have to do and you can go 100 percent and give great effort. And it's also on the coaches to make sure everybody's ready to go," Kelce said.

"[Last year] there was a much greater level of accountability from a cohesive standpoint of everybody working together, and part of that is just on the makeup of the team and guys having done this for a long time and knowing the ins and outs of the game."

Safety Malcolm Jenkins, another leader on this team, said "Kelce probably sees things that I don't, but that wouldn't be my assessment. But his opinion for him is probably accurate."

Asked to gauge the current mindset of the team following a damaging loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Jenkins said he sees a locker room simply dialed in on making the necessary corrections so they have a chance to beat the New Orleans Saints this weekend.

"That's kind of the mood of the locker room," he said. "That's where our minds are. The rest of that is soap opera films. You've got a job to do, and that's what we're focused on."