JJ Watt Praises Jason Kelce's Stellar Career, Highlights His Challenging Play Style

Exploring the on-field brilliance of NFL's elite athletes.

by Zain ul Abedin
JJ Watt Praises Jason Kelce's Stellar Career, Highlights His Challenging Play Style
© James Gill/Getty Images

As J.J. Watt tearfully exited the field after his final NFL appearance with the Arizona Cardinals in 2022, a wave of emotion encapsulated the moment, marking the end of an era for one of football's most formidable defensive forces.

In Philadelphia, Jason Kelce, the Eagles' cornerstone center, was navigating his own emotional farewell. Upon confirming his retirement earlier in the month, Kelce delivered a heartfelt 45-minute speech that resonated deeply within the sports community, reflecting on a career filled with dedication, passion, and unparalleled skill.

Kelce's decision to hang up his cleats stirred a mix of admiration and reflection among peers, including Watt, who shared his thoughts with Fox News Digital amid discussing his collaboration with DICK’S House of Sport.

This initiative by DICK’S Sporting Goods represents a grand leap towards offering an experiential retail environment that transcends traditional shopping. Watt expressed a genuine respect for Kelce's prowess on the field, describing him as a formidable opponent whose intellect and athleticism set him apart.

"He's too smart. He's too athletic. He can do it all," Watt remarked, also noting Kelce's commendable character off the field. Their careers, which both commenced in 2011, have been nothing short of remarkable. Watt, a Wisconsin alumnus, quickly became a defensive powerhouse for the Houston Texans, achieving numerous accolades including AP Defensive Player of the Year and multiple All-Pro selections.

Kelce, despite being a sixth-round pick, swiftly rose to prominence with the Eagles, earning multiple Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors throughout his career.

Kelce's Strategic Mastery

Watt shared insights into the challenges of facing Kelce, from his ability to preemptively call out blitzes to adjusting protections in ways that only a player of his caliber could manage.

Kelce's versatility and strategic acumen on the field made him a formidable adversary, one that Watt both respected and was frustrated by in equal measure. Beyond their on-field battles, Watt and Kelce share a commitment to positively impacting their communities and organizations.

Watt emphasized Kelce's exceptional leadership and the profound respect he commands, both as a teammate and as an individual. Their legacies, defined by outstanding careers and meaningful contributions off the field, have left an indelible mark on the NFL and its fans.

As discussions about their eventual enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame emerge, Watt confidently predicts that Kelce will be donning a gold jacket as a first-ballot inductee, a testament to his "unbelievable career." Both athletes, through their exemplary performance and character, have set a benchmark for excellence in professional football, underscoring the profound impact of sportsmanship, leadership, and dedication.