Cam Jurgens ready to fill gigantic void left by Jason Kelce by being himself

Jurgens is entering his third season in Philadelphia and has some big shoes to fill.
Nov 27, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles center Cam Jurgens (51) walks off
Nov 27, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles center Cam Jurgens (51) walks off / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

No one will ever replace the recently retired Jason Kelce in the hearts and minds of Eagles fans, but someone will physically have to replace him on Philadelphia's offensive line, and that task will likely fall to Cam Jurgens.

Jurgens is entering his third season as a member of the Eagles, and he will likely have a much larger role than he has in the past. Jurgens played just three percent of available offensive snaps as a rookie. That number jumped up to 89 percent last season, as he started 11 games on the line for Philly in '23. That experience should help in making the full-time shift to center moving forward.

Filling the void left by a fan favorite and a future Hall-of-Famer obviously isn't going to be easy, but Jurgens is approaching the situation with a positive perspective by focusing on himself, as opposed to worrying about the size of the shoes he has to fill.

“At the end of the day, I just have to be myself,” Jurgens said. “I’m not trying to be somebody’s replacement or somebody’s next person. I’m just trying to be myself. Can I be the best football player I can be at whatever position they put me? That’s what I’m going to do.

"I’m not worried about anything besides what I can control, and I think that’s all I have to worry about at the end of the day," he added. ". . . Really, it's like what can I do to learn, what can I do to get better, and how can I be the best football player I can be, not how can I be what he was. . . . That's how I have to look at it."

Applying lessons learned from Kelce

While Jurgens isn't necessarily aiming to be the next Jason Kelce, he does plan to apply lessons he learned from the legend on the field.

"It was very valuable," Jurgens said of getting the opportunity to learn from Kelce. "I learned so much playing behind him my first year, and then this last year getting to play guard, playing beside him. Every single day, there is something to learn, so it was fun being in that room and being in that environment."

Playing for two seasons with Kelce could prove to be invaluable for a young player like Jurgens, especially as he shifts to the position that his predecessor dominated for a decade.

Kelce is a huge fan of Jurgens

Jugens' dynamic with Kelce dates back to 2022, when Kelce helped the Eagles identify Jurgens as his potential replacement. The team then selected Jurgens with the 51st overall pick in the '22 draft. Since then, Kelce has been extremely complimentary of Jurgens.

"I think the world of Cam Jurgens," Kelce said last summer. "I think he has the potential to be better than I have ever been as a center with the skill set he has. He's incredibly athletic, very, very strong, he's got long arms, he finishes plays, he's a hard worker. Pretty much everything you want to see you saw in him."

Jurgens isn't a household name outside of Philadelphia yet, but if he can stay true to himself and maximize the potential that Kelce sees in him, that will change rather quickly.