Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his older brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, recently launched their new podcast, “New Heights,” which is an homage to the Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the neighborhood where they grew up in. New episodes drop each Wednesday. We will extract the best Chiefs-related highlights from each podcast and discuss them here. Let’s talk about episode No. 3.
1. The bodyslam heard ‘round the world
Derwin James just went WWE on Travis Kelce. Mercy. pic.twitter.com/a0w8YZ6xB8— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 16, 2022
A wise man once said, “God gave us older brothers so they could ridicule and tease us in our darkest moments — it’s how they help us get through the tough times.”
Jason Kelce essentially started off this podcast by asking his little brother, “How did it feel when Derwin James absolutely powerbombed the f—k out of you on national television?”
An absolutely brutal call out, by probably the only person on earth who could phrase it such a way — taking the jab in stride.
“Well, it’s not my first time getting powerbombed,” said Travis, alluding to scuffles from their childhood. “You actually put me through the wooden floor in our living room.”
“I think that hole was still there when we moved out of that house,” replied Jason.
The brothers erupted in laughter
“We never filled it, we just moved the couch over it!”
These are the sort of stories that you only have with a person who you’ve spent your entire life getting into trouble with. Most of us have a truckload of tales about the time you and your sibling did something stupid and then were bonded for life over the cover-up and the secret you shared.
Back to the powerbomb.
To his credit, Travis owned up to it, saying that it was his own fault that he was bodyslammed.
“I’m starting on the left side outside of the numbers,” explains Kelce, recounting the moment. “I catch the ball thinking that [Patrick Mahomes] threw me short when in reality I could have just turned up and ran to the pylon and got in the end zone.
“When you’re watching it on film, it’s the worst thing, I kind of deserved to get my ass powerbombed in that situation for not getting in the end zone.
“I made a cutback and then all of a sudden, he is on me like lightning. I mean he surprised the s—t out of me. Lower man always wins in football. When I felt him wrap his arms around my legs, honestly, I’m chuckling in my mind, thinking this is not about to end well for me right now.”
2. Defensive coordinators are acting as they forgot about Dre (Mahomes)
Similarly to how they interact with each other about their childhood, the Kelce brothers are equally as honest with one another about the schemes and gameplans they are seeing from opponents. At one point in episode No. 3, Jason mentions to Travis that it feels like since Tyreek Hill was traded, opposing defenses are playing the Chiefs more aggressively.
Travis didn’t disagree, pointing out that the Arizona Cardinals “came out and just blitzed the s—t out of us— I think there was a stat about Pat getting blitzed a certain amount of times, and it was the most he’s had in his career.”
The stat Travis was referring to was the Next Gen Stat that showed that Mahomes was blitzed a career-high 54% of his dropbacks against the Cardinals.
Patrick Mahomes was blitzed on over half of his dropbacks (54%) for the first time in his career.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 11, 2022
Mahomes threw a career-high 4 TD passes vs the blitz, tied for the most in a game in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016).#KCvsARI | #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/BaelGfAFlZ
Travis explained that it’s not that defensive coordinators are being more aggressive than they normally would be, but rather they are not deviating from their schemes and making concessions for the Chiefs' weapons as they have in the past.
“I think defensive coordinators are sticking true to their [scheme] more now that Tyreek is gone, whereas when Tyreek was there you had to play some sort of shell coverage against him.”
3. Don’t mess with Big Red
There is an old Jim Croce song that goes like this:
You don’t tug on Superman's cape,
You don’t spit into the wind,
You don’t pull the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger,
And you don’t mess around with Jim.
You could easily switch out the name Jim for Andy and the song would not be any less true. Andy Reid is a stoic and constant presence on the sidelines and in press conferences, but don’t let his cool demeanor fool you. Beneath his calm exterior, brews the determination of a man who is hellbent on victory.
In the episode, Travis recounts how during halftime against the Los Angeles Chargers when the Chiefs were trailing 10-7 at home, Reid didn’t yell at his team but instead encouraged the offense to match the effort and intensity that the defense was giving them.
“It wasn’t really so much as wake up,” said Travis, “but it was, ‘Hey, the defense is playing their tail off, let's go ahead and match that energy. Let's go ahead and match that success.’”
Kelce went on to elaborate further and explain that this sort of authenticity is why.
“Everybody respects the hell out of him (Reid) — just because of who he is and the leader he is— he’s not smoke and mirrors. When he gives you that look, you better tie them laces up a little tighter, and pull that chin strap up a little bit more because we got to get going.”
An old wrestling coach once told me that tough guys don’t have to run their mouths hearing Travis talk about Reid brings this to mind.
“Andy doesn’t say he’ll kick your ass, but he’s got that look on his face like you can f—k around and find out.”