PHILADELPHIA - One of Eagles center Jason Kelce's earliest childhood memories was attending a Cleveland Browns game at the old Municipal Stadium with his father, Ed.
"What I really remember about it is we didn't stay for the game," Kelce said with a laugh. "I started crying during the National Anthem because it was too loud and my dad took me home."
He'll be staying for the whole game on Sunday, when the Eagles open the regular season at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Kelce, who grew up about 15 miles from the field, will have a large cheering section. The Cleveland Heights High School graduate bought 35 tickets for friends and family, while other supporters are Browns season-ticket holders.
They'll be watching one of the league's top young offensive linemen. Kelce, 24, is entering just his second NFL season, but the 6-foot-3, 295-pounder is already regarded as a future Pro Bowler.
"Jason has the opportunity to be one of the very best centers in this league," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "He's everything you want in a center. He's quick, smart, extremely athletic, strong, consistent and has great toughness.
"I found out about his toughness last season. I got to the locker room after the last game and his foot was swelled up twice its size. I found out he broke it in the second or third quarter, but still played the rest of the game."