Jason Kelce says he and brother Travis have very different football brains

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his brother, Jason, made their mark in the NFL in very different ways.

Jason Kelce, who retired earlier this year after 13 seasons as a center with the Philadelphia Eagles, was named an All-Pro six times. Travis Kelce, a tight end who is entering his 12th season with the Chiefs, has made the All-Pro team four times.

One might think the siblings have a similar football intellect, but Jason Kelce said that’s not the case. While on the “Whiskey Ginger” podcast with Andrew Santino, Kelce talked about how the brothers see the game very differently.

“I think that the way we think actually helps for specific sports,” Jason Kelce said. “I’ve always thought like, center, it helps to be like an analytically type thinking person, right? It’s like, listen, we have three guys over here, we have too many guys over here. So we need to point the protection this way or we need to call this in a run game to account for that. Like, it’s a math problem almost you’re solving. So you’re taking in space and numbers and leverage and you’re computing that to try and put the team in the best situation from a blocking schematic standpoint.

“Travis, he thinks about things, it’s still analytical, but he thinks about it more, in my opinion, from like an artist’s standpoint. Like, he’s like creating and he’s doing things that ... (haven’t) been talked about before. He just knows to do this based on what’s happening.”

To illustrate his point, Kelce shared a story about when the brothers were little kids. It’s a tale that their father, Ed, likes to tell about Legos.

Jason said when he was growing up, his father thought Travis was smarter.

“Probably still does. He’s probably right,” Jason Kelce said. “We both had the same Lego set when we were kids. And I open the box and I open the instructions and I put the thing together, piece by piece, following the instructions. And by the time I got done, Travis was already done. And he just looked at the box and put the thing together. He didn’t look at any of the instructions, just put it together. It’s that right brain-left brain, I don’t know if that’s a real thing, but he’s much more of the creative-minded, like instincts. Like, that’s how he’s lived his whole life. And he’s (honed) that to perfection. And I think receivers and tight ends, people that carry the ball, it benefits them to think along those lines, like even soccer players.

“I think if you think about the game more like that, you’re going to be less predictable, and it pans out a lot of times. If you’re trying to be too analytical, it’ll slow you down and you’re gonna get too bogged up, right? Football is a unique sport where there’s still positions where I think analytical evaluation thinking helps. Positions like center, quarterback, (in) baseball, like pitcher, catcher. Like there’s certain sports were it benefits you, but for the most part, if you’re thinking too much in sports, you’re screwing up.”