Getty Images

Jason Kelce wouldn't have returned for an 11th season with the Philadelphia Eagles if he didn't believe the team had a chance to compete in 2021. The Eagles have the look of a rebuilding organization, starting with the two first-round picks (potentially a third first-round pick) the franchise has on tap for 2022, a first-year head coach in Nick Sirianni, and a new starting quarterback in Jalen Hurts -- who the franchise still won't name QB1 yet. 

Oh, and the Eagles finished last place in the NFC East last season. Their 4-11-1 record was the worst for the franchise since 2012 (when the team finished 4-12 on the year). Even in a poor NFC East, Philadelphia isn't expected to compete for the division title with a first-year head coach and first-year starting quarterback. 

That's not how Kelce sees things with this team. The Eagles are the definition of a rebuilding team, but they can still compete while going through changes in the organization. 

"I think the biggest difference between football and other sports is being in a transition period doesn't mean that you can't compete and be competitive," Kelce said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "I think that the bottom line is we can be competitive, win games. We can win this division, no doubt about that, if we go out there about it the right way, we improve, we continue to get better as a team, and we can also be in a transition period. 

"I think that's the best way to transition because we'll be able to do it in a way that we're still winning ball games while building this thing for the future."

History can back up Kelce here. The Eagles have finished last in the NFC East four times this century, making the playoffs the following season each time. Three of those four times they have won the NFC East, so the idea of winning the division isn't far fetched -- especially since the NFC East winner finished with a 7-9 record in 2020. 

The Eagles' NFC East chances come down to how Hurts performs in his first year as the team's starting quarterback. Kelce wants to see the franchise give Hurts a fair shot, believing he'll perform well given the opportunity. 

"I really like his mentality. All the intangibles, this kid has them in spades," Kelce said earlier in the week on SportsRadio 94WIP with Angelo Cataldi. "He's got a great quiet, calm confidence to him. He's cocky. You can tell in his head he's the best player on that field, but he doesn't make all the other players, feel like that's the case. I'm excited to see what he can do this year."