By Jerry Wein

Of all the Eagles preparing for hitting today in the first helmet-wearing drill, count center Jason Kelce the happiest.

“For a year that’s been so different for every American, coming back and getting back into a meeting room where I’ve heard [offensive line coach] Jeff Stoutland install inside zones 85 times in my life, getting back to some semblance of normalcy has been therapeutic in some regards,” Kelce told the Inky.

“This whole experience has really made me appreciate just how awesome it is to come in here and be able to work with a group of people and a group of teammates. Yeah, it’s just been awesome.”

While the regular virus testing, wearing face coverings and virtual team meetings are a vast departure from the normal NFL routine, it’s still better than the alternative.

“I completely understand the parameters that are in place to keep us safe,” he said. “Unfortunately, it comes somewhat at the expense of personal connections and the ability to talk to new guys and to forge relationships.

“It’s not as easy when somebody is covering half their face with a mask, as everybody has found out throughout the past year.”