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Kelce grew up in Cleveland Heights and his heart remains in Ohio.
“I am a part of this sports town whether people want to believe it or not,” Kelce said. “I’m just appreciative that the fans are still the fans. Even when I’m playing against the Browns, they’re rooting for the Browns whether or not they’re family or not.
“I think it’s a fun rivalry just for myself. I don’t necessarily know if the teams are rivals, but I know in my heart, I’ve always got a little more to play for when I play Cleveland.”
The Chiefs had plenty to play for last season against the Browns as the teams met in an AFC Divisional playoff game.
With a 22-17 win, the Chiefs ended what was a great season for the Browns. Including the playoffs, Cleveland had a 12-6 record.
Kelce expects quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Browns to be in the AFC race for the foreseeable future.
“They’re definitely a contender, without a doubt,” Kelce said. “It’s definitely there. Baker (Mayfield) and the gang have upped the ante, made this team an unbelievable team and a team you have to prepare for and take serious. I think that moving forward without a doubt, I can see a lot more playoff games between us, and I’ll just take it one day at a time and hope for it. I think the Browns and Chiefs are definitely neck and neck.”
The Chiefs will see the Browns again in September. Cleveland will be at Arrowhead Stadium for the season opener on Sept. 12.
Kelce can’t wait for that day to come.
“The season ended for myself on a sour note and I just want to go back out there and start winning football games again and playing the game the way we know how,” Kelce said.
“What better way than to start off against my hometown team, a team I’ve watched since I was a little kid.”