The irony of Eagles' Pro Bowl snubs

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The irony of Eagles' Pro Bowl snubs

The irony is certainly not lost on Jason Kelce.

The Eagles' center has made the Pro Bowl twice, in 2014 and 2016 — two years he considers to be the worst of his career. This year, when Kelce is having what might be his best NFL season, he didn't make the cut.

"It's pretty ironic that the two years I don't think I deserve to go, I end up going," said Kelce, who missed four games in 2014 after sports hernia surgery and got off to a horrible start in 2016.

Kelce and defensive end Brandon Graham were a little disappointed Wednesday, the day after the NFL announced the Pro Bowl rosters and they weren't included. Both have had Pro Bowl caliber seasons to this point and are widely considered the biggest Eagles' "snubs."

But both understand.

"I think it's all about the numbers," Graham said. "Because when you're voting, all you see is the numbers. Sometimes when I'm voting and I didn't see a guy, I'm like 'damn, he had that much? I'm going to vote for him.' Or if it's somebody I know, I'm going to vote for him. It's just all about who you know and who had the top numbers."

Graham has 9 1/2 sacks this season. The three NFC defensive ends chosen over him all have more. Demarcus Lawrence has 13 1/2, Everson Griffen has 13 and Cameron Jordan has 10.

Graham's impact with the Eagles is pretty unquestionable, but maybe a half a sack kept him out of his first-career Pro Bowl. That's a shame, but sometimes that's just the way these things shake out.

In Kelce's case, the two guys in front of him — Alex Mack from Atlanta and Travis Frederick from Dallas — were certainly deserving. And Kelce understands that. He praised both Wednesday.

Anyway, the veteran center was happy for offensive line teammates Brandon Brooks and Lane Johnson, who were both named to their first Pro Bowls.

"Those guys have been great for some time now," Kelce said. "For them to finally get their first go at it is awesome."

There's still a chance Kelce and Graham could become Pro Bowlers this season. Both are alternates for the game — a couple years ago Malcolm Jenkins made it as a seventh-alternate.

But as it stands now, the Eagles have six Pro Bowlers: Johnson, Brooks, Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Fletcher Cox and Jenkins.

This year's Pro Bowl will be on Jan. 28 in Orlando. That's the week before the Super Bowl, so the Eagles are hoping they won't be available for the exhibition game. Jenkins said he doesn't plan on playing.

"That's the goal," Kelce said, "that nobody gets to play in this game."

Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

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Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

Brian Dawkins has chosen longtime teammate and close friend Troy Vincent to introduce him this summer at Dawk's Hall of Fame induction.

Dawkins was selected in February for enshrinement in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class.

"The presenter that will actually be on the stage will be Troy Vincent," Dawkins said in a video posted on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website.

"My teammate in Philadelphia. We came there the same year. Almost from Day 1 he kind of ... not kind of, he took me under his wing on becoming a professional. Not just a football player but a professional. The details. The details that he went through, the particulars of how he played the position of cornerback was the same way he lived his life (and ran) his businesses that he had off the field.

"He's a guy I can call anytime. Any time of night. And tell him 100 percent all what's going on with me, and I know he's not going to judge me, and it's not going to leave his lips (for) anybody else.

"And the most important thing for me, being a man of faith, is that I know he's going to pray with me. So all those things combined are the reasons why Troy was the perfect guy to introduce me to the Hall of Fame."

Vincent, a native of Trenton and graduate of Pennsbury High in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, spent his first four seasons with the Dolphins before signing an offer sheet with the Eagles before the 1996 season that the Dolphins didn't match.

The Eagles drafted Dawkins in the second round a month after signing Vincent, and the two spent eight years together in the secondary, reaching the playoffs five times and the NFC Championship Game three times.

During those eight seasons, Vincent reached Pro Bowls and Dawkins made the first three of his nine Pro Bowls.

Vincent retired after the 2006 season and Dawkins after the 2011 season.

Dawkins, Vincent and Eric Allen are the only Eagles defensive backs picked to five or more Pro Bowls.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

Dawkins' former Eagles teammate, Terrell Owens, will also be inducted. He hasn't yet announced who will present him.

Dawkins will be the 21st former Eagle inducted into the Hall of Fame but only the ninth who spent the majority of his career with the Eagles.

Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

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Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

Offseason quarterback controversies are a rite of passage in the NFL. A time-honored tradition, really. 

We’ve certainly had our share in Philadelphia over the years. There were calls for Ron Jaworski to sit in favor of a young Randall Cunningham. Then cries for Jim McMahon to take Randall’s place. When Andy Reid drafted Kevin Kolb in 2007, that began a groundswell that he was the better choice than Donovan McNabb. Of course, most recently we had the Michael Vick/Nick Foles back and forth. To look back now, it seems silly these were even debates.

Most of the time, when you have these “controversies,” it generally means you have no quarterback on your roster. Not always. The 49ers in the late-80’s and early-90’s had Joe Montana and Steve Young, both Hall of Famers and all-time great quarterbacks. Both also won Super Bowls for San Francisco. But that is the exception. So is the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles’ situation.

I use the word “situation” and not “controversy.” Because there is no controversy. If Wentz is cleared by the Eagles’ medical staff, he starts Week 1. Period. What Foles did was incredible and will go down as one of the great — if not the greatest — stretch we have seen in Philadelphia sports history. He came up as big as you can. But Wentz he is not. That’s no disrespect to Foles. There are a handful of people on the planet who are in Wentz’s class.

Just a refresher course on what Wentz did in 13 games last season (his second in the NFL, by the way). He threw for 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 3,296 passing yards and had a 101.9 passer rating. The 33 TDs were the second-most in the NFL despite his missing the final three games. He also led his team to an 11-2 record before succumbing to that knee injury late into that Rams game that clinched the NFC East. He would have been the league MVP had he not gotten hurt.

There is a great luxury having Foles on this team. Wentz does not have to come back before he is able. If he’s not ready, you have the best backup in the league to start the season. But that’s the only scenario in which Foles plays Week 1. Simply put: Wentz is the better quarterback. And he has earned the right to start the opener if cleared. 

Some people read into Wentz's Instagram video of himself throwing earlier in the week as him somehow sending a message to Foles. I don’t buy it. I think Wentz’s message was to the fans and himself that I’ll be back, better than ever.

Wentz and Foles are both good teammates who put the team above themselves. Sure, Foles is a competitor and would likely prefer to start. But there won’t be any behind-the-scenes maneuvering to undercut Wentz. And Wentz is secure enough to be able to handle a Super Bowl MVP backing him up and all that goes along with that. Not to mention a coaching staff and organization that won’t allow outside noise to become a distraction.

Wentz over Foles. There’s no quarterback controversy.