Eagles

4 Eagles named to NFL’s all-decade team for 2010s

4 Eagles named to NFL’s all-decade team for 2010s

Four Eagles have been named to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 2010s. 

Jason Peters, LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles and Fletcher Cox all made the cut based on voting from the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Amazingly, the Eagles finally won the Super Bowl in the last decade and just one of their four all-decade players was on the field. 

Making the all-decade team is a pretty big honor and it can add fuel to a Hall of Fame candidacy down the road. 

Here’s a closer look at the four Eagles to make it: 

Jason Peters

The Eagles acquired Peters in a trade with the Bills in 2009, so almost his entire career in Philadelphia came in the 2010s. During the decade, he played and started in 125 games for the Eagles. The Bodyguard made six Pro Bowls and his only All-Pro selection in 2013. After an Achilles injury forced Peters to miss the 2012 season, he came back with four consecutive Pro Bowl years. 

Peters joined Tyron Smith, Joe Staley and unanimous selection Joe Thomas on the list of offensive tackles. 

LeSean McCoy 

The Eagles drafted Shady in the second round in 2009, so he had five of his six Eagles seasons in the decade. McCoy led the entire NFL in rushing yards in the decade with 10,434 — he was the only guy to top 10,000. And he also added 3,489 receiving yards and 85 total touchdowns. 

McCoy led the NFL with a franchise-record 1,607 rushing yards in 2013. Overall, Shady made six Pro Bowls in the decade and three of them came with the Eagles, as did his only All-Pro seasons in 2011 and 2013. 

He joined Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch and unanimous selection Adrian Peterson as the running backs. 

Darren Sproles 

The 5-foot-6 do-it-all running back is the only player who made the all-decade team twice. He’s the flex player on offense as well as a punt returner. The Eagles traded for Sproles in 2014 and he spent the last six seasons with them. In his first three years with the Eagles, he made his only three Pro Bowl teams. 

Sproles, who is fifth in NFL history in all-purpose yards, piled up 11,950 during the decade. During the 2010s, Sproles had 2,665 rushing yards, 3,960 receiving yards and 5,332 return yards. He also accounted for 45 total touchdowns. 

As just a punt returner, Sproles averaged 9.9 yards per return in the decade and returned five punts for touchdowns. Sproles and Tyreek Hill were named as the punt returners. 

Fletcher Cox

Sometimes he gets overlooked nationally, but Cox has been a monster since the Eagles drafted him in the first round back in 2012. In his eight NFL seasons, he has 48 sacks, 62 tackles for loss and 121 quarterback hits. He has made the last five Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 2018. 

Cox joins Geno Atkins, Ndamukong Suh and unanimous selection Aaron Donald on the list of DTs. 

If there is any Eagles who you could consider a snub, it’s probably center Jason Kelce, who has a case as the best center of his generation. Kelce was drafted in 2011 and has been a three-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro. Zach Ertz and Lane Johnson have also made strong cases. 

Here’s the complete all-decade team: 

Offense

WR: Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce
T: Jason Peters, Tyron Smith, Joe Saley, *Joe Thomas
G: Jahri Evans, Logan Mankins, Zack Martin, *Marshal Yanda
C: Alex Mack, Maurkice Pouncey
QB: *Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers
RB: Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy, *Adrian Peterson
Flex: Darren Sproles

Defense

DE: Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan, Julius Peppers, *J.J. Watt
DT: Geno Atkins, Fletcher Cox, *Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh
LB: Chandler Jones, Luke Kuechly, Khalil Mack, *Von Miller, Bobby Wagner, Patrick Willis
CB: Patrick Peterson, Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman
S: Eric Berry, Earl Thomas, Eric Weddle
DB: Chris Harris, Tyrann Mathieu

Special teams

P: Johnny Hekker, Shane Lechler
K: Stephen Gostkowski, *Justin Tucker
PR: Tyreek Hill, Darren Sproles
KR: Devin Hester, Cordarrelle Patterson

Coaches

Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll 

* - denotes unanimous selection

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Roger Goodell makes statement as NFL admits fault, says it supports players' right to protest

Roger Goodell makes statement as NFL admits fault, says it supports players' right to protest

A day after some of the NFL’s biggest black stars called on their league to condemn racism and support their fight, the NFL has responded. 

In a 1:21 video, commissioner Roger Goodell did just that. 

Goodell gave his condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives to police brutality and then offered up the following statement: 

While Goodell didn’t specifically mention Colin Kaepernick, it seems like the NFL will not fight players who wish to demonstrate during the national anthem. In fact, Goodell said the NFL will “encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.” 

Kaepernick began his peaceful protest nearly four years ago, back in 2016. 

This video from Goodell and the strong statement from the league comes just a day after Patrick Mahomes, Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr. and more created a video asking for this type of response from the league. To the league’s credit, it came pretty promptly. 

In time, we’ll see what this means. It’s been an emotional week in the United States and this feels like a good start. But it also feels like a beginning for the NFL, a jumping off point. As far as players are concerned, this can’t be an empty statement. We’ll find out soon enough if there will be actions to back these words. 

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Michael Bennett has advice for white people trying to combat institutional racism

Michael Bennett has advice for white people trying to combat institutional racism

After a monumentally important week, former Eagles defensive lineman Michael Bennett has a message for white people who want to be more proactive in combating institutional racism.

Bennett, currently a free agent, and Patriots safety Devin McCourty appeared on Chris Long's Green Light podcast on Friday to discuss the ongoing national protests against racism, police brutality, and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis last Monday night by a police officer in an incident caught on camera. The officer kneeled on his neck for an extended period of time while Floyd was handcuffed.

The trio of current and former NFLers had a lengthy and candid discussion about what has failed, and what needs to be improved, in the United States, and the whole thing is worth a listen.

One part in particular stuck out to me, when Bennett explained what white people looking to help should be doing:

I think now, with George Floyd, it's even shining more light on the racial disparity with the police system, and I think for our white counterparts, I think they need to do some studying.

[...]

I think white people need to start studying. As a black man, I can't tell you how to not be racist. I can't tell you how to be inclusive. I can't tell you any of those things. That's a self journey. That's a self awareness journey. I think African-American people have had to conform myself to fit in certain areas, whether it was in sports or in the culture, being told, 'You're too this, you're too that, you're too that,' and they're basically saying, 'You're too black.' Right? So now it's a situation where [...] you have to figure out your own journey, to really find out why people are feeling this way.

This protest, with George Floyd and these things, there's history behind it. I implore white people to do some research. Go look at Emmett Till. Go look at Steven Biko. Go look at Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba. Go look at what happened to Medgar Evers, when he was killed in front of his house. Go look at what happened to those girls who were bombed in Alabama. Go look at it. It's the history here. Look at it. We talk about Martin Luther King, but look at the history and how Martin Luther King was treated, how he was chased, how he received assassination attempts on his life. This is the man you look up to.

It's a great point from Bennett. This week's protests are about Floyd's killing, but they're really about something larger.

The more you know about how we reached this current moment in history, the better you can try to move forward in a proactive way.

As NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank noted this week, it's important to see athletes use their platforms to spread messages just like this one:

The more athletes and celebrities who use their platform to influence and educate and demand change, the more we have a chance to move beyond the racism, homophobia, bigotry and sexism that are so prevalent in our society.

Later in the discussion, Bennett gave his thoughts on Washington's football team:

LONG: Is there anything the NFL can do to prove they're actually on the players' side?

BENNETT: Of course there is. I think the Redskins can change their name. That's one way, that's a start right there. You say the league is not racist, and you have a team that literally has a racial slur for its name? The Redskins? What if it was the Whiteskins, or the Blackskins, or the Yellowskins? People would be upset, right? To me, that's one way.

It would certainly be a start.

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