Philadelphia Eagles News

Career Years Don't Result In Pro Bowl Honors For Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce

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Brandon Graham and Jason Kelce, much to the disappointment of their teammates, were not among the Eagles named to the Pro Bowl list.

Philadelphia's overall play on both sides of the line of scrimmage was recognized as defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, guard Brandon Brooks, and tackle Lane Johnson earned Pro Bowl honors. Still, the locker room consensus was the two were shoo-ins.

"Those are two guys who hands down should have made it," Brooks told reporters Wednesday.

Graham, still in search of his first Pro Bowl nod, has put up a career-high 9.5 sacks to go along with a career-high-tying 14 tackles for loss with two games still to go. Since 2016, Graham has the most combined sacks, hurries, and quarterback knockdowns of any player in the league. He even nabbed his first career touchdown back in Week 14 against the Rams on a fumble recovery.

"Just out of respect, the way that BG has played all year, for him not to be a starter or in the Pro Bowl it's amazing to me but it's things that happened," the now three-time Pro Bowl selection Cox said. "I've had the feeling before that he's probably having right now."

Graham capped off 2016 with second-team All-Pro honors and views the oversight this season as added motivation.

"My whole mindset was to get to the big (Super) Bowl and that we weren't going to be able to play in (the Pro Bowl) anyway," Graham smiled. "But I think for me they went right down the list of the numbers. It's right in order and I understand it's about numbers and all it did was put a bigger chip on my shoulder for next year."

Tight end Zach Ertz, who nabbed his first Pro Bowl nod, expressed, "Dude, that guy just gets hosed. The guy's unblockable."

One guy who hasn't had trouble blocking at all this year is Kelce. One of the league's most athletic centers, he's at the forefront of the highest-scoring offense and one of the league's most punishing ground games.

"It's certainly up there," Kelce responded when asked if this was his best year performance-wise. "Definitely a lot better than last season for sure, but I've played really well this season and so has the rest of our line. I'm really happy for Brandon and Lane. Those guys have been great for some time now and for them to finally get their first year to go at it is awesome."

Though Kelce has two trips to the Pro Bowl under his belt, an appearance in 2014 and last season, those years don't shape up to the year he's having. Ironically, he admitted that when he least expected to go to Pro Bowl was when he was actually chosen.

"Both years I actually went I think were two of the worst I've ever had. The one year I went before, I had sports hernia surgery, missed about four games, and then when I came back I was pretty hobbled. Then last year was probably the worst year of my career where I started off really bad in the first half of my season but rebounded late."

Head coach Doug Pederson spoke highly of Kelce's offseason regimen and on-field toughness as a testament to his Pro Bowl-caliber season.

"As much criticism and critique and everything that he gets, he doesn't get enough credit," Pederson said of Kelce. "He's been solid all year long. He's been nicked up with the ankles and just continues to play and play at a high level and would definitely be one that would be deserving of that honor too."

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