There are a number of all-star teams that are unveiled at the end of each NFL season. But there's one team that honors the "unheralded" and "unloved" players of the NFL - the *USA Today *All-Joe Team.
The team was first created in 1992 as an honor to Joe Phillips. A 14-year defensive lineman, Phillips helped Kansas City's Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith rack up 29 sacks in 1992 but didn't receive any accolades. USA Today has been honoring "the unsung Joes of the NFL ever since."
This year, three Eagles were named to the All-Joe Team - tight end Brent Celek, offensive tackle Winston Justice and wide receiver Jason Avant. The only prerequisite for being an All-Joe member is the player cannot have ever been named to a Pro Bowl.
Here's what *USA Today *had to say about the Eagles selected:
Avant - Fearlessly plies his trade over the middle. But he can also step in seamlessly as a starter as he proved in San Diego (8 catches, 156 yards).
Celek - He stepped up as one of the weapons Donovan McNabb needed, falling 29 receiving yards shy of 1,000 while catching a team-high 76 passes.
Justice - The 2006 second-rounder seemed to be a bust. But he stepped in for injured Shawn Andrews and started all 16 games at right tackle.
Last year, guard Todd Herremans, defensive tackle Mike Patterson, defensive end Trent Cole, cornerback Sheldon Brown, strong safety Quintin Mikell and defensive coordinator Jim Johnson were honored as All-Joes.
Note that in 2008, USA Today did a separate All-Joe Team for the AFC and the NFC. This year, they combined the two conferences.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 10:22 a.m., January 27