With Cody Parkey's addition to the Pro Bowl roster on Monday, nine Eagles have been selected to the NFL's all-star game ...
He's known for his beard. He heads one of the best running attacks in the National Football League. And for the first time in his young, widely successful career, center Jason Kelce is heading to the Pro Bowl.
"It's obviously a tremendous honor to be voted into the Pro Bowl," Kelce said when he learned of his selection on Tuesday afternoon.
The Cleveland Heights, Ohio, native turned 27 years old just a month and a half ago, and his game has mirrored his youth since being drafted by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Kelce started every game of his rookie year, and quickly became known for his athleticism - an offensive lineman who could move.
His speed makes him a valuable asset in the Eagles' fast-paced offense, especially when blocking on screen passes and stretch runs. Kelce led running back LeSean McCoy to the NFL rushing title last season, and has proven to be the perfect fit for what head coach Chip Kelly desires in offensive linemen. McCoy is heading to his second straight Pro Bowl this season.
"Where you're drafted is only part of the story," Kelce said. "I've had nothing but great coaches, with (offensive line coach) Jeff Stoutland and the whole offense that we run here. It helps exploit my athletic ability and my ability to make some blocks down the field, and I think that's what catches people's eyes a lot."
It also doesn't hurt that he blocks on the same offensive line as left tackle Jason Peters, who is heading to the Pro Bowl as well, the seventh of his career.
"Jason Peters is, in my opinion, the best offensive tackle in football, and he has been for some time now," Kelce gushed. "The way he moves, the way he run blocks, the way he pass blocks. Everything he does is just extraordinary. It's no shock that Jason Peters is going to another one."
Alongside Peters, Kelce has helped build up the Eagles' reputation for having one of the best run games in the league, and Kelce is just hitting his prime. He didn't even have the opportunity to play an entire season this year because of a sports hernia injury he suffered in Week 3.
"I think that the Pro Bowl, a lot of that had to do with how I was playing before the injury, and last year I kind of built up a reputation, I think, among my peers, among my fans, and among the media," Kelce said.
His reputation across the league has grown, deservedly so, and it paid off with his first-career Pro Bowl selection.