When Quintin Mikell first got the call that he had been named to the Pro Bowl, he thought it was a joke.
"At first I didn't believe it," said Mikell, who will join eight other Eagles in the Pro Bowl, "but I was excited afterwards."
Mikell said that once he realized he would be heading to this first career Pro Bowl, he was excited to have accomplished one of his long-standing goals.
"I've set the goal to make it to the Pro Bowl for the last couple years and I felt like I thought I played well enough last year to get there," he said. "This year had its ups and downs, but I thought I had some good spots. I still was a little disappointed at the end, but right now I think I'm really proud and excited that this was another goal that I set for myself and was able to achieve. I'm excited, I'm going to go down there and enjoy everything and make the most of it."
In 2009, Mikell led the Eagles' defense with 122 tackles and also added two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. It was the first season in Mikell's career that he played alongside a safety other than Brian Dawkins.
"Me and Dawk talked at the end of the season and it was kind of like a little bit of therapy for both of us," Mikell said. Dawkins "gave me some wisdom on a lot of situations and how to handle things and I think this year was really a learning experience for me. I learned, even though I thought that I could just step in and take over his spot, it really was a learning curve for me. I'm still learning, but right now I feel like I'm a lot more prepared for next season. I feel like I know ... the way to handle things from here on out."
The role of safety next to Mikell was filled mainly by two players in 2009, rookie Macho Harris and veteran Sean Jones. Mikell said that Harris will be a player to watch in the off-season leading up to the 2010 season.
"Obviously it's tough to come in to the NFL straight out of college and start," Mikell said. "I think he did a really good job with that. Obviously, it was a bigger adjustment for him too because he played cornerback and he had to adjust to playing safety. So if you look at the whole of everything, I think he stepped up pretty darn well.
"We're going to go into the off-season and we're going to work on those things. We're going to be up here, I'm going to make sure that (Harris) is up here working out with me and we're going to get this thing right."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 3:25 p.m., January 25