With Cody Parkey's addition to the Pro Bowl roster on Monday, nine Eagles have been selected to the NFL's all-star game ...
The Eagles acquired running back Darren Sproles in a trade with the New Orleans Saints this summer. At the time, Eagles fans were thrilled about the prospects of the versatile, speedy back joining the team.
It turns out their excitement was warranted.
After setting career highs in punt return yards, yards per punt return average and punt return touchdowns, Sproles has earned the first Pro Bowl selection of his illustrious career as a return specialist.
His speed and vision allowed enabled him to lead the best special teams group in the league to numerous scores this year, but Sproles says it was a team effort that led to his success.
"This is an honor that also should go to the guys up front," Sproles said Tuesday. "They did a great job for me."
He also said that the Eagles' emphasis on special teams is impressive. He had never been on a squad that put so much importance on the unit, and in turn had it pay off in such a big way.
"I feel like this team has players who take pride in it," Sproles explained. "And talent too. I think it's those two things that have made us so good."
Sproles' teammates feel the same way about the running back's impact on the team.
"He's just such a hard worker. I think when you see his commitment to his level of training, he deserves everything that he gets," special teams ace Chris Maragos said. "He puts in the work. He works extremely hard at it. He cares. He's passionate. We just love blocking for him."
Sproles' teammate in the backfield LeSean McCoy is also Pro Bowl bound. McCoy is happy to share the experience with Sproles.
"We talked about it. I know he's happy about it. He's a heck of a player and it's about time that he got a chance to be in the Pro Bowl. He deserves it," McCoy said. "He's been a boss since he stepped in the league and I'm happy for him. And we'll definitely have some fun times."
To read more about Sproles and a fight that he couldn't overcome with his talent alone, check out this feature from earlier in the season ...
Darren Sproles was finally presented with a challenge that he was unable to overcome on his own.
Sproles' unique combination of strength and athleticism has allowed him to carve out a brilliant 10-year NFL career while being listed at 5-foot-6, 190 pounds.
But with all of his gifts and talents, nothing would prepare him for the news that was delivered on October 17, 2012 - that his wife, Michel, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 28.
"That's my best friend. It was tough for me to see her going through that time. It was rough for me, but I knew I had to stay strong for her," Sproles said. "There were times when I would cry, but I wouldn't let her see me."
Darren and Michel met in 2006, while he was a member of the San Diego Chargers. It was Sproles' second season in the league, but he was placed on the Injured Reserve list after injuring his ankle in the preseason. He was training in Los Angeles and was introduced to Michel through a mutual friend. Michel, who was an athlete in her own right as she earned a track and field scholarship to UNLV, called Sproles a "breath of fresh air." Click here to continue reading this feature.