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The Read-Option: Say Aloha


Good morning, everyone. The field of Pro Bowl players was announced last night and three Eagles were on the list. In case you missed any of the news, here's a look back at all of the news from yesterday's announcement …

Cox Earns First Pro Bowl Nod – Alex Smith

Fletcher Cox's dominant play could not be denied by Pro Bowl voters this season.

Cox leads the Eagles with 14.5 tackles for loss at this point in the season, and he's already set a new career best with 7.5 sacks. Against the Saints in Week 5, he became the first Eagle ever and first NFL player since 2007 to record three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in a game, winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts.

The Pro Bowl recognition has some added meaning for Cox has well. When his older brother Shaddrick passed away in the offseason, Cox dedicated his 2015 season to his brother's memory. Cox has certainly lived up to his promise, as his fourth season in the NFL has been the best of his professional career.

"I'm going to continue to play, and I know he's smiling down right now," Cox said. "He's smiling on me and smiling on this great news with the family being here in town. It's great and I know he's smiling over us and watching."

 In the past, Cox has heard from teammates about how he deserved Pro Bowl recognition and how he should keep his head down. He heard from center Jason Kelce and linebacker Connor Barwin about what life at the Pro Bowl is like. Now, finally, Cox will be the one who can tell those stories.

"I think it's probably one of the biggest steps in my career," Cox said. "For the year I've had, from January until now, I think that it's a big step in my career and from now on I just have to stay humble and just keep pushing myself to be the best."

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Sproles Is NFL's Best Returner – Chris McPherson

After never making a Pro Bowl before the Eagles, Sproles has now made two in two seasons.

He waited until his 10th NFL season to get his first invite to the Pro Bowl. Now, Darren Sproles is headed back to the all-star game for a second straight season as a return specialist.

Sproles was one of three Eagles named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday night along with defensive end Fletcher Cox and tackle Jason Peters. With this nomination, Sproles is just the second player in franchise history to make multiple Pro Bowl appearances as a specialist joining long snapper Jon Dorenbos.

"My first Pro Bowl was last year, but to actually get one means a lot, really," Sproles said. "When I first started off, I always came close. Then after that, I never really thought about the Pro Bowl that much. Coach (Dave) Fipp and then my whole return team, they bust their butts for me. When we're in the game, they really go all out for me."

Sproles leads the league in punt return average (12.4), punt return yards (446) and punt return touchdowns (2). He is the only player to ever suit up for the Eagles and have multiple seasons with at least two punt return touchdowns.

In the Week 3 win over the New York Jets, the team's first of the year, Sproles was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the third time in his two seasons with the Eagles. Sproles scored on a career-long 89-yard punt return, the second-longest in team history.

Peters Joins Rare Pro Bowl Company – Max Rappaport

Jason Peters continues to build on his Hall of Fame résumé with his latest Pro Bowl selection.

But it didn't take long for Peters to realize his potential as an offensive lineman, starting the final nine games of the 2005 season at right tackle and becoming the team's full-time starter on the left end of the line in 2007. Since then, Peters has failed to earn a Pro Bowl invitation just once, when he suffered a ruptured Achilles that forced him to miss the entire 2012 season.

With the Eagles, Peters has started 86 games, all at left tackle, since the team traded for him in 2009. He's been named to the Pro Bowl six times since then, tying him for fourth in franchise history along with Donovan McNabb and Pete Pihos. Chuck Bednarik (8), Reggie White (7) and Brian Dawkins (7) are the only three players with more trips to the all-star game as a representative of Philadelphia. Pihos, Bednarik and White are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and McNabb and Dawkins may one day be as well. Many believe Peters belongs in that conversation as well.

Jason Peters is currently three Pro Bowl invitations shy of tying the record for offensive tackles shared by Anthony Muñoz, Jonathan Ogden and Willie Roaf. With three more seasons remaining on his current contract, the six-time All-Pro has a chance to earn a spot amongst those all-time greats in the record books and in Canton, Ohio.

Green Exposure Goes Pro Bowl: Week 19


In light of the 2016 Pro Bowl announcement, we honor the three Eagles who have been selected this year. View the full gallery here...


Hawaii-Bound: Fletcher Cox Highlights



Other Views

Eagles All-22 Wake-Up Call: Blitzing Bradford- Josh Paunil

Quarterback Sam Bradford managed to stay cool under pressure on Sunday night.

For three quarters against Arizona, Sam Bradford was slinging the ball around the field, seemingly upping the value of his next contract with every big third down completion. But then came the fourth quarter, which included two interceptions, that all but put the fire out on his previously excellent performance.

Bradford finished the day completing 28 of his 41 passes for 361 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He averaged 8.8 yards per pass attempt and recorded a 91.6 passer rating.

"I thought Sam played well," Chip Kelly said after the game. "Again, I think we have got to catch the ball better for him. I thought he threw the ball well tonight. He got hit, but he stayed in there and delivered the ball."

Even with the pair of picks, plus a third giveaway when he was strip-sacked, Bradford turned in a performance featuring several impressive throws. He hung in the pocket to deliver great balls despite pressure, he fit his throws into tight windows and he displayed improved timing with his targets.

"When you see balls thrown where he anticipates or you see balls thrown where it's based on a guy being covered like Brent [Celek] was but he sees leverage, you're starting to see a comfort level with the guys you're throwing to," Pat Shurmur said. "I think that's running parallel with the fact that he's healthier now, he's in better control of his own body and he's much more aware of what the receivers are going to do.

"You see a guy that's throwing the ball, in my opinion, extremely accurately and doing it better each week."

Brandt: Odell Beckham No 1 Among WRs From Last Two Drafts – Chase Goodbread

Insider Gil Brandt ranks Jordan Matthews as the fourth best receiver from the last two drafts.

NFL teams selected 68 wide receivers in the last two NFL drafts, yet one receiver made Brandt's list as an undrafted free agent: Jaguars second-year pro Allen Hurns. Brandt said the group was difficult to judge because of varying quarterback play, noting that the Bills' Sammy Watkins has lacked the quarterback play that others benefit from.

According to Brandt, the entire group has accounted for only one red-zone drop this season. It's a strong contingent that only figures to be supported by more impressive draft classes in the future.

"The whole group is exceptional. I think we'll find this every year, more and more good receivers coming out that are ready to play, simply because they do such a good job now in the passing game in college," Brandt said. "And more than anything, all these guys play 7-on-7 (tournaments) in the summer time. They learn how to play the position, how to catch the ball, and I've never seen so many guys make these unbelievably tough catches."

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