Kelce, Johnson named All-Pro
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Jason Kelce was inexplicably snubbed for the Pro Bowl but received a far more meaningful honor on Friday when he was named first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press.
Kelce was rated as the best center in football this season by ProFootballFocus.com and has dominated opposing defenses with his technique and athleticism. He was joined on the first-team by one of his linemates, right tackle Lane Johnson.
Two Eagles -- injured quarterback Carson Wentz and star defensive tackle Fletcher Cox -- were named second-team All-Pros.
The NFL’s All-Pro team is voted upon by a group of 50 members of the national media and is considered to be a far greater honor than the Pro Bowl..
“Any time that you are considered at the top of your profession, it’s natural to feel prideful and enjoy that,” Kelce told PhiladelphiaEagles.com. “But you’ve always got to take individual awards with a grain of salt.
"This game is not like any other game. There is so much that goes into you playing well – what plays are called, who is playing next to you, who the quarterback is – all of these little things that, at the end of the day, are so important. For an offensive lineman, the difference between having a good game and a bad game comes down to, potentially, two or three plays. Everybody is so reliant on everyone doing their jobs. It’s so cliché, but it really is the ultimate team sport.”
Johnson was actually more of a slam dunk at right tackle, earning 40 of 50 first-team votes, while Kelce got 18 of 50.
“It’s been by far my best season, my most consistent,” Johnson told the Eagles' website. “If you go down the list of the pass rushers I’ve had to go against this season, it’s been multiple Pro Bowlers, high-caliber guys and it’s been every week. There really hasn’t been a week off. I knew that coming into the season that I would be challenged like no other season."
Wentz finished behind likely MVP Tom Brady at quarterback while Cox was beat out by Aaron Donald and Cam Heyward at defensive tackle for first-team honors.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen