Jackson, other Eagles Pro Bowlers out to 'have a good time'

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson snatches a hat from New Orleans guard Ben Grubbs (left) while horsing around with fellow Pro Bowlers, including Cam Newton (1).    AP
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson snatches a hat from New Orleans guard Ben Grubbs (left) while horsing around with fellow Pro Bowlers, including Cam Newton (1).    AP
Posted: January 26, 2014

HONOLULU - United during their run to the playoffs, the Eagles selected to the Pro Bowl find themselves divided by the all-star game's new format.

As members of Team Sanders, DeSean Jackson and Nick Foles will spend Sunday afternoon at Aloha Stadium on the sideline opposite teammates LeSean McCoy and Evan Mathis with Team Rice.

So does Jackson plan to spare his fellow Eagles the trash talk that's likely to flow come game day?

"Can't do that, man," Jackson said, playing into the teammates-turned-rivals scenario. "We're going to give it to them with full benefits, you know."

For his part, McCoy stuck to the script as well.

"It's competition. It's all competition," McCoy said. "Nick and DeSean, they've got to be ready."

Good-natured banter aside, having four members selected to the NFL's all-star attraction added another layer of validation of what the Eagles offense accomplished in Chip Kelly's first year as head coach.

Jackson earned his third trip by posting career-best totals in receptions (82) and yards (1,332) and his nine touchdowns tied his 2009 total. He went over 100 yards five times, peaking with a 10-catch, 195-yard performance against Minnesota on Dec. 15.

"It's good thing to have four of our players out here. Hopefully next year we can get some more, but we're blessed with the players who are here and we're going to have fun," Jackson said.

"Honestly, I'm just blessed I've been able to get the opportunity to come here. . . . I just had a coach that got me involved and had a quarterback to give me the ball."

Jackson will have that quarterback on his side again on Sunday with Foles set to share snaps with Indianapolis' Andrew Luck and Carolina's Cam Newton.

Like Foles, Jackson was initially an alternate for the game, but was added when Houston's Andre Johnson didn't make the trip.

Jackson made his first two Pro Bowl appearances in 2009 and 2010 after going over 1,000 yards both seasons, although his first experience at Aloha Stadium predated his professional career. He was a sophomore at Long Beach Poly when the Jackrabbits traveled to Hawaii to face Kahuku High School in 2002 and worked his way back in 2011, when the Pro Bowl returned to Honolulu after a year in Miami.

Jackson earned his latest invitation after playing in all 16 regular-season games for the first time since his rookie year in 2008. The numbers reflected a significant bounce back after appearing in 11 games in 2012 with 45 catches for 700 yards.

"We'll take it a step at a time," Jackson said of the offense's potential. "A lot has happened in the last year and this past year was a great first year together. Everybody came together and jelled."

Except for this week, of course.

"Sunday we have to get the best of them," Jackson said.

"It's cool. It makes it interesting. We're just coming out here to have a good time, that's all."

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