Jackson, McCoy out for more glory at Pro Bowl

Posted: January 27, 2014

HONOLULU - LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson won't line up against each other on the field during tomorrow's NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. But the two Eagles stars will be on opposite sidelines, however, and there's plenty of friendly competition going on between the two this week.

"I've got to get it," McCoy said this week. "Even if we ain't teammates, I've got to get it, man."

The four guys representing the Eagles at this weekend's Pro Bowl are divided up evenly, with guard Evan Mathis joining McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, on Jerry Rice's team, while Jackson and quarterback Nick Foles will play for Deion Sanders' team after the two Hall of Famers drafted their squads on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The new format was put together to try to drum up more interest in a game that has been widely criticized for its lack of competitiveness in recent years.

Jackson, named to his third Pro Bowl after posting a career-high 1,332 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, started all 16 games in a season for the first time in his 6-year career.

He last played in Hawaii in 2011, when Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Alex Mack scored on a 67-yard pass play late in the game that sparked the initial public backlash against players for not trying hard.

Jackson is one of many NFL players promising a better effort in this year's game.

"All we are here for is the game, that's all I care about," Jackson said. "It'll be a good one."

"I think we're going to turn it up a bit this year," McCoy added.

Jackson and McCoy were two big reasons for the Eagles' six-win turnaround in 2013, culminating in an NFC East championship.

Not only did Jackson post a career high in receiving yards, but his nine TDs tied his career high for a season, and his 82 catches were 20 more than his next-best total, which he posted in each of his first 2 years.

A lot of that was a result of the new offense put in under first-year coach Chip Kelly.

"This past year was a great first year together for everybody to come together and gel good in coach Kelly's offensive system," Jackson said. "I think going 10-6 after a 4-12 year is definitely a big-time difference, and now we're excited to get back next year and go further than we did this year."

Already one of the game's premiere running backs, McCoy also saw his numbers shoot up this season.

He became the first Eagle to lead the league in rushing since 1949, with 1,607 yards and nine touchdowns, and his pass-catching skills out of the backfield were also used.

He had 52 receptions to wind up with 2,146 total yards and 11 touchdowns, earning him his second trip to Hawaii.

He also was the first running back taken in Wednesday's Pro Bowl draft.

"It's all in fun, but it's nice to know how you look compared to your peers," McCoy said.

With his first season of at least 300 carries and more than 365 touches in the books, McCoy said he looks forward to taking a lot of time off to rest his body, hoping that the workload will grow even bigger next season.

"We've got tons of talent, and I'm looking forward to getting back to work," McCoy said. "We've got a lot more room for improvement with the type of guys we have in the locker room. I'll take a lot of time off and then be ready to get back next year and get in the playoffs and potentially a Super Bowl."

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