• Al Thompson

FLETCHER COX SCORES WITH FANS, THEN IN THE PRO BOWL

Eagles tackle enjoys full week of Pro Bowl activities with fellow players while helping families who could use a reason to smile. Cox also scored a 61-yard touchdown in the game

Eagles defensive tackle Fletcvher Cox shares a moment with a TAPS official during an event that matched NFL Pro Bowl players with families who lost a loved one in the line of duty. Photo by Al Thompson


ORLANDO: Fletcher Cox says he likes coming to the Pro Bowl for a number of reasons. He gets to meet up with opponents he butts heads with as well as players who play the same position as his.


“You’re hanging around the guys, having a good time, obviously talk about ball,” Cox said Friday during a private event with a group that works with families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. “A guy like Travis (Cowboys center, Frederick) is in our division, so obviously, you’re going to talk some stuff, then it kind of fades away. But at the end of the day we’re all here at the all-star game, we respect each other. So, we’ll talk a little football so, yes.”


The group Cox was doing an appearance with is called Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). About 20 Pro Bowl Players were in attendance including Darius Leonard (ILB Colts), Eric Kendricks {ILB Vikings}, Harrison Smith {SS Vikings) , Jarvis Landry (WR Browns), Joel Bitonio G Browns), Jurrell Casey (IL Titans), Justin Tucker (K Ravens), Keenan Allen (WR Chargers), Lamar Jackson (QN Ravens), Mark Andrews (TE Ravens), Michael Thomas (WR Saints), Minkah Fitzpatick (FS Steelers), Morgan Cox (LS Ravens), Quenton Nelson (G Colts), Ryan Kelly (C Colts), T.J. Watt (OLB Steelers), Tre'Davious White (CB Bills), Tress Way (P Redskins) and Von Miller (PLB Broncos)


Cox said he had a great time helping put a smile on the faces of people who have had a tough time recently.


“It was good,” Cox said. “We got here, we kind of leaned about (TAPS) when we first got here. These families are here, they’ve lost a loved one fighting for our country. That’s a big part of TAPS. It was a great time. We got to build some flags out of wood, made them out of wood, sanded them down, stapled them together. At the end of the day, they had plaques for the families. It was special.”


Cox said he knows, like every year, there are changes to the roster and coaching staff. He said he is looking forward to working with any new coaches the Birds brings in.


“Absolutely, I’m looking forward to see what’s going on around the building,” Cox said. “I’m ready to get back to work. Whose ever there will be there. I know Coach Pederson has done a great job of taking care of his business for us. For us now its for us the players, to enjoy the offseason. Whoever my position coach may be, I’ll look forward to playing with him and winning a bunch of games.”


Former Eagles pass rusher Connor Barwin has been brought in to assist Vice President Howie Roseman in the player personnel department. Cox, who scored a 61-yard touchdown for the NFC on a lateral after an interception by Harrison Smith, said he is looking forward to seeing Barwin back in the nest.


“It’ll be good to have Connor around the building,” Cox said. “Mentor some people, work with some of the younger players, even older players. It will be good to have Connor around the building.”


Like many players in the Pro Bowl, Cox said he agrees the Pro Bowl week is a great opportunity for fans to meet their favorite players.


“The fans enjoy [Pro Bowl] week,” Cox said. “The fans that do come really enjoy it. They get a chance to meet some of the best players in the league, hang out with them, talk to them, take pictures. I think it’s a good thing for the fans.” *


Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii

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