Mikell ready for first Pro Bowl

Quintin Mikell will play in his first Pro Bowl next weekend. (Yong Kim / Staff file photo)

Quintin Mikell thought for sure he had a Pro Bowl-worthy season in 2008 and he did, which is probably why he'll board an airplane bound for Miami tomorrow and join the rest of the NFC roster when they begin practice Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.

Both the Eagles' veteran safety and quarterback Donovan McNabb were added to the NFC roster today, bringing the total number of Eagles participating in Sunday's game to nine. It's the first Pro Bowl for Mikell, who replaced New Orleans' Darren Sharper on the NFC squad and the sixth for McNabb, who replaced Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

The Saints, of course, will be playing against Indianapolis in their first Super Bowl the week after the Pro Bowl in Miami.

"I set the goal to make it to the Pro Bowl the last couple of years and I thought I played well enough last year to get there," Mikell said during a conference call. "This year, I was more up and down, so I'm still a little disappointed.I think if you look at the stats and stuff, I felt like last year I had a really good shot at making it. The way we finished this year with the lull in the defense, I felt like this year it wouldn't happen. I thought both years were Pro Bowl-caliber years, but last year I definitely thought I was going to make it."

Given some time to reflect on the Eagles' consecutive lopsided losses to the Dallas Cowboys, Mikell doesn't believe things were nearly as bad as they may have appeared.

 "You can't say it was a fluke when it happened twice in a row," Mikell said. "Obviously there are some things we need to work on. But people need to take a step back and look at some things. We had a lot of injuries. That's not an excuse, but it is a factor. If that happened with the same defense we started with at the beginning of the season, I'd be worried. The good thing is we're going to get a lot of guys back and I don't see that happening to this defense again."