Nick Foles makes the Pro Bowl (which reminds you of things about the Pro Bowl)

Nick Foles makes the Pro Bowl (which reminds you of things about the Pro Bowl)

If you're anything like me, you might flip on the Pro Bowl for a few minutes on whatever day/night it's televised if you're not already in the middle of a Sopranos or Breaking Bad binge-watching session, but mostly because you're curious what the weather is like in Hawaii or how awful of a shirt Andy Reid can come up with. Maybe the Pro Bowl cheerleading squad is worth checking in on.

The game? Meh. Although there is a new fun twist this year that could be intriguing.

But make no mistake, getting a Pro Bowl nod as a player is still a pretty nice honor. Especially for first timers like Nick Foles, who made the game over the weekend sort of by default. With one of the Super Bowl quarterbacks now definitely being a Pro Bowler, that means the first alternate gets the nod.

That means Nick Foles will be wearing some floral prints.

As a refresher, the NFL is changing formats this year:

Gone is the familiar AFC vs. NFC match-up that has existed since 1971. Instead, players will be selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players. For example, the top six quarterbacks following voting will earn distinction as All-Stars, regardless of how many are from AFC or NFC teams.

And that's why the Patriots winning over the weekend locked up a Pro Bowl selection for an NFC QB in Foles.

CSN's Reuben Frank has much more on Foles numbers this year and quirky stats like Nick being the third Eagles QB in the past 5 seasons to make it to Hawaii following in Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick's footsteps.

But not everybody is stoked to hit the beach. Perennial Pro Bowler Jason Peters opted out of participating this year. No real reason was given, but he did have a few nagging injuries all year.

I know I joked above about not giving a real thought to the Pro Bowl in the past, but this new format at least adds something to the typically boring affair. Do you think teams getting drafted for the Pro Bowl will increase the likelihood you'd tune in?

And damn. If someone told you over the summer that Nick Foles would be playing in the Pro Bowl this season I think it's safe to say you would have thought they were crazy. What a great surprise from Chip Kelly and the Eagles this season.

Howie Roseman comes close to admitting Eric Rowe trade a mistake

Howie Roseman comes close to admitting Eric Rowe trade a mistake

It didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now.

And Howie Roseman finally admitted it.

He also acknowledged — though in a roundabout way — that the Eagles may have made a mistake by giving up on Eric Rowe so quickly.

When Roseman was asked earlier this month at a rare media availability about the team’s decision to trade the promising second-round cornerback to the Patriots just a year after drafting him, his answer was that the Eagles were concerned about being able to re-sign him when his contract expired.

Which is after the 2018 season.

“When we sat down and discussed the offer, we really started thinking about the likelihood that we had to sign him to an extension,” Roseman said back on Jan. 4.

“We want to build this team with some continuity. We felt at that time that we were not going to sign him to an extension and to be able to get that value for him and possibly add someone who would be here for a longer period of time made sense for where we were.
”

As we all know, Rowe became a key figure on the Patriots’ defense during the second half of this season and played well during the stretch run.

He played 60 of 69 defensive snaps in the Patriots' win over the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game Sunday and had an interception of Ben Roethlisberger and 37-yard return late in the game. He also had four tackles and two pass knockdowns, one in the end zone.

Rowe was just 23 when the Eagles traded him, and now cornerback is one of the team’s two biggest needs going into the offseason.

Roseman appeared on the 94 WIP Morning Show on Monday and brought up Rowe before he was even asked about him.

“You’ve got to give me a chance to correct my answer on Eric Rowe from that press conference because this is what happened,” Roseman said.

“Yesterday my 9-year-old son said, ‘Dad, I didn’t really understand your answer from that press conference.’

“When the 9-year-old boy doesn’t understand the answer it’s probably a problem. I said the reason you didn’t understand was because it wasn’t coherent. It didn’t make any freaking sense.”

Along with Patrick Chung, Dion Lewis and Danny Amendola, Rowe is one of four Eagles castoffs who will face the Falcons in Super Bowl 51 in Houston in two weeks.

So why did the Eagles trade Rowe?

“I think it’s good to just go back to the process,” Roseman said. “So it’s the first week of the season and we get this offer and it’s the Patriots and we’re not sitting there thinking, ‘We’re getting one over on Bill Belichick,’ maybe the best evaluator of defensive backs in the history of the NFL.

“What we were thinking about was where he was on our depth chart. At that time the starting three guys were Nolan (Carroll), Leodis (McKelvin), Ron Brooks. Jalen Mills at that point in camp had beat him out, so he was the fourth guy, and then when we spoke with our coaches, they said that Malcolm (Jenkins) would be the next guy in the slot. So for where we were and what his role was at the time, we thought it was pretty good value.

“For them to give up that kind of pick — a fourth that could be a third — we knew they had a role for him. We knew that there was going to be an opportunity, and we’ve got to do what we think is best for us.”

Roseman on Monday morning didn’t exactly admit the Eagles made a mistake by unloading Rowe at a point when the team was desperate for talented young cornerbacks.

But he came close.

“We probably make 50 decisions a year that are really real decisions that we sit down and make,” he said.

“To say that we don’t go back and think about them and think about whether they were right? That’s part of it, you know? You want to hit as many as you can, but when you’re watching games of other players that you’ve had here, that’s the hard part about doing it.”

At this point in the interview, Roseman jokingly asked WIP Morning Show host Angelo Cataldi for a beer and seemed to hint that being drunk may have helped him get through watching Rowe in the AFC Championship Game.

“That’s why Sundays ... that’s why you’ve got to watch some of these games like that,” he said. “It gives you an opportunity to reflect. At the same time, you’ve got to get guys who fit your scheme, that make sense for the Philadelphia Eagles, and I think that’s the most important thing.”

Roseman also addressed the notion that he got rid of Rowe because he was a Chip Kelly draft pick and he wanted to rid the roster of as many Kelly players as possible.

“That’s false,” he said. “We want good players. I don’t care where they came from. ...

“I think for us, when you get a guy like (Kelly draft pick) Jordan Hicks and the role he contributes for our football team and what kind of character he has, football character, personal character.

“As many good players as we can get on the Philadelphia Eagles — at the end of the day, we’re responsible for the team and they’re part of our team and it doesn’t matter where they came from.”

Asked about Kelly's getting fired by the 49ers a year after he was fired by the Eagles, Roseman said this: “Never like seeing people lose their jobs in the National Football League. It’s a tough business, no question about it. It’s a tough time of year.”

Future Flyers Report: Welcome to North America, German Rubtsov

Future Flyers Report: Welcome to North America, German Rubtsov

Before this week begins, it's time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

In this week’s report, we feature the Flyers’ 2016 first-round pick who escaped his motherland of Russia for a better situation — no, not the United States, Canada.

German Rubtsov, C, 6-0/190, Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
If there was any doubt as to why it was important for Rubtsov to terminate his KHL contract to relocate to North America, the questions were answered last week. Rubtsov made waves in his QMJHL debut tour for the Chicoutimi, quadrupling his KHL production in just three games for the Saguenéens, registering four points in three games.

It did not take long for the 6-foot forward to make noise for Chicoutimi, which had the center playing on the wing as he gets acclimated to the North American game. In a 4-3 shootout win over Halifax, Rubtsov immediately put his stamp on the Saguenéens with a two-assist, six-shot performance in which he was named the game’s third star.

Both of Rubtsov’s apples were nothing to write home about, though he made strong hockey plays on both, his second assist in particular in which he scooped up the puck along the boards and pushed it to the blue line. In the overtime period, he twice had serious scoring chances on the same shift, displaying his speed and power on one and failing to score on a breakaway the other. It was a quiet night for Rubtsov on Friday in Chicoutimi’s 1-0 loss to Saint John, but the Russian showered the stat sheet Saturday.

In his third contest, Rubtsov registered his first career QMJHL goal, a power-play tally, and another assist in a 6-4 win over Acadie-Bathurst. Outside of the points, there was plenty else to like from Rubtsov from last week. Touted as a 200-foot player, he showcased his defensive prowess Friday against the Sea Dogs, taking away a passing lane that resulted in a Chicoutimi rush.

There was much to like about Rubtsov’s first week in the Q. Considering the frustrating start to this season with HC Vityaz, Rubtsov will finally get a fair shake at playing time.

Anthony Stolarz, G, 6-6/210, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Stolarz missed both weekend games against Providence and Hershey because of a lower-body injury believed to have been suffered in his 5-3 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday, which was also his 23rd birthday. Head coach Scott Gordon said Saturday night he was “waiting to hear from the doctor.” Lehigh Valley called up Mark Dekanich from Reading to fill in as Alex Lyon’s backup — Dekanich did see game action Saturday.

It looked like Stolarz was on track to start at least three of the Phantoms’ four games last week before the injury. He stopped 25 of 28 shots in Lehigh Valley’s 4-3 over Springfield on Monday, and followed that outing up with 35 saves in a 5-3 victory to the Penguins on Friday night. It’s unclear if Stolarz will miss any time this week.

Battling for the net with Lyon, Stolarz is 9-3 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .921 save percentage and one shutout in 12 games this season. His competition, Lyon, has been strong as well, despite a clunker on Saturday night against the Bruins.

Lyon was yanked against Providence after 27:02 and allowing four goals on 16 shots, but rebounded well Sunday night against Hershey. Lyon stopped 25 of 26 shots against the Bears, and lost his shutout bid about seven minutes into the third period.

The crease is crowded at Lehigh Valley, but if Stolarz should miss time, Lyon has shown this season he’s more than capable of handling the workload.

Carter Hart, G, 6-1/181, Everett (WHL)
Another strong week for Hart, the Flyers’ top goaltending prospect. The 2016 second-round pick picked up two more wins in four games last week for Everett, stopping 113 of 94 shots he faced. On Friday, Hart picked up his sixth shutout of the season, a 33-save blanking of the Seattle Thunderbirds in a 1-0 victory of the Silvertips. In Everett’s 4-3 shootout loss to Spokane on Sunday night, Hart stopped 16 of 19 shots, but did give up 2-0 and 3-2 leads in the loss. He was beaten just once in the shootout. Hart is now 19-4-5 on the season, with a 1.90 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Scott Laughton, C, 6-1,190 , Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Remember Laughton? The 2012 first-round pick had a huge week for the Phantoms last week, as he’s continuing to work his way back into the Flyers’ future plans. Laughton turned in a five-point week, recording points in all four games and picking up his third multi-point game of the season Sunday. He had a goal in three of those four games, and tallied an assist in the Phantoms’ 9-1 blowout loss to Providence Saturday. He helped the Phantoms to a 5-1 win over Hershey on Sunday with a goal and an assist. He’s now up to eight goals and 18 points in 26 games this season at Lehigh Valley.

Quick hits
Tanner Laczynski missed both of No. 11 Ohio State’s showdowns with No. 1 Penn State last weekend. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions split the weekend series.

• Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen rebounded well after a rough outing last Tuesday in an 8-4 loss to Dartmouth, in which he yielded six goals on 18 shots before being pulled.

Madsen responded with a 26-save shutout in No. 6 Harvard’s 3-0 win over Brown University on Friday, and then stopped 27 of 28 shots in a 1-1 tie with Yale.

• Michigan forward Cooper Marody went pointless in the Wolverines’ weekend home-and-home with Michigan State, but did score the shootout winner Saturday night.

Mark Friedman added two assists in Bowling Green’s 3-2 loss to Alaska on Friday, and was pointless Saturday, as the Falcons split the weekend with the Aces with a 2-1 win. With 19 points, the junior blueliner is third on Bowling Green in points.

• Brynäs IF netminder Felix Sandstrom gave up four goals on 24 shots in a 4-3 overtime win over Orebro on Thursday night in his lone game last week.

• Sandstrom’s teammate, Oskar Lindblom, added another goal last week, also in Thursday’s game against Orebro. Lindblom had three shots on net in 20:52 against Orebro. He now leads Brynäs with 31 points and is tied for third in the SHL.

David Kase found himself playing fourth-line center for Piráti Chomutov on Friday and Sunday, partially because of a team need down the middle. Kase did have an assist Tuesday. Sunday, he played just 3:35 against HC Vítkovice Rider and was 3 for 3 in the faceoff dot. He played more Friday (9:25) and saw some PP time vs. HC Karlovy Vary.

Connor Bunnaman had a productive week for Kitchener, adding two goals and three assists in four games. He had a goal and an assist Tuesday in a 4-3 win over Windsor, and then a goal in the Rangers’ 5-3 win over Ottawa on Sunday.

• Phantoms All-Star Taylor Leier had a goal and two assists Friday vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, an assist Saturday against Providence Saturday and another Sunday against Hershey. He now has 19 assists and 27 points in 31 games.