December 10, 2023   8 MIN READ

Top Gunner

Second-Year CB Josh Jobe Appears On Pro Bowl Ballot


Stored in the cubby above the locker stall of Eagles cornerback and special teams ace Josh Jobe is a game ball.

According to the particulars embossed on the white panel of the football, it was from the Eagles’ 21-17 victory in Kansas City, when Jobe, an unlikely hero in the Super Bowl LVII rematch, made a crucial, game-altering tackle with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.

Chiefs punt returner Kadarius Toney, who had already gashed the Eagles’ punt coverage for a combined 58 return yards, including a long of 21, awaited Braden Mann’s punt with 2:56 left to play. The Chiefs trailed by four.

From his 44, Mann hoisted a 47-yard torpedo as Toney positioned himself to track the football amid the incessant, misty rain showering Arrowhead Stadium.

Upon fielding the punt, Toney was simultaneously met by Jobe, who had bolted downfield in pursuit, making a beeline to his target. Like a heat-seeking missile, Jobe launched himself at Toney, leveling the electric returner for no gain and pinning Kansas City at its own 9-yard line.

“I was just out there, like, ‘It’s a really close game. We need to put the defense in the right position,’” Jobe recalled Friday. “I need to go down there and just make a big play. And I made a big play to help the defense and we had success for it.”

Josh Jobe

GETTY IMAGES: Eagles second-year CB Josh Jobe, a key special-teamer, appeared on the Pro Bowl ballot

The play encapsulated the inexhaustible, steadfast and sometimes unnoticed work Jobe has undertaken to perfect his craft, molding himself into one of the game’s premier special teams performers.

A perfectionist in every sense, Jobe fixates over his role, holding himself to the highest standard.

Mirroring the philosophy of punt returner Britain Covey, who adheres to the principle of taking one’s role – however big or small – and excelling at it, the one-time Alabama standout is likewise consumed with operating at peak performance.

“Josh is one of those people that you almost have to help be less hard on himself,” Covey said. “Because every time he has a rep that he doesn’t think is up to his standard, he comes up to me on the sideline … ‘Oh, I’m so sorry! Gosh, this is what I did wrong…’ And sometimes I have to calm him down and say, ‘Hey, Josh, you’re fine. I thought it was a great rep. You’re gonna be fine.’

“With Josh, I think it’s a good balance of giving him coaching tips and watching film with him before the game. And then during the game, not telling him any tips. Just saying, ‘Keep your head up.’ Because he’s very much a perfectionist.”

In the wake of a breakthrough sophomore training camp in which Jobe quickly outclassed a crowded field of contenders to seize the role of top backup cornerback, the 25-year-old initially appeared poised for a substantial uptick in defensive snaps as a rotational defensive back.

Except for starts against the Vikings, Commanders and Jets due to injuries, Jobe hasn’t yet managed to etch out a complementary role on coordinator Sean Desai’s defense.

Rather than languish in disappointment, Jobe has instead emerged into a core contributor for special teams coordinator Michael Clay, logging 212 third phase snaps, third-most on the team.

Jobe is also tied with safety Sydney Brown for the most tackles (5).

When the Eagles traveled to Foxborough, Mass., in September for their season-opener against the Patriots, Jobe, a gunner on punt coverage and jammer on the return unit, squared off against cerebral special teamer Matthew Slater, a five-time All-Pro and 10-time Pro Bowl selection.

Jobe made Slater work on several reps that afternoon, winning on multiple occasions. The veteran even offered words of encouragement to Jobe, commending the second-year pro and forecasting his bright future.

Jobe last season worked in tandem at gunner with cornerback Zech McPhearson, who in two seasons had emerged as a third phase difference-maker.

McPhearson, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in training camp, isn’t always around to impart knowledge or offer on-the-spot coaching points, but the rehabbing defensive back is someone Jobe looks up to, both as a person and in the way in which McPhearson approached his trade.

Jobe vows he’s driven to match McPhearson’s energy.

Typically the first player down the field on kick or punt coverage, Jobe has assumed the proverbial baton in McPhearson’s absence, establishing himself as a primary focus from opposing teams, to the point of frequently drawing double teams.

Jobe also takes his duties of protecting Covey in the return game personally, so when Covey, second in the league in punt return yards (295), meets with his protection team Saturdays to go over blocking schemes, the objectives and priorities are self-evident.

“Putting [Covey] in the right position and making sure he’s safe,” Jobe said, without hesitation. “Just letting us know what releases the gunner is doing and where they’re kicking the ball and how they’re kicking the ball to him. So, we’re just trying to protect him at all costs and give him success.”

In contrast to his on-field temperament – which showcases valor, tenacity, and a healthy dose of reckless abandon – Jobe hardly classifies as brash and outspoken.

But don’t mistake his reserved nature for being aloof.

Jobe is singularly focused, perhaps even slightly obsessive, when it comes to honing in on the tiniest of details in preparation of carrying out his assignments to give his team an advantage.

“He’s extremely coachable and he’s so humble,” Covey said. “It doesn’t matter who’s doing the coaching … it could be an assistant, it could be a head coach, it could be someone like me.

“We nicknamed him ‘Wild Stallion’ and it just gives me so much confidence to have someone like that out there who I know his mindset. He’s got such a hard job that I’m never frustrated with him if he doesn’t have a perfect rep. But just knowing his mindset out there gives me comfort to be back there.”

One could surmise that the origin of “Wild Stallion” is derived from the impetuosity with which Jobe approaches his job description – the disregard for his body, his willingness to scrap for every blade of grass in exchange for field position, his unbridled approach to the job demand.

“I think it stems from when we put him out on kickoff and we realized that he was better with less coaching tips and more just, ‘Go get the ball,'” Covey explained. “And he would just cause a train wreck in there, just throw his body around. So, I think that’s kind of when we realized.”

Jobe’s contributions to the 10-2 Eagles can’t be measured in stats or seen in the box score, and much of his game day obligations are largely taken for granted, unless it’s an egregious miscue.

While his influence in revitalizing a previously beleaguered special teams unit is often lost in the public eye, however, Jobe has served as a vital piece to catalyzing a third phase now viewed among the league’s best.

Covey noted that Jobe’s impact is felt by the number of double teams he commands. Mann also sees Jobe’s value to special teams.

“He 100% makes my job easier,” Mann said. “He practices that way, he plays that way. He just plays with an intensity, a focus, and a want-to. I think that that’s super important in a gunner.

“But he works it all the time. In practice, he’s with our coaches and he’s working after practice. It certainly makes my job easier and allows me to be like, ‘All right, I can hit a ball that may be a little bit too long because I know [Josh] is gonna be down there for it.’”

When the 2024 Pro Bowl ballot was unveiled Nov. 27, many of the Eagles’ usual suspects appeared, with one exception.

While household names such as kicker Jake Elliott and even Covey would appear to have an inside track at Pro Bowl bids, under the special teamers tab, 30 players appeared.

Jobe was one.

To merely appear on the ballot speaks to the league-wide respect Jobe has attracted in just his second season.

But more importantly, the recognition salutes a selfless perfectionist, one who relishes his role and prioritizes the well-being of his teammates and places an emphasis on team success.

While Jobe might not yet register as a household name, his thirst to get his job done is something everyone can identify with.

“I just take full advantage of every opportunity I get,” Jobe said. “And I’m blessed that I’m mentioned in the Pro Bowl [balloting]. It’s just hard work and dedication. I’ve just been more successful and just been working hard, as hard as I can. And whatever comes, whatever comes.”

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for

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