UH's Mat McBriar returns, and four rookies make appearances
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 29, 2010
NEW YORK » Michael Vick's sensational comeback season made a big impression throughout the NFL, not just in Philadelphia.
The Eagles' quarterback, who sat out two seasons while serving a federal sentence for dogfighting, will start for the NFC in the Jan. 30 Pro Bowl in Honolulu.
Vick was selected in a league-wide vote by NFL players, coaches and fans.
Vick made three Pro Bowls with Atlanta before he was suspended by the league and served jail time for running a dogfighting ring. This season, he has gone from a seldom-used backup to the NFC's leading passer, the catalyst for Philadelphia's dynamic offense. Besides Vick, the Eagles had four other players selected.
Atlanta, which leads the NFC with a 12-3 record, had the most Pro Bowlers with seven, including quarterback Matt Ryan, receiver Roddy White and defensive end John Abraham.
New England (13-2), the AFC leader, had six Pro Bowlers, led by QB Tom Brady, the league's top passer who will make his sixth trip to the game—providing the Patriots don't make the Super Bowl. The game will be played the Sunday before the title game at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
Baltimore, Green Bay and Dallas also had five players voted in yesterday.
Four rookies were chosen, with DT Ndamukong Suh of Detroit a starter for the NFC. Cornerback Devin McCourty of New England, kick returner Marc Mariani of Tennessee and center Maurkice Pouncey of Pittsburgh made the AFC squad.
Former University of Hawaii punter Mat McBriar, now with the Dallas Cowboys, will make his second appearance in the game. His first was in 2006.
"It's a tremendous honor, obviously being a rookie and getting my feet wet in the NFL," Suh said. "I can't expect anything more. ... It's only going to make me want to work harder to get back there again."
Altogether, there were seven first-timers on the NFC squad, 14 newcomers for the AFC. The only teams not represented were Buffalo, Cincinnati, Seattle and Tampa Bay.
"First off, it's truly an honor just to be in the conversation of being a Pro Bowl player, but to make it two years in a row, I'm real fortunate and appreciative for the opportunity," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said. "Hopefully we'll be busy at the time."
Colts QB Peyton Manning made his 11th Pro Bowl as a backup to Brady. He joined Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks selected to at least 11 games.
WIDE RECEIVERS—x-Andre Johnson, Houston; x-Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis; Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City; Brandon Lloyd, Denver
TACKLES—x-Jake Long, Miami; x-Joe Thomas, Cleveland; D'Brickashaw Ferguson, N.Y. Jets
GUARDS—x-Kris Dielman, San Diego; x-Logan Mankins, New England; Brian Waters, Kansas City
CENTERS—x-Nick Mangold, N.Y. Jets; Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh
TIGHT ENDS—x-Antonio Gates, San Diego; Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville
QUARTERBACKS—x-Tom Brady, New England; Peyton Manning, Indianapolis; Philip Rivers, San Diego
RUNNING BACKS—x-Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville; Jamaal Charles, Kansas City; Arian Foster, Houston
FULLBACK—x-Vonta Leach, Houston
ENDS—x-Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis; x-Robert Mathis, Indianapolis; Jason Babin, Tennessee
INTERIOR LINEMAN—x-Haloti Ngata, Baltimore; x-Vince Wilfork, New England; Richard Seymour, Oakland
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS—x-James Harrison, Pittsburgh; x-Cameron Wake, Miami; Terrell Suggs, Baltimore
INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKERS—x-Ray Lewis, Baltimore; Jerod Mayo, New England
CORNERBACKS—x-Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland; x-Darrelle Revis, N.Y. Jets; Devin McCourty, New England
STRONG SAFETY—x-Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh
FREE SAFETIES—x-Ed Reed, Baltimore; Brandon Meriweather, New England
PUNTER—Shane Lechler, Oakland
PLACEKICKER—Billy Cundiff, Baltimore
KICK RETURN SPECIALIST—Marc Mariani, Tennessee
SPECIAL TEAMER—Montell Owens, Jacksonville
WIDE RECEIVERS—x-Calvin Johnson, Detroit; x-Roddy White, Atlanta; DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia; Greg Jennings, Green Bay
TACKLES—x-Jordan Gross, Carolina; x-Jason Peters, Philadelphia; Chad Clifton, Green Bay
GUARDS—x-Jahri Evans, New Orleans; x-Chris Snee, N.Y. Giants; Carl Nicks, New Orleans
CENTERS—x-Andre Gurode, Dallas; Shaun O'Hara, N.Y. Giants
TIGHT ENDS—x-Jason Witten, Dallas; Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta
QUARTERBACKS—x-Michael Vick, Philadelphia; Drew Brees, New Orleans; Matt Ryan, Atlanta
RUNNING BACKS—x-Michael Turner, Atlanta; Steven Jackson, St. Louis; Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
FULLBACK—x-Ovie Mughelli, Atlanta
ENDS—x-John Abraham, Atlanta; x-Julius Peppers, Chicago; Justin Tuck, N.Y. Giants
INTERIOR LINEMEN—x-Jay Ratliff, Dallas; x-Ndamukong Suh, Detroit; Justin Smith, San Francisco
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS—x-Clay Matthews, Green Bay; x-DeMarcus Ware, Dallas; Lance Briggs, Chicago;
INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKERS—x-Patrick Willis, San Francisco; Brian Urlacher, Chicago
CORNERBACKS—x-Asante Samuel, Philadelphia; x-Charles Woodson, Green Bay; DeAngelo Hall, Washington
STRONG SAFETY—x-Adrian Wilson, Arizona
FREE SAFETIES—x-Nick Collins, Green Bay; Antrel Rolle, N.Y. Giants
PUNTER—Mat McBriar, Dallas
PLACEKICKER—David Akers, Philadelphia
KICK RETURN SPECIALIST—Devin Hester, Chicago
SPECIAL TEAMER—Eric Weems, Atlanta