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Vick returns to Pro Bowl

UH's Mat McBriar returns, and four rookies make appearances

By Barry Wilner

Associated Press

POSTED:


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.

 

PRO BOWL ROSTERS

x-starter

 

AFC

OFFENSE

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

DEFENSE

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

SPECIALISTS

PUNTER—Shane Lechler, Oakland

PLACEKICKER—Billy Cundiff, Baltimore

KICK RETURN SPECIALIST—Marc Mariani, Tennessee

SPECIAL TEAMER—Montell Owens, Jacksonville

 

NFC

OFFENSE

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

DEFENSE

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

SPECIALISTS

PUNTER—Mat McBriar, Dallas

PLACEKICKER—David Akers, Philadelphia

KICK RETURN SPECIALIST—Devin Hester, Chicago

SPECIAL TEAMER—Eric Weems, Atlanta






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