2009 Pro Bowl Rosters – WITH ANALYSIS


2009 Pro Bowl Rosters – WITH ANALYSIS
M.D. Wright
12.16.08

* – Denotes STARTER in Pro Bowl Game

National Football Conference (NFC)
OFFENSE
QB – Kurt Warner (ARZ)*
QB – Drew Brees (NO)
QB – Eli Manning (NYG)
Comments: Kurt does not deserve this. Especially with the way they’ve played five out of their last six games. This is why fan voting should only count for 1/4 (if at all). Brees ONLY deserves a reserve role because of his numbers. He’s on a .500 team. Eli is not a Pro Bowler. Without the running game and Burress (the past two games) you see what Eli is. I would actually put Tony Romo as the starting QB here. Look at how Dallas looked without him.

RB – Adrian Peterson (MIN)*
RB – Michael Turner (ATL)
RB – Clinton Portis (WARSH)
Comments: This cannot be argued. Adrian Peterson is the best RB in the NFL. Brandon Jacobs would have had an argument for a reserve spot had he been healthy the past two weeks. Turner has 15 rushing TDs and Portis has been a beast until injuries and poor overall play by the Redskins of late caught up with him.

FB – Mike Sellers (WARSH)*
Comments: Only other viable candidate is Madison Hedgecock.

WR – Larry Fitzgerald (ARZ)*
WR – Anquan Boldin (ARZ)*
WR – Steve Smith (CUR)
WR – Roddy White (ATL)
Comments: I would only put Steve Smith as the starter. This is always a highly argued position, because it is full of prima donnas and the fans argue loudest as well. However, the only other viable argument would have been (potentially) Santana Moss in a reserve role.

TE – Jason Witten (DAL)*
TE – Chris Cooley (WARSH)
Comments: Witten is the best TE in the NFC. Cooley is more of an HB than a true TE. No way he overrides Witten. None of the other TEs in the NFC are consistent or are involved in their teams’ offenses as much.

T – Jordan Gross (CUR)*
T – Walter Jones (SEA)* (WILL NOT PLAY – INJURY)
T – Chris Samuels (WARSH)
Comments: I am one of the few football experts who watches offensive and defensive line play and knows what’s going on. I can’t say take Gross down, nor Jones, but they weren’t the best tackles in the NFL. Kareem McKenzie should have gotten one of these. Gross should have been the reserve. Samuels has no business on this list (however it must be noted that Dan Snyder ran a campaign in the Washington, DC area where he had fans vote, vote, vote to increase the fan portion of the voting).

G – Steve Hutchinson (MIN)*
G – Chris Snee(NYG)*
G – Leonard Davis (DAL)
Comments: Look, Hutch is the best left guard in the NFC and Chris Snee is the best right guard in the NFL. Period. He’s a road-grader with the running game and is great in pass protection. House Davis has NO BUSINESS on this list with how often he holds (but manages to get away with it — at least a half dozen times vs. NYG on 12.14.08 by the way). However, there aren’t many guys you can put here. Too many teams had revolving doors at guard.

C – Andre Gurode (DAL)*
C – Shaun O’Hara (NYG)
Comments: Reverse this. O’Hara is better than Gurode.

DEFENSE
DE – Julius Peppers (CUR)*
DE – Justin Tuck (NYG)*
DE – Jared Allen (MIN)
Comments: HELLO?!?! DeMarcus Ware has 19 sacks and WON THE GAME SINGLEHANDEDLY Sunday!!! Ware and Tuck are the best DEs in the NFC. WHERE THE HECK IS JOHN ABRAHAM? Allen should be the reserve, if anything at all. I would actually put Abraham there (mostly because he is STILL not stout against the run after 9 years). The other guys are. Peppers would admit this isn’t his best season. Not even close. Although he is playing better than last year. He should not be up here.

DT – Kevin Williams (MIN)*
DT – Jay Ratliff (DAL)*
DT – Pat Williams
Comments: Fred Robbins should start over Ratliff (fan voting?) Kevin Williams deserves his spot. Pat Williams and Darnell Dockett (FROM?!?!?!) are the only guys who had arguments. Fat Pat is a reserve, Dockett could’ve been. Ratliff does not belong here.

OLB – DeMarcus Ware (DAL)*
OLB – Lance Briggs (CHI)*
OLB – Derrick Brooks (TB)
Comments: Brooks is looking long in the tooth. However, there aren’t many guys with strong cases aside from him. Bradie James maybe? Danny Clark? Doubtful. Ware is a DE. Why are they listing him as an OLB? Briggs is probably playing better than Urlacher in CHI — although Urlacher got his fair share of votes at Mike.

ILB – Patrick Willis (SF)*
ILB – Jon Beason (CUR)
Comments: I don’t like how the voting is done for linebackers. It does not take into account the schemes that teams run. Barrett Ruud is pretty good. Jonathan Vilma, overshadowed in a PUTRID (suspended and injured, I should add) Saints defense, is playing well. Pierce is indeed overrated. However, no argument here. PAT WILLIS IS A BEAST.

CB – Charles Woodson (GB)*
CB – Antione Winfield (MIN)*
CB – Asante Samuel (PHI)
Comments: Woodson has the numbers, but he has very little impact. Same with his starting CB teammate Al Harris. They’re good, not great, anymore. Winfield should have BEEN a Pro Bowler years ago. Corey Webster has had a great year. He deserves the reserve role over Asante Samuel, who has done next to NOTHING before Monday Night Football in Week 15.

FS – Nick Collins (GB)*
FS – Brian Dawkins (PHI)
Comments: Can’t argue here. Kenny Phillips came on late. Sean Taylor would’ve won this spot going away if he were still with us. Actually LaRon Landry played better than Dawkins. This is a legacy pick for Dawkins who is obviously aging (although he does still make plays, don’t get me wrong). Darren Sharper even deserved the “legacy” pick more than Dawk did.

SS – Adrian Wilson (ARZ)* — FROM?!?!?! High Point, NC.
Comments: No reserve here, but there are a couple of guys who played the position at times. Landry (WASH) slid over to SS at times. The Bears have had a revolving door there. However, there are no strong arguments for anyone else.

SPECIAL TEAMS
P – Jeff Feagles (NYG)*
Comments: Feagles is the best punter in the history of the NFL. He invented the coffin corner kick and perfected it.
PK – John Carney (NYG)*
Comments: Nick Folk doesn’t miss a kick. However — JACKIE GLEASON, SHEILA MACRAE, AUDREY MEADOWS, JOHN CARNEY… GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
KR – Clifton Smith (TB)*
Comments: Who? Is this the guy who finally ran back a kickoff for Tampa for the first time ever? Otherwise, why isn’t DeSean Jackson here?
ST Ace – Sean Morey (ARZ)*
Comments: He only made it for that play at the end of the DAL game.
———–

American Football Conference (AFC)
OFFENSE
QB – Peyton Manning (IND)*
QB – Brett Favre (NYJ)
QB – Jay Cutler (DEN)
Comments: There are many problems here. None of these guys deserve the spots they got. Manning should be a reserve. Cassel should be starting. Rivers should have the other reserve spot. There is NO WAY Favre belongs in the Pro Bowl with 17 INTs or however many he has — many of which have led directly to Jet losses to BAD TEAMS. Cutler is still too spotty and inconsistent to be in the Pro Bowl over a guy who leads the NFL in Passer Rating (Rivers). This is one of the few times the rating number gives you an accurate idea of how well the QB has played. The Chargers’ fall off has been more attributed to Tomlinson’s toe injury and the defense being injured and totally out of synch with a new coordinator.

RB – Thomas Jones (NYJ)*
RB – Chris Johnson (TEN)
RB – Ronnie Brown(MIA)
Comments: Jones is a beast and deserves this. But if you are putting a rookie up here in Johnson (who earned it), Steve Slaton DEFINITELY deserves to be a Pro Bowler. Ronnie Brown does not.

FB – Le’Ron McClain (BAL)*
Comments: Which is he? Half the time, he’s been lining up at RB for BAL. Tony Richardson, Lo Neal both deserve merit. Ask Thomas Jones about Richardson.

WR – Andre Johnson (HOU)*
WR – Brandon Marshall (DEN)*
WR – Reggie Wayne (IND)
WR – Wes Welker (NE)
Comments: Let’s play “Which One Of These Does Not Belong”. Forget the number of catches he has, but HOW do you put Welker on this list? LOL Look. Andre Johnson is the best WR in the NFL. Marshall is going to be unstoppable for the next 10 years. Reggie Wayne has the best hands after Johnson. But Welker is a slot receiver. If starting a team, with the aforementioned WRs, then yes, he’s a good fit. But no, he does not belong here. Derrick Mason? Hines Ward. Santonio Holmes? Braylon Edwards? Laveranues Coles? Let’s move on. Dear god fan voting.

TE – Tony Gonzalez (KC)*
TE – Antonio Gates (SD)
Comments: The lazy Let’s-Go-With-The-Big-Name picks here. Gonzalez has been great, but Gates has been pedestrian at best. Daniels down in Houston has been pretty doggone good. Where is Dallas Clark???

T – Joe Thomas (CLE)*
T – Jason Peters (BUF)*
T – Michael Roos (TEN)
Comments: I can’t argue with any of these. Jake Long MAYBE.

G – Alan Faneca (NYJ)*
G – Kris Dielman (SD)*
G – Brian Waters (KC)
Comments: Kudos to Chiefs fans stuffing the box, since Waters is probably going to retire. He definitely does not belong here. Faneca is most of the reason Jones is doing so well with the Jets. Dielman? I dunno…

C – Kevin Mawae (TEN)*
C – Nick Mangold (NYJ)
Comments: I would scream Legacy Pick with Mawae, but he hasn’t fallen off. I remember when this guy was in Seattle! Mangold is also responsible for Jones’ success in New York.

DEFENSE
DE – Mario Williams (HOU)*
DE – Dwight Freeney (IND)*
DE – Robert Mathis (IND)
Comments: No arguments here. Aaron Smith was a bit too nicked up for PIT. Shaun Ellis has played well for NYJ.

DT – Albert Haynesworth (TEN)*
DT – Kris Jenkins (NYJ)*
DT – Shaun Rogers (CLE)
Comments: No arguments. These guys have all been game changers all year. Where is Hanoti Ngata, though? I’ve seen that guy run back INTs, chase down WRs and RBs downfield and go downfield in coverage. At 345 lbs, that’s impressive. He’s making Ray Lewis look like he’s still great (he’s not). But you can’t take any of these guys down. Haynesworth is the best DT in the NFL and it isn’t close.

OLB – James Harrison (PIT)*
OLB – Joey Porter (MIA)*
OLB – Terrell Suggs
Comments: I have Suggs listed as a DE, but whatever. Bart Scott is good, too. LaMarr Woodley deserved a shot, but again, their 3-4 defense skews things.

ILB – Ray Lewis (BAL)*
ILB – James Farrior (PIT)
Comments: More legacy picks. Lewis has been better than last year. But I’m too tired to even argue. Where is Keith Bulluck?

CB – Nnamdi Asomugha (OAK)*
CB – Courtland Finnegan (TEN)*
CB – Derrelle Revis (NYJ)
Comments: I actually have no problems with these. Great picks. Nnamdi is the best CB (possibly) in the NFL. Could be the next Deion Sanders. Teams won’t even THROW IN HIS DIRECTION anymore. Finnegan is very feisty — although it gets him in trouble often, he’s a beast in coverage. Revis is a playmaker; leading the Jets’ secondary.

FS – Ed Reed (BAL)*
Comments: No one else even warrants mentioning. Ed Reed is THE prototypical free safety. If there is a loose ball, a tipped pass, or a big play being made and BAL is playing — ED REED IS MAKING IT. It is ri-DICULOUS how this guy is OMNIPRESENT when it comes to the football. If you looked up “Raven” or “Ballhawk” in the dictionary, you’d see Ed Reed’s profile.

SS – Troy Polamalu (PIT)*
SS – Chris Hope (TEN)
Comments: Polamalu is healthy, but I dunno, I just don’t feel it. Chris Hope (FROM?!?!?!) leads that TEN secondary.

SPECIAL TEAMS
P – Shane Lechler (OAK)*
Comments: Who cares?

PK – Stephen Gostkowski (NE)*
Comments: Ditto.

KR – Leon Washington (NYJ)*
Comments: FROM?!?!?!?!?!?! (FLORIDA STATE!!!)

ST – Brendon Ayanbadejo (BAL)*
Comments: Whatever.

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