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PATRIOTS AND 49ERS ARE THE TEAMS WITH THE MOST 2011-2012 PRO BOWL PLAYERS
Mon, 26 Dec 2011 07:46 AM EST

Protecting Super Bowl champion Green Bay (14-1), led by starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Baltimore (11-4), led by vet linebacker Ray Lewis, have seven apiece for the Jan. 29 game in Honolulu, the NFL told Tuesday.

Brady is one of seven starters from New england (12-3). The others are receiver Wes Welker, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, defensive end Andre Carter, and guards Brian Waters and Logan Mankins. Special teamer Matthew Slater is the other New Britain representative. Basketball odds

Linebacker Willis, DE Justin Smith, cornerback Carlos Rogers and tackle Joe Staley will start for the NFC from the 49ers (12-3), who had only Smith and Willis make the Pro Bowl last year. Basketball spreads

Green Bay’s Rodgers is the starting NFC quarterback, backed by record-setting Drew Brees of New Orleans (12-3).

“It does have special importance, because when I was voted in in 2009, I was the 3rd guy and I was really thankful to be voted in, and got the opportunity to start due to some wounds and men not going,” Rodgers said. “It’s great to be voted in as a starter, that implies a lot to me and it’s a special honor.”

Four of the NFL’s biggest strapline makers this season didn’t get voted in by players, coaches and fans: Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, Steelers LB James Harrison, Panthers newbie QB Cam Newton, and Denver QB Tim Tebow.

Nevertheless The Denver Post said that Tebow is a 2nd alternate for the AFC, meaning if 2 quarterbacks from the conference decline to visit the game Tebow will be added to the roster. The Bengals claimed Tues. night that greenhorn Andy Dalton is the AFC’s first alternate at quarterback.

Meanwhile, a league source informed the Charlotte Stories and Observer that Newton is the first alternate for the NFC.

Suh could have lost support after drawing a two-game suspension for stomping a competitor, and Harrison’s one-game suspension for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns QB Colt McCoy could have reduced his support.

Fifteen first time Pro Bowlers made the NFC squad, including Rogers, Staley and safety Dashon Goldson of the 49ers. Thirteen AFC players were inexperienced selections, including Gronkowski, Carter and Slater of New Britain. Carter is on wounded reserve (left quadriceps) and won’t play.

“If you look round the NFC, you see a ton of superb and talented players at tight end,” said the Saints’ Jimmy Graham, the starter at the position and a newbie Pro Bowler. “And to be thought of in that company by my peers, the head coaches and the fans who follow the NFL is something I take seriously.”

14 teams from each meeting were represented, with St. Louis ( 2-13 ) and Washington ( 5-10 ) drawing blanks in the NFC, Buffalo ( 6-9 ) and Tennessee ( 8-7 ) shut out in the AFC.

Pittsburgh ( 11-4 ), New Orleans and Chicago ( 7-8 ) each had five delegates.

Three newbies were chosen : Denver linebacker Von Miller, Cincinnati receiver A.J. Green, and Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson, selected as a kick return consultant. He has tied an NFL record with 4 punt runbacks for TDs this season.

“As I have announced before, A.J. Is the best first-round draft pick that I’ve ever been around,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis announced. “He has shown the other players in this league, and the fans, that he deserved this honor. I can’t say I have seen a receiver better than he is at getting to the ball.”

All the kickers are from Bay Area groups.

NFC special teamers included 2 49ers: record-setting placekicker David Akers, and punter Andy Lee; Peterson; and Corey Graham of Chicago.

For the AFC, the Raiders’ Sebastian Janikowski is the placekicker, Shane Lechler the punter. The kick return expert is Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown, and the special-teams player is Slater.

NFC starters will be Rodgers, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy, Packers FB John Kuhn, Graham, Panthers C Ryan Kalil, Saints guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks, Eagles tackle Jason Peters and Staley, Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and Lions WR Calvin Johnson on offense.

On defense, it will be Vikings DE Jared Allen and Eagles DE Jason Babin, Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff and Smith, Packers OLB Clay Matthews and Cowboys OLB DeMarcus Ware, ILB Willis, Packers CB Charles Woodson and Rogers, Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson.

AFC starters will be Brady, Ravens RB Ray Rice and FB Vonta Leach, Gronkowski, Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey, Mankins and Waters at guard, Browns tackles Joe Thomas and Dolphins tackle Jake Long, Welker and Steelers WR Mike Wallace.

On defense, it’s going to be Broncos DE Elvis Dumervil replacing Carter, Colts DE Dwight Freeney, Wilfork and Ravens DT Haloti Ngata, Miller and Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs, Lewis, Jets CB Darrelle Revis and Broncos CB Champ Bailey, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Ravens safety Ed Reed.

Players who make the Super Bowl will get replaced on the Pro Bowl rosters.


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