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Tag:Pro Bowl
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:27 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 8:59 am
 

Goodell: NFL 'considering eliminating' Pro Bowl

Goodell said the Pro Bowl could be eliminated. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Last Sunday's Pro Bowl was a sloppily-played joke of a game that was ripped by fans and the media. Aaron Rodgers came out and said some of his NFC teammates should be "embarrassed" by the way they played. LeSean McCoy told us that he was "one of those guys" who didn't try.

Which may explain why Roger Goodell said on Sunday morning that the NFL is "considering eliminating" the Pro Bowl.

Latest from the Super Bowl

"I really didn't think that was the kind of football that we want to be demonstrating for our fans," Goodell said on Mike and Mike Sunday morning. "And you heard it from the fans. The fans were actively booing in the stands. They didn't like what they were seeing."

At the very least, Goodell said, something's going to change or the game will go away.

"We're either going to have to improve the quality of what we're doing in the Pro Bowl or consider other changes or even considering eliminating the game if that's the kind of quality game we're going to provide," Goodell said. "I know players love to be in Hawaii but we have to start with the quality of what we're doing.

"If the fans are responding negatively to what we're doing, we better listen. And that was my message."

Say whatever you want about Goodell (and if you're a Steelers fan, you'll probably say a lot), but the guy knows how to make the game of football more popular. If getting rid of the Pro Bowl does that, then Goodell won't hesitate to do so.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:15 pm
 

LeSean McCoy admits he didn't try at the Pro Bowl

By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- LeSean McCoy had a heck of a season in 2011, rushing for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns. It netted him the FedEx Ground Player of the Year on Wednesday at the Super Bowl. And it also landed him a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.

While there, McCoy was on the NFC team that Aaron Rodgers believes should be "embarrassed" by a lack of effort. Actually, he was "one of those guys" that didn't try, and said so himself on Wednesday.

"Yeah? I'm one of those guys," McCoy said when asked about Rodgers comments. "You walk around every practice and the guys before the games on other teams are like 'take your time' because we're going on a very slow pace, very easy.

"And you get out there and you see guys half-doing it and you do the same thing."

It's not like this should be too big a surprise: the quality of the game is directly related to the intensity of the effort when it comes to the Pro Bowl, and that's exactly why it was a sloppy boring game that drew criticism from everyone remotely involved in the process. (That the game still managed to pull big ratings should tell you exactly how popular the NFL is.)

With all the complaints from fans and the media -- and some players -- it wouldn't be surprising to find out that McCoy's comments didn't sit well with the league, even if he is just talking about an All-Star Game.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Rodgers 'embarrassed' by NFC effort in Pro Bowl

A. Rodgers said he was embarrassed by the NFC's players effort in the Pro Bowl (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

The Pro Bowl, as we all know, is a joke.

We tried making some suggestions last year (um, hello, running clock?!?), and this year, we described why the changes the NFL did make didn’t improve the quality of the game.

Not only do we see this game as an exercise in irrelevance, mostly because the players’ effort is lacking, but apparently so does Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

During his regular appearance on ESPN Milwaukee, Rodgers said  the NFC players “embarrassed themselves” during the game last Sunday. He also said he was "disappointed in the lack of pride.”

Said Rodgers: “I feel like there should be some pride involved in a game like that, and I was just surprised by some of the efforts of some of the guys. This was my second Pro Bowl. (I) played in the one in 2010. It was down in Fort Lauderdale/Miami. I felt that that one had a lot more energy.

“The AFC side obviously had more energy. I think they were upset about the second onside kick (called by Packers coach Mike McCarthy), and at that point they played a lot harder than we did. But even in the early going, they were playing definitely harder than we were.”

Obviously, there’s no reason for the Pro Bowl selections to go all out and risk injury, and the NFL enforces special rules in the game to decrease those chances as well. But when the defensive linemen are basically shaking hands with the offensive linemen each time the ball is snapped and when would-be-tacklers let ball-rushers run right by them for touchdowns, you have to ask yourself, what’s the point of watching this?

And maybe now Rodgers is asking himself, what’s the point of playing?

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Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:48 pm
 

Pro Bowl incentives don't pan out

V. Jackson played in the Pro Bowl (AP).By Josh Katzowitz

A couple new exciting (!) features this season were supposed to make this year’s Pro Bowl slightly more palatable. It didn’t exactly work.

The first change was to make it a more financially-sound decision for the players to give an effort by rewarding the winning players with $50,000 and the losers a paltry $25,000.*

So, how’d that work out? Well, look at the tweet from Bears radio sideline reporter @ZachZaidman, who tweeted the following in the first quarter: “I'd rather watch players in the Pro Bowl tweet about playing in the Pro Bowl than watch them play in the Pro Bowl.”

Indeed, most of the effort given in Hawaii was rather, um, lacking. Which is totally understandable and to be expected. There’s no sense in badly injuring yourself in order to triumph in a glorified All Star game. So, no matter the monetary incentive, an extra $25,000 isn’t going to make the risk/reward ratio any different.

* For the record, this is similar to what Will Brinson proposed last year when he wrote the NFL should make it a winner-take-all event.

“Make it winner-take-all so that each player's legitimately motivated to win the game and make the Pro Bowl competitive,” Will wrote.

Heck of an idea by Will and the NFL. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.


The second change, though, really could have been interesting. Well, as interesting as anything else the Pro Bowl could offer.

The NFL relaxed its in-game tweeting prohibition and actually set up computer stations on the sideline so players could instantly translate their in-game ramblings into 140-word thoughts. It was, um, not so exciting.

Or as the Newark Star Ledger’s @StevePoliti tweeted, “Tweeting stations. I turned on the Pro Bowl, and they're talking about tweeting stations."

Here’s a sampling of what entered our feed during the game.

@MillerLite40 (Von Miller): first series was great!!! it was an honor just to be on the field with all the guys!!!! #gigem #probowl

@ajgreen_18 (A.J. Green): first pro bowl TD!!! blessed!! #probowl

@GregJennings: Having a blast out here... bout to go out on O to catch some more passes!!

@ericweddle1: Truly blessed to be here! Such a amazing atmosphere #GREATFUL

To sum it all up, here’s “Late Show with David Letterman” (#onCBS!) head writer Eric Stangel, who penned the following, “Remember everyone, with the #ProBowl, this year- it counts! And by "counts" I mean is a complete waste of everyone's time."

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Posted on: January 23, 2012 2:04 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 3:38 pm
 

Cam Newton and other Pro Bowl roster additions

NewtonBy Josh Katzowitz

Now that the Patriots and Giants officially are heading to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI, that means nobody from New England and New York will be flying to Honolulu this week for the Pro Bowl.

Which means we get tons of additions and deletions to the roster!

Here’s the list so far.

-Panthers standout rookie quarterback Cam Newton will replace Eli Manning on the NFC roster. As you well know, Newton threw for 4,051 yards passing, the most ever by a rookie quarterback in NFL history while recording 21 touchdowns and posting an 84.5 quarterback rating. Newton also rushed for 14 scores, the most ever by an NFL quarterback.

-Bears defensive end Julius Peppers will take over for New York’s Jason Pierre-Paul. This is Peppers’ seventh Pro Bowl appearance, and it’s the first time since Richard Dent in the mid-1980s that a Chicago defensive end has made the roster in back-to-back seasons.

-Jets guard Brandon Moore will replace New England’s Brian Waters on the AFC roster. This is Moore’s first Pro Bowl selection. Ravens guard Ben Grubbs will take over for Logan Mankins.

-Bad news for Tim Tebow. According to Pro Football Talk, Ben Roethlisberger “definitely” is attending the Pro Bowl festivities, meaning Tebow, the second alternate, will be staying home this week (and maybe going on tour with Brad Paisley instead).

-As the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton replaces Tom Brady, tight end Jermaine Gresham replaces Rob Gronkowski and defensive tackle Geno Atkins replaces Vince Wilfork.

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 4:29 pm
 

Bears say Forte can play in Pro Bowl; should he?

ForteBy Josh Katzowitz

OK, see if this makes sense.

Bears running back Matt Forte was placed on injured reserve this season after injuring his knee on Dec. 3, and already obviously displeased with the way Chicago hadn’t given him the contract extension he so dearly wanted, he said he wouldn’t return to play unless he was 100 percent.

“I'm not going to rush to get back on the field and play while I'm hurt, because (if) you're not at 100 percent you may injure it even more if you do that,” Forte said then.

Right, that’s fine. Smart even. If the Bears won’t pay him what he feels he deserves, there’s no sense in Forte possibly hurting himself again if he’s not completely healthy.

But Thursday the Bears announced Forte had passed his physical and had cleared him to play in the Pro Bowl. It sounds like that’s exactly what Forte will do.

And all I can think is: why? Why would he risk getting injured again as he moves into free agency?  Yeah, the Bears very well could place the franchise tag on him, but I’m betting they won’t if he tears his ACL during the game (hey, Robert Edwards effectively ended his career during that week of celebration).

Is he, as one Twitter follower suggested, simply flipping the bird to the Bears? If that’s the case, it seems like an awfully big risk for a few minutes of pleasure. Not sure I understand.

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 7:55 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 7:56 pm
 

The 2012 Pro Bowl teams unveiled

By Josh Katzowitz

As selected by the players, coaches and fans (all accounted for 1/3 of the final tally), here are this year's AFC and NFC Pro Bowl teams. The game will be played in Hawaii on Jan. 29, 2012, and though this roster most likely will turn over a few times (and alternatives will be added to the list to fill out the roster), it's still an honor for anybody's name to be included on this list.

AFC

Offense

Player Team Position
Tom Brady Patriots QB
Ben Roethlisberger Steelers QB
Philip Rivers Chargers QB
Ray Rice Ravens RB
Maurice Jones-Drew Jaguars RB
Arian Foster Texans RB
Vonta Leach Ravens FB
Wes Welker Patriots WR
Mike Wallace Steelers WR
A.J. Green Bengals WR
Brandon Marshall Dolphins WR
Rob Gronkowski Patriots TE
Antonio Gates Chargers TE
Joe Thomas Browns T
Jake Long Dolphins T
D'Brickashaw Ferguson Jets T
Logan Mankins Patriots G
Brian Waters Patriots G
Marshal Yanda Ravens G
Maurkice Pouncey Steelers C
Nick Mangold Jets C
Shane Lechler Raiders P
Sebastian Janikowski Raiders PK
Antonio Brown Steelers KR
Matthew Slater Patriots ST

Defense

Player Team Position
Dwight Freeney Colts DL
Andre Carter Patriots DL
Elvis Dumervil Broncos DL
Haloti Ngata Ravens DL
Vince Wilfork Patriots DL
Richard Seymour Raiders DL
Terrell Suggs Ravens LB
Von Miller Broncos LB
Tamba Hali Chiefs LB
Ray Lewis Ravens LB
Derrick Johnson Chiefs LB
Darrelle Revis Jets CB
Champ Bailey Broncos CB
Johnathan Joseph Texans CB
Ed Reed Ravens S
Eric Weddle Chargers S
Troy Polamalu Steelers S

NFC

Offense

Player Team Position
Aaron Rodgers Packers QB
Drew Brees Saints QB
Eli Manning Giants QB
LeSean McCoy Eagles RB
Matt Forte Bears RB
Frank Gore 49ers RB
Calvin Johnson Lions WR
Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals WR
Steve Smith Panthers WR
Greg Jennings Packers WR
Tony Gonzalez Falcons TE
Jimmy Graham Saints TE
Jason Peters Eagles T
Jermon Bushrod Saints T
Joe Staley 49ers T
Jahri Evans Saints G
Carl Nicks Saints G
Davin Joseph Buccaneers G
Ryan Kalil Panthers C
Scott Wells Panthers C
John Kuhn Packers FB
Andy Lee 49ers P
David Akers 49ers PK
Patrick Peterson Cardinals KR
Corey Graham Bears ST

Defense

Player Team Position
Jared Allen Vikings DL
Jason Babin Eagles DL
Jason Pierre-Paul Giants DL
Justin Smith 49ers DL
Jay Ratliff Cowboys DL
B.J. Raji Packers DL
DeMarcus Ware Cowboys DL
Clay Matthews Packers LB
Patrick Willis 49ers LB
Brian Urlacher Bears LB
Charles Woodson Packers CB
Carlos Rogers 49ers CB
Charles Tillman Bears CB
Earl Thomas Seahawks S
Dashon Goldson 49ers S
Adrian Wilson Cardinals S

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Posted on: December 21, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Rodgers tops Pro Bowl voting; Tebow third AFC QB

Aaron Rodgers led the way in all Pro Bowl voting.(Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We've wondered whether or not Tim Tebow is a Pro-Bowl candidate before this year and the answer is probably "no." But that doesn't matter when it comes to Pro-Bowl voting, where Tebow was the third-highest vote getter among AFC quarterbacks.

Aaron Rodgers, named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, was the top vote-getter among all NFL players, pulling in 1,581,982 votes from fans. Tom Brady was second among all NFL players with 1,454,311 votes. Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and tight end Rob Gronkowski joined Brady in the top 10, via NFL.com:

Top-10 Pro Bowl Vote Getters
Player Position Team Votes
Aaron Rodgers
QB Packers 1,581,982
Tom Brady
QB Patriots 1,454,311
Drew Brees
QB Saints 1,188,893
Calvin Johnson
WR Lions 1,180,777
Wes Welker
WR Patriots 1,133,787
LeSean McCoy
RB Eagles 962,824
Rob Gronkowski
TE Patriots 936,886
Ben Roethlisberger
QB Steelers 935,535
Adrian Peterson
RB Vikings 925,554
Mike Wallace
WR Steelers 923,073

So, yeah, breaking: the Patriots and Steelers are popular! Also popular? Tebow.

AFC Pro Bowl Leaders by Position
Offense Defense
Player Pos Team Votes Player Pos Team Votes
Tom Brady
QB Patriots 1,454,311 Andre Carter
DE Patriots 511,693
Arian Foster
RB Texans 896,804 Haloti Ngata
DT Ravens 592,603
Vonta Leach
FB Ravens 149,801 Terrell Suggs
OLB Ravens 546,851
Wes Welker
WR Patriots 1,133,787 Ray Lewis
MLB Ravens 413,222
Rob Gronkowski
TE Patriots 936,886 Darrelle Revis
CB Jets 561,986
Michael Oher
OT Ravens 327,644 Troy Polamalu
SS Steelers 230,649
Logan Mankins
G Patriots 337,844 Ed Reed
FS Ravens 198,075
Maurkice Pouncey
C Steelers 376,457 Shane Lechler
P Raiders 228,782
Sebastian Janikowski
K Raiders 244,512 Joe McKnight
KR Jets 140,926

Once again, I'll point out that the Ravens and Patriots are popular (and also good at what they do), along with the Steelers. Brendon Ayanbadejo was the leading "special teams" vote-getter, with 106,515. On the NFC side, well, I hope you like the Packers:

NFC Pro Bowl Leaders by Position
Offense Defense
Player Pos Team Votes Player Pos Team Votes
Aaron Rodgers
QB Packers 1,581,982 Jared Allen
DE Vikings 784,527
LeSean McCoy
RB Eagles 962,824 Justin Smith
DT 49ers 525,578
John Kuhn
FB Packers 322,260 DeMarcus Ware
OLB Cowboys 581,554
Calvin Johnson
WR Lions 1,180,777 Patrick Willis
MLB 49ers 581,554
Jimmy Graham
TE Saints 725,612 Charles Woodson
CB Packers 763,198
Chad Clifton
OT Packers 392,106 Roman Harper
SS Saints 147,542
T.J. Lang
G Packers 327,740 Morgan Burnett
FS Packers 223,292
Scott Wells
C Packers 436,693 Andy Lee
P 49ers 161,812
Mason Crosby
K Packers 184,665 Devin Hester
KR Bears 268,293

For the NFC, Jarrett Bush of the Packers received the most special teams votes with 134,696. (And yes, I suppose I could have kick returners on the offense side, but I'm not trying to have my tables be all uneven. Oh no I'm not.)

Naturally, none of this means any of these guys are guaranteed to make the Pro Bowl -- the fan vote only counts as one-third of the total. The players vote is worth two-thirds. But there's a good chance that many of these guys will end up in the Pro Bowl.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com