Wednesday, January 26, 2011
A bunch of Joes who deserve some love
USA Today revealed its annual All-Joe team to honor the NFL's unsung heroes.
The prerequisite for All-Joe consideration is the player never has been a Pro Bowler, a criterion that's increasingly difficult to make under the new Pro Bowl format that forces Super Bowl participants to pull out and be replaced by second and third alternates.
In a high-profile division such as the AFC East, you might have additional trouble finding candidates, but USA Today reporter Nate Davis found a few to highlight.
The All-Joe team isn't a typical all-star squad with 11 on offense, 11 on defense and a couple kickers. The All-Joe roster is comprised of 53 players, just like a real NFL club.
Let's take a look at AFC East players on the depth chart.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski perhaps deserved to go to the Pro Bowl, but he wasn't the top alternate. He'll have to settle for being the All-Joe starter.
Patriots right tackle Sebastian Vollmer also made the first team. It has been a nice week of recognition for Vollmer. He also was voted second-team All-Pro.
Davis wonders if New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris will be the next London Fletcher, a top-notch player who doesn't get noticed on a regular basis. Harris should be in the Pro Bowl. He's first-team All-Joe.
Miami Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis was the fourth cornerback on the All-Joe team. Maybe that makes him the top nickel or dime back.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was third-string All-Joe behind Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford.
Davis also wrote up 32 team MVPs.
- Buffalo Bills: Fitzpatrick. Came off the sideline to give Bills fans something to cheer about.
- Miami Dolphins: Cameron Wake, outside linebacker. Nearly claimed the NFL sacks title.
- New England Patriots: Tom Brady, quarterback. Easiest call in the league.
- New York Jets: Brad Smith, kick returner/receiver/option quarterback. Interesting choice, but given all the duties Smith excels at, I applaud the case.