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Thursday, December 31, 2009
Take your pick recap

By James Walker
ESPN.com

In our latest "Take your pick" in the AFC North, we asked our community to select this year's biggest Pro Bowl snub in the division.

There were many names up for consideration, but only one player could be chosen.

Here is a sample from our AFC North inbox:

Joel from Columbus, Ohio, writes: Johnathan Joseph was the biggest snub from the Cincinnati Bengals. It's gotten to where teams just avoid him. He's got hands of stone or he'd have double digit picks and a few more TDs. There's no corner in the league I'd trade Joseph for. As of now, his presence alone causes havoc.

Eric from Cincinnati writes: Johnathan Joseph got the biggest snub by a mile. There is absolutely no way you can look at the stat lines or play of Champ Bailey or Nnamdi Asomugha and say that either one of them has had a better season than J. Jo, or Leon Hall for that matter. But I give J. Jo the slight edge over Hall, because of Hall's performance in the San Diego game. Regardless, if Bengals fans are this mad just imagine how mad the players are. I would not want to be whoever faces them in the wild-card round.

Kevin from Indianapolis, Ind., writes: Biggest snub would have to be Leon Hall. Look at his stats from ‘08 and ‘09. He was ranked first in ‘08 with 27 pass defenses and three interceptions and third right now with 30 pass defenses and six interceptions. Compared to other corners, he is easily top three. I also include Johnathan Joseph in the top three as well.

Josh B from Raleigh, N.C., writes: I'd have to say LaMarr Woodley was the biggest snub. Unfortunately there are only so many spots available. Cedric Benson and Ben Roethlisberger had good seasons, but not to put them in above the others who got in. I just don't see it.

Eric W. from Los Angeles writes: There is no bigger snub than the Bengals' lack of any representation maybe in the history of the league. It has been almost 40 years since a division championship team has sent no one to the Pro Bowl. I think Benson should have gotten in over Maurice Jones-Drew despite trailing him a bit in the stats, if only because he's been more important to a successful team this year.

Matt from New Jersey writes: I think the biggest snub was Ben Roethlisberger. He not only threw for 4,000 yards for the first time in his career, he also has led the Steelers on a comeback trail to the playoffs. Even though they probably won’t make it, they came so close because of him. I really think he should have made it.

Joey from Cincinnati, Ohio, writes: The top snub HAS to be Santonio Holmes. Not only has he surpassed future Hall of Famer Hines Ward as the Steelers' No. 1 receiver, but the numbers don’t lie, either. Santonio is tied for third in the league with Reggie Wayne for yardage, and he's caught 18 less balls. If that's not Pro Bowl production, what is?

Kovacs from Santa Monica writes: Um, hello...Ryan Pontbriand, the best long-snapper in football! In all seriousness, I'll go with Cedric Benson. It's tough to argue with Jones-Drew, Chris Johnson and Ray Rice, but the steadiest player on the division winner should be in. Also weighing in Benson’s favor, in my opinion, is the fact that Roethlisberger probably will get in when all is said and done. It's likely that either Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady will play in the Super Bowl and pass up the Pro Bowl.

Dave from Newark, Del., writes: I think the person who was snubbed the most from the AFC North is Derrick Mason. This year he finally reached career achievements that are only reserved for the top wide outs in history. How many can claim 800 career receptions or an eighth 1000-yard receiving season?

Ben Hensley from Cincinnati writes: Why does nobody mention Dhani Jones as a snub in the Pro Bowl? I've seen all kinds of people mention that Hall, Joseph and Benson were snubbed, but you can certainly make a case for Dhani Jones as well. He the leading tackler and leader of the Bengals defense which got them to where they are today. He also plays well against the pass, and I can easily make a case that he had a better year than Ray Lewis.

Greg from Cleveland writes: Based on his play the past few weeks especially, I'd nominate Jerome Harrison as the biggest snub for the Pro Bowl. He has showed us this season that if given the full-time RB job and consistent carries he is one of the best backs in the league. This, mind you is all based on potential and the promise that this will continue into 2010.

(Editor's note: Jerome Harrison? C’mon, man!)

AFC North final say

James Walker: As you can see, there were definitely some interesting names mentioned. The Bengals don't have the star power of the other division winners, but it doesn't mean their players didn't play at a high level. Of all the Bengals, I think Benson had the best individual season and was worthy of the Pro Bowl, especially with his performance in big games within the division. But the competition at tailback every year is so fierce that it's hard to take any of Benson's competition off the list.