Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Quick take on Pro Bowl
By Rich Cimini
Thoughts and observations on LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, C Nick Mangold and CB Darrelle Revis being selected to the Pro Bowl:
1. The Jets, Patriots and Saints were the only teams with multiple offensive linemen selected. So why has the Jets' line had so many issues? It doesn't add up, especially when you consider G Brandon Moore was named a second alternate. It's not a positive reflection on the other two starters, RT Wayne Hunter and LG Matt Slauson.
2. Ferguson, on a conference call with reporters, said it was "interesting" to note that many of the pass rushers he's faced this season are on the Pro Bowl roster -- Andre Carter, Elvis Dumervil, Jason Pierre-Paul and Tamba Hali. It's a Murderer's Row of pass rushers. Said Ferguson: "To see those guys as Pro Bowlers, I'm like, 'Okay, I guess it makes sense.'"
3. Mangold (fourth Pro Bowl) said it's "just as exciting as the first one." This was meaningful to him because he missed two games with a high-ankle sprain and, no doubt, was hampered by the injury for several weeks. That he was recognized again indicates how much respect he has earned around the league.
4. Mangold said "the injury helped me become a better player ... knowing at any point it could be taken away. That will a help as I get longer in the tooth, and the years keep coming and going."
5. The Jets' O-line contributed to a lot of Pro Bowl seasons. Nine of the defensive linemen/pass rushers on the AFC and NFC squads have recorded a sack against the Jets.
6. KR Joe McKnight can't be too happy about the results. After winning the fan voting, he had to be considered the favorite at kick returner, yet the selection went to the Steelers' Antonio Brown. McKnight (31.9, 1 TD) has a better average than Brown (27.7, 0 TD), but Brown presumably got the nod because he also returns punts (1 TD). This is starting to become a trend. A year ago, KR Brad Smith was snubbed.
7. Revis wasn't made available on a conference call to discuss his fourth consecutive selection. I guess he feels like, "What more can I say?"
8. I think LB David Harris should've made it. I mean, Ray Lewis and Derrick Johnson at inside/middle linebacker? Lewis is Lewis, so he's going to make it every year, but Johnson? He plays for the 15th-ranked defense (Chiefs).
Former Jets coach-turned-ESPN analyst Eric Mangini agreed with me, calling Harris the most blatant snub.
"There's nobody who's had more of an impact on that defense than David Harris," Mangini said on SportsCenter. "He's a guy that doesn't say very much -- he's not out in front -- but his impact is significant on a team that has gone to the AFC Championship game in back-to-back years, on one of the best defenses. And he's still not on the team. That's hard to see."
Mangini must feel some personal satisfaction, as he was the Jets' coach when Ferguson, Mangold and Revis were drafted.