Tuesday, December 28, 2010
NFC South Pro Bowl analysis
By Pat Yasinskas
Perfect sense: It’s fitting that Drew Brees and Matt Ryan made the squad because there has been a lot of talk about which one is the best quarterback in the NFC South. The New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night, after the voting had concluded, but I say Brees and Ryan have had equally good seasons. They’re on the squad as backups to former NFC South player Michael Vick. It says a lot that Brees and Ryan made the team ahead of Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.
Again, it’s important to note that the voting was completed before Monday night’s game. That might explain why Atlanta has seven Pro Bowlers and New Orleans only has three. But there is some justice here because the Falcons (12-3) didn’t have a player voted into the Pro Bowl last season.
Made it on rep: I still think the Saints' Jahri Evans is one of the better guards in the league. But he hasn’t played to the standard he set last season and he’s been getting called for too many penalties. Evans still might be worthy as a Pro Bowler, but I would have put teammate Carl Nicks ahead of him as a starter. A lot of coaches and personnel guys around the league say Nicks is having a better season than Evans.
You can also say that Carolina offensive tackle Jordan Gross might have made it on reputation because he plays on such a bad team. But I’ll choose to say that’s a testament to the respect Gross has from coaches and players around the league.
Got robbed: Donald Penn might not be a household name, but scouts, coaches and especially teammates will tell you the Tampa Bay left tackle has had a Pro Bowl season. Penn got a big contract at the start of training camp and came out and backed it up. Despite injuries on the rest of the offensive line, Penn kept quarterback Josh Freeman standing, and that’s a major reason why the Bucs are 9-6. Speaking of that, shouldn’t a team with a winning record have at least one Pro Bowl representative? You also can make a case that New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins got overlooked. He had a breakout season. But, sort of like Penn, Jenkins probably has to do it for one more year before he gets picked for the Pro Bowl.
Click here for the complete Pro Bowl list.