NFC South: All-Joe Team

Not your 'Average Joes'

February, 13, 2013
A lot of fans were upset that the NFC South didn’t have a slew of guys selected to the Pro Bowl.

But there’s an upside to that. USA Today just put out its annual “All-Joe Team’’, which is a 53-man roster of guys that have never been to the Pro Bowl. Eight NFC South players were named to this year’s team.

New Orleans receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore, Carolina tight end Greg Olsen and Atlanta tackle Sam Baker were selected to the offense. Carolina defensive end Charles Johnson, Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David and Carolina linebackers Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly were selected to the defense.

This might be the last time David and Kuechly make this team. The rookie linebackers each had outstanding seasons, and I can easily see them becoming Pro Bowl regulars.

Colston and Moore have been in the league a long time and haven’t made any Pro Bowls, largely because the Saints spread the ball around so much that no individual receiver ends up with overwhelming statistics. Davis was one of the feel-good stories of last season as he came back and played at a high level after his third torn ACL.

Olsen is a guy that finally is getting used the right way, and that could lead to a future Pro Bowl berth. Johnson has been putting up some sacks, but needs the Panthers to become a winner to get to the Pro Bowl.

It once seemed inconceivable to even mention Baker in the same sentence as the Pro Bowl. But he stayed completely healthy for the first time ever in 2012, and played every offensive snap. If Baker can continue to stay healthy, a future Pro Bowl berth isn’t out of the question.

NFC South 'All-Joes'

January, 26, 2011
USA Today has put out its annual All-Joe Team, which is supposed to recognize the common man.

But the guy at the most important position is far from common. He’s also from the NFC South.

The quarterback on the team is Josh Freeman and the premise is that he doesn’t get much attention nationally. But that’s going to change very quickly in the future, so Freeman better enjoy this honor while he’s got it.

Two NFC South receivers are on the team. New Orleans’ Marques Colston is there and that may be because his quiet demeanor doesn’t draw the attention that so many other receivers scream for. The other NFC South receiver is Tampa Bay rookie Mike Williams. Like Freeman, I wouldn’t expect Williams to be eligible for this team much longer.

Veteran Atlanta center Todd McClure is the only other NFC South player on the offense. Good call here. McClure never has been spectacular, but he’s anchored a pretty good Atlanta line the last few years.

On defense, Carolina end Charles Johnson made the team after producing 11.5 sacks. He’s joined by teammate Charles Godfrey at safety. The only other division player on the team is New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins. He’s another guy like Freeman and Williams, who isn’t going to be a regular on this team because Jenkins is on the verge of being a big-time player.