Thursday, December 27, 2012
AFC North Pro Bowl notes
By Jamison Hensley
Here are some notes from the AFC North Pro Bowl selections:
RAVENS: The Ravens' six Pro Bowl selections ranked third in the AFC, behind the Texans (eight) and the Patriots (seven). ... The Ravens' Vonta Leach will be the AFC fullback for the third consecutive season and second as a Raven. ... Ravens safety Ed Reed was selected for the ninth time in his 11-year career ... Receiver-returner Jacoby Jones is going to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his six-year career. “This means a lot," Jones said. "It says you are in the elite of the elite, which is tough to do, and that takes a lot of consistency and hard work."
BENGALS: The Bengals didn't sound too upset after only getting two players (wide receiver A.J. Green and defensive tackle Geno Atkins) selected to the Pro Bowl. “They’ll represent us well if they’re in the game," coach Marvin Lewis said, "but I have to add that it’s our goal to make them both unavailable (by the team advancing to the Super Bowl).” ... Green is the first wide receiver to be selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons in the league since Randy Moss (1998-99). ...The last Bengals defensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl before Atkins was nose tackle Tim Krumrie, who earned his second trip in 1988.
STEELERS: The Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey is the first center ever to be selected to a Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons. ... Tight end Heath Miller is going to his second Pro Bowl and first since 2009. He leads the Steelers with 71 catches and has caught a career-high eight touchdowns. His 816 yards receiving is a career high and leads AFC tight ends. But Miller, who is having surgery today on his knee, suffered the season-ending injury last Sunday. "It’s definitely an honor to be named to the Pro Bowl team," Miller said. "It’s not why I play the game, and I am sure all of our guys would say the same thing. But you take it as a compliment. I wish it were under different circumstances, but it’s an honor and something to be proud of.”
BROWNS: Phil Dawson is the first Browns player to be selected to the Pro Bowl as a kicker (Lou Groza was selected as tackle). It's also the first Pro Bowl for the 37-year-old Dawson. “It was a pretty priceless moment when we saw the name flash up on the screen,” Dawson said in a conference call with reporters. “My kids went nuts ’cause my wife went nuts. That makes these 15 years of waiting worth it.” ... Offensive tackle Joe Thomas joins Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown (1958-66) as the only Browns selected to the Pro Bowl in each of their first six seasons in the league. The last Browns player to be named to six consecutive Pro Bowls was Hall of Fame running back Leroy Kelly (1967-72).