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An odd, off vote on the All-Pro tally

1/3/2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- NFL All-Pros came out better than Pro Bowlers to my eyes, and I think that’s usually the case.

But whether it’s a three-way vote of fans, coaches and players that determine the Pro Bowl teams or a panel of 50 media that select the All-Pro teams, mistakes are made.

Exhibit A for our purposes was the one ballot than included a vote for Titans left guard Andy Levitre, who joined the team in March 2013 with a six-year, $46.8 million deal with $13 million guaranteed.

He had a pretty bad first year with the team.

In early December, he told me this:

“I know I haven’t been playing well this season,” Levitre said. “I don’t want to say it was from my [knee] surgery after last season, I’ve had some other issues going on. I’ve been having a little struggle staying healthy this season. But I’m just trying to play the best I can, get an offseason program under my belt so I can get some of the strength back that I lost last offseason.

“I hate to use that as an excuse, I’m not one to point at something else. It’s my issue, I’ve got to deal with it."

The issue turned out to be a hip and he’s either had or will have surgery soon, per Jim Wyatt.

Nothing about his season said All-Pro.

Two Titans are second-team All-Pros.

Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey got eight of 50 votes, which put him in a three-way tie for fourth among defensive tackles and got him on the second team.

Cornerback Alterraun Verner got six of 50 votes, which put him in a tie for fourth with Cleveland’s Joe Haden and earned him a spot on the second team.

They deserve their spots.

It’s tough to vote on offensive line play if you don’t have a special eye for it. The one year I had an AP ballot I leaned heavily on scouts when sorting through my offensive line.

The voter who spent a guard vote on Levitre didn’t do that, or he talked to a very bad scout.