The Steelers were honored last night with five selections to the 2012 AFC Pro Bowl squad which is going to be back in Hawaii after not having the game there last season. The Pro Bowl is going to be played January 29th although I would doubt that a ton of people are going to be watching, especially if the Steelers make the Super Bowl and none of the players will be joining.
The five Steelers representatives are Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. It is interesting to note that Antonio Brown was voted to the team as a kick returner while Pouncey, Polamalu and Wallace will be starters in the game. James Harrison, Ryan Clark and LaMarr Woodley are alternates for the game and if the Steelers don’t make the Super Bowl I would expect that all three of them would be in the game with drop outs and injuries.
Here is the release from the Steelers with the complete breakdown of each of the players that will be in the Pro Bowl.
None of this was too much of a surprise for me except for maybe Antonio Brown. While he was very deserving to get into the Pro Bowl I just didn’t think he had enough to get in as a wide receiver as Wes Welker, A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall deserved to be in the game ahead of Brown. Brown finished third in the league with a 27.7 kick return average and was ninth in punt returns with a 10.8 average but I think that his receiving stats helped him get into the game.
If there was a snub for the Steelers it would be on the defensive side of the ball. The Steelers, while they are not nearly as dominant but still a very good defense, only has one representative while teams like the Patriots have two defensive reps. Give me a break. I think Ryan Clark probably deserved to be in the game as he has had a great year but if there is one player that should be in the game it’s Ike Taylor. Someone broke the stat out on twitter last night, and I forget who it was so please forgive me, but Taylor is getting thrown at a little over two times a game and only gives up about 30 yards to the receiver he is covering. Taylor covers the top receiver each game and shadows them. He doesn’t get the love he deserves because he doesn’t intercept passes but his job is to keep the best receivers on the other team from catching passes and that is exactly what he does.
Overall a nice pull for the Steelers. Hopefully they don’t play.
Here is the full AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters.