Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pro Bowl

No Redskins players make the Pro Bowl, sadly. Apparently, London Fletcher (again), Lorenzo Alexander(ST), and Brian Orakpo are all alternates, though I haven't read whether that's 1st alternate or not.  Fletcher and Alexander at the least greatly deserved to go.

Fletcher leads the league in tackles by a wide margin, and is 33 tackles ahead of the next NFC I/MLB, Novorro Bowman, all while being on a good defense with a good Defensive Line, so he isn't just cleaning up every play 10 yards downfield. Further adding insult to injury is the fact that Brian Urlacher went, on whom Fletcher has 71 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 sacks, and 2 passes defended in exchange for 1 interception. Fletcher's Redskins defense has also been considerably better than Urlacher's Bears defense this season. This mentions only the statistics, which are not even Fletcher's key contribution; he's one of the best, smartest, most well-respected leaders and most savvy veterans in the league, and is responsible for determining and dictating defensive line shifts on every play as well as calling the plays and coordinating the rest of the defense.

Alexander is the captain, leader, and difference maker on the best kick coverage unit in the NFC, and Shanahan-- no Rex Ryan when it comes to building his own players up-- said he should be a shoo-in for the position.

Orakpo has been excellent this year but without the big sack numbers and on a bad team, I'm not too surprised he wasn't chosen.

The only Redskins player who finished in the top 5 in the fan vote was Orakpo, as 3rd for NFC OLB's behind DeMarcus Ware and Clay Matthews. Orakpo made the pro bowl his rookie and sophomore seasons, but won't make it 3/3 unless some injuries or super bowl appearances push him in. In the past two seasons, Redskins have shown up almost across the board in the fan vote (which is largely a popularity contest, even moreso than the pro bowl voting as a whole), so this could indicate fans getting tired of the losing team, or the fact that it seems to me that the team didn't put as much effort into publicizing the pro bowl voting and encouraging fans to "vote the Redskins ticket" like in the past, which was absurd.

For what it's worth, rookie OLB Ryan Kerrigan, P Sav Rocca (who has been excellent for his two seasons with us and his final year in Philly, though he was fairly sub-par for them prior to that), and if he hasn't been suspended TE Fred Davis are the other Redskins players who would have been deserving to be in contention, in my estimation.

Kerrigan would've been a pretty good choice but has the same knocks against him as Orakpo (even though his 4 forced fumbles more than makes up for the sacks) as well as being a not-terribly-high-profile rookie. Davis has the aforementioned suspension working against him as well as the fact that Jimmy Graham was pretty much a given with his stats and Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez-- much bigger names-- were also up there. As for Rocca, no one really pays that much attention to punters, to be blunt, and he wasn't blowing everyone else's average punt distance away or anything, even if he's done well both in that regard and punts downed inside the 20 and average punt return distance.

EDIT: Washington post (link below) has a fun list of twitter comments enraged about Fletcher's lack of a pro bowl bid, including a number of fellow players and analysts, such as the great Adam Schefter.

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