Probing the 2011 Pro Bowl: A 10-pack of serious snubs

| 6 years ago

Probing the 2011 Pro Bowl: A 10-pack of serious snubs

You knew we couldn’t help ourselves.

After hundreds of hours spent watching and analyzing every player we couldn’t simply sit back and let the Pro Bowl rosters go by without bringing to attention some of the biggest snubs along with some of the most undeserved selections. Frankly, the omissions below make us wonder just how little the Pro Bowl “honor” really means — if these guys aren’t Pro Bowlers, there needs to be a revamp, plain and simple.

Naturally we’ll be producing our own Pro Bowl rosters when the regular season ends, but for now here’s our quick fire feedback on the rosters. Let’s start with the snubs, in order of snubbery.

1. Kyle Williams, DT, Bills

There are plenty of reasons why Williams hasn’t made the Pro Bowl, but it doesn’t make it any easier to stomach when you’ve watched him utterly dominate. Playing for Buffalo is always going to hurt your reputation when their run defense struggles. It doesn’t help that people are under the impression Williams plays as a NT when the Bills run a 4-3 far more, so blame him for their woes. And it doesn’t help that the AFC is full of excellent defensive tackles. At least that’s what people say, but strip away the reputation and hype and nobody was close to the force Williams was throughout 2010. It says something that Williams led all defensive tackles in total quarterback pressure and defensive stops, and did it with such little help around him from the Bills defense. Talk to players like Chris Keomeatu and we’re pretty sure they’ll let you know how good Williams is.

2. Trent Cole, DE, Eagles

In what world does the most complete defensive end in the league not make the Pro Bowl? Cole has more quarterback disruptions (74) than all other defensive ends, and just for good measure is our highest rated end against the run. Granted the NFC was stacked with talent at defensive end, but Cole got overlooked because guys have more sacks. Not because they’re better players.

3. Kareem McKenzie, RT, Giants

It almost seems as if the Pro Bowl has a big sign outside it that says “No Right Tackles Allowed.” Granted, protecting a quarterback’s blindside is important, but if we’ve got guys who do most of their damage from the left end or left outside linebacker spot, then why not right tackles? McKenzie has been the best of all right tackles this year. He’s done a good job in pass protection, and been in a class of his own when it comes to run blocking. He may not be the most agile of tackles, but he more than makes up for it when he locks onto a defender and with excellent positioning.

4. Quintin Mikell, S, Eagles

Our top-ranked safety is once again comically overlooked and we can only assume that when people are picking their safeties, they’re looking at the guys with the most Pro Bowl appearances and the biggest contracts. It’s a cycle that stops a guy like Mikell getting his due even though he’s broken up more passes than any other safety and is our top ranked safety in run support.

5. Lawrence Timmons, ILB, Steelers

A guy who can do it all, Timmons didn’t have the tackle numbers that Jerod Mayo did or the reputation of Ray Lewis, but his play was far superior. Only his Steelers teammate James Farrior produced more pressure from blitzing, while only the human wrecking crew Bart Scott had a higher grade in run defense. Simply put, offenses couldn’t prevent Timmons making plays for the majority of the season.

6. Tamba Hali, OLB, Chiefs

As a pure pass rusher there’s nobody who has had more of an impact than Hali and his 82 quarterback disruptions. Is he a one trick pony? Perhaps. But then are you saying that guys like Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis aren’t? The problem of finding room for Hali comes from the ridiculous decision to put Terrell Suggs down as an outside linebacker even though the vast majority of snaps have him playing at a defensive end spot.

7. Josh Sitton, RG, Packers

2009 called guys, it wants its Pro Bowl roster back. How else do guys like Jahri Evans and Chris Snee get in ahead of the best right guard in the league? Yet to give up a sack all year, Sitton is superb in pass protection (top ranked of all guards) but an excellent run blocker. Is it his fault the rest of his colleagues play in such a way that he doesn’t get to show it all that often?

8. Champ Bailey, CB, Broncos

Last year Bailey passed the mantle of “Top Shutdown Corner” to Darrelle Revis. Well this year Revis held out and got injured, so wasn’t his dominant self. Bailey may not be in his prime, but this version of him is still pretty special. Perhaps he gave up more touchdowns than you’d like, but in a horrible year for the Broncos Champ proved to still be the top dog when it comes to cornerbacks.

9. Matt Birk, C, Ravens

He’s not Nick Mangold, but with Mangold overcoming injury earlier in the season Birk was the most consistent center in the league and remains top of our center rankings. Has given up just six quarterback pressures all year and is our top-ranked run blocking center. How the Vikings would love to have him back.

10. Bart Scott, ILB, Jets

You can’t help but feel sorry for Bart Scott. He does so much for the Jets run defense, blowing up so many runs that it makes you think they (or we) just invent a stat just for that. As it is he’s a guy who doesn’t have a lot of tackles, sacks or interceptions so he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. But if there’s one player the Jets defense couldn’t afford to lose, it’s this guy. And that’s a pretty big statement to make.

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Whitworth (Bengals), Kevin Williams (Vikings), Antonio Garay (Chargers), Charles Johnson (Panthers), Harvey Dahl (Falcons), Kamerion Wimbley (Raiders), Brandon Flowers (Chiefs) and Antoine Winfield (Vikings)

  • chiefsfan85

    Yeah, Hali should have been a shoe-in. He was one player that I was certain would make it out of any other Chief. Horrible.

  • Khaled Elsayed

    In an ideal world, Suggs goes in for Mathis at defensive end and Hali gets in to join Harrison and Wake. All four men are deserving, and Suggs is most definitely not an outside linebacker. Big omission for the leading in QB disruptions on the entire year. Interesting that a couple of Chiefs got ignored. Brandon Flowers had a better year than the guys taken at CB, and while I wouldn’t have Derrick Johnson in the team above Timmons or Scott I certainly would above Lewis or Mayo.

  • maeby

    Stefan Logan?

    • Nathan Jahnke

      Although I could see a case for Logan, I think I’d still take Hester. With the exception of the ILB’s, all of those players listed we have ranked #1 at their position, and each at positions where they take 2-3 players. Logan on a list of players that you could make a case for, but these guys should have been shoe-in’s.

      And personally I’d like to add Tramon Williams to the honorable mentions list. Having Charles Woodson in over him is crazy.

  • Khaled Elsayed

    Indeed. As mentioned in the other article Woodson wasn’t the best cornerback on his team. But in the NFC I’d have taken Winfield over Williams.

    I’m looking forward to being able to do our own Pro Bowl and All Pro Teams when the season ends. For sure. Give everyone their due.

    • Nathan Jahnke

      As much as I’d hate to say it, I agree with Winfield. Winfield has been getting better as the season has gone on, while Williams has regressed a bit in the past five weeks.

    • Ben24626

      Just a thought but I don’t think you should follow the stupid format the probowl uses with one safety or whatever it is, you should pick the suitable amount of players from each position to go.

  • dpowers120

    Aaron Rodgers?

    • Nathan Jahnke

      No matter what, one of the 4 NFC QB’s (Vick, Brees, Ryan, Rodgers) would be snubbed. I agree I’d put him in over one of them, but that isn’t as huge of a snub as the guys listed above, who clearly better than the players who made it. No matter which of those 4 QB’s didn’t make it, the 4th QB would be a snub. In the end it probably won’t matter much, as the chances are one of them will make the Super Bowl and not play.

  • magaca

    Good post.

    I never really understood why Scott has such a high grade in run defense and so few tackles? I don’t dispute his impact, but could you guys enlighten me? Is it because he redirects runners etc.? Thanks.

    • Neil Hornsby

      What Scott does, probably better than any player I’ve ever seen, is attack the gap. He reacts extremely quickly to a run and then blows up whatever is in his path (usually a FB or a pulling Guard). In the modern day NFL my guess is the OL usually wins that battle 70-80% of the time but not with Scott. More often than not he will stand up that player, force a cut back into someone else, get off himself to make the tackle or, on occasions, hit with such force he knocks the guy back into the ball carrier for someone else to touch down for the tackle.
      A good example of his style is the 2nd offensive play against the Lions as he meets pulling LG Sims and makes the play.

  • favre4ever

    Desmond Bishop? From what I have watched of him this year he has no glaring flaws at all. He can pressure the QB (although rarely asked to), he can cover, he can tackle, he can stop the run… He can and does do it all.

    One of the most under rated LB in the entire league.

    • Neil Hornsby

      As you may have seen from my selection ( I’m in agreement with you. Also, as we aren’t too modest to blow our own trumpet, I believe we called this one early too (

    • Nathan Jahnke

      As one of my favorite players, I’m not happy he’s not even being considered. I’ve checked around some Packers sites and they are talking about the more obvious snubs(Rodgers, Sitton, Williams), along with some questionable ones(Raji for example), and not even mentioning Bishop. I however think he is deserving. And since Neil is blowing our own trumpet, I’ll mention I spoke highly of him in a Packers preseason article as well.

  • minor22

    How is Mike Wallace not on this list? I mean he only has 57rec for 1152yds and 9td’s. Compare his stats to the top 5 receivers and make sure to notice how many receptions everyone else has compared to him. Not to mention he was without his starting QB for four games. I think this guy is one of the biggest snubs on the list.

    • Nathan Jahnke

      If you ignore the fact that Wallace is a horrible blocker, then you can definitely make a case for Wallace. However Lloyd and Andre Johnson were two very deserving players to make it. I could see a case of Wallace over Bowe or Wallace over Wayne, but you could also make the case of both of those players over Wallace. We’re focusing on players that were the best or one of the best three at their position and didn’t make it. For example, we strongly believe Kyle Williams is the best defensive tackle in the league, yet he didn’t make the top 3 in the AFC according to the pro bowl process.

      Also with him not having his starting QB for those first four games, he wasn’t that big in his offense then, or the three weeks after. It wasn’t until Week 9 against the Bengals where he started getting thrown at more than four times a game.

    • Neil Hornsby

      I’m with you…. as you see from my listing ( he was my third choice.

  • berkrom1

    One thing about Brandon Flowers that’s an extremely overlooked factor is that he’s been asked to do a ton more with the inexperience of the two safties, Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis. He’s been relied on more and while those two safeties are blossoming, they still have the natural tendency to not protect and bite early. Flowers might be the best open field tackler at his position and arguably one of the best pure corner. Much better than advertised, deserves some serious props.