December 17, 2008

It’s snub time!

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

Every time an all-whatever roster is named, there’s going to be snubs. With the Pro Bowl teams named yesterday, the joy of criticizing the picks is here. But first, why in the world are the Pro Bowl teams being named when the regular season is still two games from completion? Could they not wait the next two weeks to name the squads? At least in the other major North American sports, the all-star game is mid-season and there’s no illusion that they’re rewarding the season’s best. In the NFL, the Pro Bowlers are supposed to be just that, the season’s best players. Why name the rosters after only 14 of a team’s 16 games are completed?

The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that the over-rated holdout Jason Peters made the team. This guy has been average at best all season for Buffalo and certainly doesn’t deserve the nod. And after watching Trent Cole embarrass Joe Thomas on Monday night, I wouldn’t take him either.

The QB situation in the AFC is bit sketchy as well. Brett Favre likely will sit the game out anyway so this doesn’t really matter, but Philip Rivers deserved the nod much more than Jay Cutler. If Favre does indeed not play, Rivers will make the trip as an alternate.

The wrong Tampa Bay linebacker was taken. Barret Ruud is playing much better than Derrick Brooks but since Pro Bowl teams are selected to play the 4-3 instead of the 3-4, more outside linebackers are needed and Brooks the OLB edges out Ruud the ILB.

What a year for running backs it is. There could easily be two or three big snubs from either conference that really deserved consideration. Brandon Jacobs? Steve Slaton? Matt Forte? LenDale White?

And finally, who is Clifton Smith? Are the NFC really that down on kick/punt returners this season? Smith has two returns for a touchdown and isn’t particularly frightening, like, say, Devin Hester is. Who would you rather see: An undrafted rookie who you’ve never heard of, or a guy that – even in a down year – scares you out of kicking to him?

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