The NFL announced its 2008 Pro Bowl selections today, and despite the fact that they have the number one defense and the second best record in the AFC, only three Steelers made the final selection.
James Harrison, James Farrior, and Troy Polamalu were selected, all three from the Steelers number one defense. No player from the Steelers offense was selected?
Were Steelers Snubbed?
The question of course is, were more Steelers snubbed? As much as you'd like to see someone from the offense, such as Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers offensive struggles have probably headlined the too much coverage to merit consideration.
While Ben Roethlisberger's play, topped by no fewer than four fourth quarter come from behind saves, certainly merits consideration, the fact is that his numbers are down, and that undoubtedly hurt his cause, if if it shouldn't.
Beyond that, its hard to make a case for someone else on the offense. Willie Parker? Not even close. Mewelede Moore? A great pick up and a truly underrated and perhaps under utilized player, but he has not had a Pro Bowl year.
Hines Ward? Well, you'd like to think that, and his production early in the year, plus his ability to make clutch catches certainly fall in his favor, but he has had a lot of drops this year. Heath Miller certainly is an other who should be given a long long, but his mid-season injury probably limited his chances.
What About the Defense?
The real surprise comes on defense. Harrison, Farrior, and Polamalu clearly belong? But what about LaMarr Woodley? Woodley should be a candidate, but players usually frequently make it a year or so after they really deserve it.
Ike Taylor is another strong candidate, as he was matched against some of the league's top receivers and did an excellent job for the most part. But he also dropped many interceptions. And that hurts him.
Aaron Smith most certainly should be in the Pro Bowl, as his value to the team is beyond question, but again, as an end in a 3-4 he simply does not put up the numbers that you need. That isn't the way it should be, but it is the way it is.
Selections Show Just How Much of a Team Effort This Is
If nothing else, the Pro Bowl selections show that the 2008 edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers' success is firmly based on the concept of team.
Go to an average NFL fan an start spouting off names like Larry Foote, William Gay, Desha Townshend, Ryan Clark, Lawrence Timmons, and Brett Keisel and the likely response you'd get is, "who?"
But each of these players has come, and come up big. Not only when other players have been injured, but in key moments of big games. They may not generate a lot of ink as individuals, but their collective effort speaks for itself.
And Then There's Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed has not only shown himself to be one of the league consistent kickers, he has done it in the NFL's most difficult venues for kickers (don't believe me, ask Kris Brown.)
But that does not do him justice.
The ability to kick under pressure, is what separates the good kickers from the great ones.
And Reed been tested under high pressure situations time and time again.
If there is any one Steeler who has been snubbed by the Pro Bowl voters, it is Jeff Reed
Thanks for visiting Steel Curtain Rising. What do you think? Do you think Steelers have been snubbed by the NFL voters. Take a moment to leave a comment sharing who you think should have made and why. Also take a moment to vote in our poll on the Steelers touchdown against the Ravens.
Polling Suspended (Again)
Bloggers polling plugin officially SUCKS. For weeks now I've watch as vote tallies on Steelers free agency, draft needs, and the draft itself go up... and then down.
Thanks to all of those who voted, but I'm taking the poll on Jarvis Jones down because there are 80% fewer votes now than yesterday afternoon....