Seven Patriots voted to Pro Bowl
On Wednesday, the rosters for the Pro Bowl were released, and there were seven Patriots on the list for the AFC. Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, Jerrod Mayo, and Matthew Slater were all named to the NFL’s all-star game.
The game will take place on Sunday, January 27th, the week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl. If the Patriots make it to this years Super Bowl, their players will not play in the Pro Bowl.
The cool thing about this selection is that every Patriot voted to this year’s Pro Bowl have been selected to do it before. Players are voted to the Pro Bowl in a three step process: fan votes, coaches votes, and player votes each count for 1/3 each.
Tom Brady was glad to have been selected (for the eighth time), but stayed humble, choosing to recognize team effort instead.
“It is flattering to be selected, but I have always considered Pro Bowl recognition as a reflection of the team’s overall success. I am happy for my many teammates who were selected again this year.” Brady added, “one day, I am sure I will have a greater appreciation for individual accomplishments, but this week my focus is simply on our preparations for Miami.”
Peyton Manning got the nod as the starting quarterback for the AFC, with Brady as his backup. Manning led the league in fan voting, which is likely the reason he was selected to start.
In a statement, Slater thanked Patriots special teams coach Scott O’Brien because he “pretty much changed my career with the way he teaches and coaches me.”
Mankins and Gronkowski were both selected to the team despite both not playing in several games due to injury. Mankins missed six as a result of a lingering ACL problem from last year, and Gronkowski has missed the last five weeks after breaking his forearm.
Mankins, Gronkowski, Wilfork, and Mayo were all selected as starters, Brady and Welker as backups. Slater was the only AFC player designated as special teams.
Brady is right, the Prowl Bowl recognition for this many players really is a testament to how well the team has played as a whole. Sure, there have been shaky moments, but you know that they’ve come through all season. The fact that this is a repeat nomination for all players involved really shows a great program that is continuing to grow.