2010 AFC & NFC Pro Bowl Rosters

 
AFC’S BEST HEAD TO SOUTH FLORIDA,
HOME TO 2010 PRO BOWL & SUPER BOWL XLIV
 
PRO BOWL KICKS OFF SUPER BOWL WEEK IN PRIMETIME ON ESPN ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 31
 
COLTS PLACE CONFERENCE-BEST 6 PLAYERS ON AFC ALL-STAR SQUAD
 
The Indianapolis Colts placed a conference-best six players on the American Football Conference All-Star team that will face the National Football Conference All-Stars in the 2010 Pro Bowl that kicks off Super Bowl week in South Florida.
 
The 2010 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at Dolphin Stadium in South Florida, one week before Super Bowl XLIV takes place on the same field.  Broadcast live on ESPN at 7:20 p.m. ET, the Pro Bowl will for the first time be held prior to the Super Bowl and serve as the signature kickoff event of Super Bowl week.


The Colts’ six All-Star selections – DALLAS CLARK, DWIGHT FREENEY, PEYTON MANNING, ROBERT MATHIS, JEFF SATURDAY and REGGIE WAYNE – are tied for the third-most in team history.  The AFC roster has eight first-time All-Stars, including two rookies – safety JAIRUS BYRD of the Buffalo Bills and linebacker BRIAN CUSHING of the Houston Texans.
 
Leading a trio of talented quarterbacks is 10-time All-Star Manning, who has been named the Pro Bowl starter for the second consecutive year.  He joins BRETT FAVRE (11) as the only quarterbacks selected to at least 10 AFC-NFC Pro Bowls.  San Diego quarterback PHILIP RIVERS, who has led the Chargers to a No. 2 seed in the 2009 playoffs, was selected to his second Pro Bowl.  Fully recovered from a season-ending knee injury a year ago, TOM BRADY of the New England Patriots will make his fifth Pro Bowl appearance.
 
The AFC backfield will be highlighted by NFL rushing leader CHRIS JOHNSON of the Tennessee Titans, who has been named the starter.  Johnson (1,872) is in pursuit of 2,000 rushing yards and is the first Titan since JEVON KEARSE (1999-2000 seasons) to be selected to the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons. 
 
Rounding out the running back position will be two first-timers in the All-Star game – MAURICE JONES-DREW of Jacksonville and RAY RICE of Baltimore.  Jones-Drew leads the AFC with 15 rushing touchdowns and joins FRED TAYLOR (2007 season) as the only Jaguars running backs to earn Pro Bowl honors.  In his second season, Rice ranks second in the NFL behind Johnson with 1,952 scrimmage yards (1,269 rushing, 683 receiving).  Fellow Raven LE’ RON MC CLAIN will be the AFC fullback for the second consecutive season.
 
Houston’s ANDRE JOHNSON, who leads the NFL in receiving yards (1,504), has been chosen as one of four receivers on the AFC team.  Johnson will make his fourth Pro Bowl appearance and second consecutive start.  Lined up opposite Johnson as a starter will be four-time All-Star Reggie Wayne of Indianapolis.  Two second-time selections will round out the position – New England’s WES WELKER (122) and Denver’s BRANDON MARSHALL (101) – who rank No. 1 and 2 respectively in receptions in the NFL this season.
 
Representing the AFC at tight end will be first-time All-Star Dallas Clark of the Colts.  In his seventh season, Clark leads NFL tight ends in receptions (93).  San Diego’s ANTONIO GATES, who leads NFL tight ends in receiving yards (1,145), has been selected to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl.  
 
Helping pave the way for the New York Jets’ top-ranked rushing attack is 12-year veteran guard ALAN FANECA, who will make his ninth consecutive Pro Bowl trip.  LOGAN MANKINS of New England, who will make his second All-Star game appearance, will be the other starting guard.  San Diego’s KRIS DIELMAN has been selected to his third consecutive Pro Bowl to complete the position.
 
NICK MANGOLD of the Jets earns his second trip to the Pro Bowl and will be the starting center.  In his 11th season, Indianapolis’ Jeff Saturday has been a mainstay along the Colts offensive line and will make his fourth Pro Bowl. 
 
Assigned to keep the pocket clean against the talented NFC edge rushers are a group of young AFC All-Star tackles.  Two first-round selections from the 2008 NFL Draft, RYAN CLADY of Denver and JAKE LONG of Miami, will be the starters.  Cleveland tackle JOE THOMAS earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod since entering the league in 2007.
 
Plugging the middle for the AFC defensive front are starting interior linemen HALOTI NGATA of Baltimore and New England’s VINCE WILFORK.  Ngata will make his Pro Bowl debut while Wilfork makes his second Pro Bowl trip.  Joining Ngata and Wilfork is Pittsburgh’s CASEY HAMPTON, a five-time All-Star.
 
A trio of AFC South pass rushers will be on display at defensive end for the second consecutive All-Star game.  Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis of the Indianapolis Colts are the teammates to start at defensive end in the Pro Bowl since Miami’s JASON TAYLOR and TRACE ARMSTRONG in 2000.  Freeney reaches his fifth Pro Bowl in eight seasons and Mathis is a two-time All-Star.  Former No. 1 overall pick MARIO WILLIAMS (2006) of Houston will make his second consecutive All-Star appearance.
 
ELVIS DUMERVIL of Denver, who leads the NFL with 17 sacks, will start at outside linebacker in his first Pro Bowl.  He joins three-time All-Star JAMES HARRISON of Pittsburgh.  The position is completed by standout rookie Brian Cushing of Houston.  Cushing is the first rookie outside linebacker to be selected to the Pro Bowl since San Diego’s SHAWNE MERRIMAN (2005 season).
 
The leaders of defense for the AFC will be middle linebackers RAY LEWIS of Baltimore and DE MECO RYANS of Houston.  In his 14th season from Miami, Lewis is a 10-time All-Star.  Ryans, the captain of the Texans defense, earned his second Pro Bowl trip.
 
Three of the NFL’s elite cover cornerbacks will represent the AFC in the secondary.  Two-time All-Stars NNAMDI ASOMUGHA of Oakland and DARRELLE REVIS of the New York Jets will pair as the starters.  Revis has played a pivotal role for the Jets’ No. 1 ranked defense that is allowing a league-low 264.3 yards per game and 163.9 passing yards per game.  In his 11th season, CHAMP BAILEY of Denver returns for his ninth Pro Bowl.
 
Two of the NFL’s most accomplished defensive players will start at safety for the AFC.  Baltimore’s ball-hawking free safety ED REED earns his sixth Pro Bowl nod in eight NFL seasons.  Eight-time Pro Bowl selection and first-time AFCer BRIAN DAWKINS of Denver will roam the secondary alongside Reed.  Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd joins starting safeties Reed and Dawkins and becomes the first rookie safety selected to the Pro Bowl since Chicago’s MARK CARRIER in 1990.
 
The AFC special teams unit is comprised of four players, including Browns kick-returner JOSHUA CRIBBS.  Cribbs leads the NFL with three kickoff-return touchdowns this season and now has eight in his career, the most all-time.  San Diego kicker NATE KAEDING, who leads the AFC with 135 points, will make his second All-Star game.  Kaeding is tied for first in the conference with 29 field goals.  San Diego wide receiver KASSIM OSGOOD, who will serve as the AFC’s special teamer, appears in his third Pro Bowl.  Completing the special teams group will be Oakland’s veteran punter SHANE LECHLER.  The five-time All-Star leads the NFL with a 51.1 average in 2009 and has placed 28 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
 
The 42-man AFC squad is comprised of 21 offensive and 17 defensive players plus four specialists.  A 43rd "need" player will be chosen by the AFC head coach and must be a long snapper.  The 2010 AFC coaching staff will be from the team with the best record that is eliminated in the AFC Divisional playoffs.
 
The NFL is the only professional sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players in determining its All-Star teams.  The consensus vote of each group counts one-third towards the total.  Each team submits two ballots – those of the coach and the players with no one permitted to vote for a player on his own team.  This year, nearly 90 million fan votes were cast on NFL.com and on wireless phones.
 
The National Conference defeated the American Conference 30-21 last season in the Pro Bowl.  The 2010 game is the 40th between the AFC and NFC All-Stars with the NFC leading the all-time series 20-19.
 
The 2010 Pro Bowl is only the second Pro Bowl to be played in the same city as the Super Bowl.  The Los Angeles Coliseum hosted the first Super Bowl on January 15, 1967 and the Pro Bowl the following week.   Fans can purchase tickets to the 2010 Pro Bowl at www.NFL.com/probowl and www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
 

Thirteen NFC players will participate in their first Pro Bowl, including Philadelphia’s DE SEAN JACKSON, who was selected at two positions – wide receiver and kick returner.  Jackson has scored eight touchdowns of at least 50 yards (five receiving, two on punt returns and one rushing), tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer ELROY "CRAZYLEGS" HIRSCH (1951) and Chicago’s DEVIN HESTER (2007) for the most in a single season.
 
Among the Vikings’ eight selections are three first-time All-Stars: special teamer HEATH FARWELL, tackle BRYANT   MC KINNIE and wide receiver SIDNEY RICE.  They join veteran defensive end JARED ALLEN (third Pro Bowl), quarterback BRETT FAVRE (11th), guard STEVE HUTCHINSON (seventh), running back ADRIAN PETERSON (third) and defensive tackle KEVIN WILLIAMS (fifth). 
 
The starting quarterback for the NFC is four-time All-Star DREW BREES of New Orleans.  Brees, who has been selected three times since joining the Saints in 2006, is the first quarterback in franchise history to be named to three Pro Bowls (ARCHIE MANNING, two).  Joining Brees at QB are Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS, who became the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter, and Minnesota’s Favre, whose 11 Pro Bowl selections are the most all-time for a quarterback.  Favre is also the first player to be named to the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in three consecutive seasons with a different team (Green Bay 2008, New York Jets 2009, Minnesota 2010). 
 
Starting at running back for the NFC is Minnesota’s Peterson, who is the first player to start the Pro Bowl at RB in each of his first three seasons since Pro Football Hall of Famer BARRY SANDERS (1990-93).  He is joined by St. Louis’ STEVEN JACKSON, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, and first-time All-Star DE ANGELO WILLIAMS of Carolina.  Jackson, who leads the NFC with 1,353 rushing yards, was previously named to the 2007 NFC team.  Williams, who has rushed for 1,117 yards, is the first Panthers running back in the Pro Bowl since STEPHEN DAVIS in 2004.   
 
Filling out the backfield at fullback is Philadelphia’s LEONARD WEAVER, a five-year veteran from Carson-Newman College making his first Pro Bowl appearance. 
 
The starting wide receivers for the NFC are Arizona’s LARRY FITZGERALD, who scored two touchdowns in last year’s contest and was named the game’s MVP, and Philadelphia’s Jackson.  Filling out the position are first-time All-Stars MILES AUSTIN of Dallas and Minnesota’s Rice.  Austin leads the NFL with eight touchdown receptions of at least 20 yards and his 1,230 receiving yards are the most in the NFC.  Rice ranks second in the conference with 1,200 receiving yards and is the first Vikings wide receiver to go to the Pro Bowl since RANDY MOSS in 2004. 
 
Starting at tight end for the NFC is San Francisco’s VERNON DAVIS, who will make his first Pro Bowl appearance.  Davis, who is tied for the conference lead with 12 touchdown receptions, is the first 49ers tight end to be selected since BRENT JONES in 1996.  He is joined by Dallas’ JASON WITTEN, who has been selected to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl.  Witten leads all NFC tight ends with 88 catches and 954 yards. 
 
Minnesota’s Hutchinson will make his seventh consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl and will start at guard along with New Orleans’ JAHRI EVANS, a first-time All-Star.  The Cowboys’ LEONARD DAVIS, a three-time choice, rounds out the position. 
 
Dallas’ ANDRE GURODE will start at center, his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl selection.  Two-time All-Star SHAUN O’HARA of the New York Giants is the other center for the NFC. 
 
The starting tackles are Minnesota’s McKinnie and Philadelphia’s JASON PETERS, who had previously been selected twice as member of the Buffalo Bills (2008-09).  Seven-year veteran JON STINCHCOMB of New Orleans, another first-time All-Star, is the NFC’s third tackle. 
 
The Vikings’ Allen and Carolina’s JULIUS PEPPERS will get the start at defensive end for the NFC.  Allen is the first Minnesota defensive end to be chosen in consecutive years since CHRIS DOLEMAN (1993-94).  Peppers’ five Pro Bowl selections are the most by a defensive player in franchise history.  The Eagles’ TRENT COLE, who was a member of the 2008 NFC squad, will make his second trip to the Pro Bowl.

The starters on the interior defensive line are two-time Pro Bowl selection DARNELL DOCKETT of Arizona and Minnesota’s Williams.  JAY RATLIFF of Dallas, a two-time All-Star, fills out the position.  This season, Dockett leads all defensive tackles with seven sacks.  Williams and Ratliff are tied for third in the league among DTs with six sacks. 


For the second consecutive year, San Francisco’s PATRICK WILLIS, a three-time All-Star, will get the start at inside linebacker.  He will be joined by New Orleans’ JONATHAN VILMA, who will make his second Pro Bowl appearance.  He was named to the 2006 AFC squad as a member of the New York Jets. 
 
The starting outside linebackers are once again Chicago’s LANCE BRIGGS and Dallas’ DE MARCUS WARE.  Briggs has been selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls and Ware has been named an All-Star in each of the past four seasons.  Rookie BRIAN ORAKPO of the Washington Redskins, who has 11 sacks this year, completes the position. 
 
At cornerback, six-time Pro Bowl selection CHARLES WOODSON of Green Bay and three-time All-Star ASANTE SAMUEL of Philadelphia get the starting nod.  Samuel (nine) and Woodson (eight) lead all NFL cornerbacks in interceptions.  Arizona’s DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE, who has an NFC-high 25 passes defensed, will make his Pro Bowl debut. 
 
The secondary is completed by strong safety ADRIAN WILSON of Arizona and free safeties DARREN SHARPER of New Orleans and NICK COLLINS of Green Bay.  Wilson, chosen to his third Pro Bowl, and Sharper, a five-time All-Star, will start.  Last week, Wilson became the 10th player in NFL history with at least 20 sacks and 20 interceptions in a career and Sharper set a single-season record with 376 interception-return yards.  Collins, who leads all safeties with 13 interceptions since the start of the 2008 season, will make his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. 
 
Two Eagles will play a key role on special teams for the NFC.  Four-time All-Star DAVID AKERS will handle the kicking duties and Jackson was named the club’s return specialist.  San Francisco’s ANDY LEE, a two-time selection, was chosen as the team’s punter and Minnesota’s Farwell is the special teamer. 
 
The 42-man NFC squad is comprised of 21 offensive and 17 defensive players plus four specialists.  Because Jackson was selected at two positions, he will participate in the Pro Bowl at the position for which he received the most voting points.  An alternate player will be added to the team to fill the secondary position and announced at a later date.  A 43rd "need" player will be chosen by the NFC head coach and must be a long snapper.  The 2010 NFC coaching staff will be from the team with the best record that is eliminated in the NFC Divisional playoffs.
 
The NFL is the only professional sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players in determining its All-Star teams.  The consensus vote of each group counts one-third towards the total.  Each team submits two ballots – those of the coach and the players with no one permitted to vote for a player on his own team.  This year, nearly 90 million fan votes were cast on NFL.com and on wireless phones.
 
The National Conference defeated the American Conference 30-21 last season in the Pro Bowl.  The 2010 game is the 40th between the AFC and NFC All-Stars with the NFC leading the all-time series 20-19.
 
The 2010 Pro Bowl is only the second Pro Bowl to be played in the same city as the Super Bowl.  The Los Angeles Coliseum hosted the first Super Bowl on January 15, 1967 and the Pro Bowl the following week.   Fans can purchase tickets to the 2010 Pro Bowl at www.NFL.com/probowl and www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
 
Under terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each player on the winning Pro Bowl team receives $45,000, while each player on the losing squad earns $22,500.
 

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