The NFL just announced the AFC and NFC rosters for the 2009 Pro Bowl and the Dolphins have two players in the game.
Running back Ronnie Brown will be among the three AFC running backs in the game, joining Chris Johnson of Tennessee and Thomas Jones of the New York Jets.
Linebacker Joey Porter, who leads the conference with 17.5 sacks, is Miami's other Pro Bowl player in 2008-09. Porter joins Pittsburgh's James Harrison and Baltimore's Terrell Suggs as the AFC's outside linebackers.
“I am proud of both Joey and Ronnie for making the Pro Bowl team,” said Dolphins coach Tony Sparano in a statement. “It is a reflection of the hard work they have put in, and also is indicative of our team’s overall effort this year. I am disappointed some of our other players didn’t make it, who I feel are worthy of that recognition, especially since we’ve had such a successful season so far on both sides of the ball.”
Brown is making the Pro Bowl for the first time. He gets in ahead of Houston rookie Steve Slaton, who had 1,224 yards and a 4.9 yard per carry average compared to Brown's 827 yards and 4.2 yard average.
“I am honored to have made the team but it’s because of the guys around me,” Brown said. “This is not about me, but about our entire offensive unit and I wish they all could have gotten the same recognition.”
Porter, making the team for the fourth time in his career but first time as a Dolphin, last was in the game in 2005.
“Any personal success I have achieved is because the defense has played so well,” Porter said. “I have had the opportunity to make plays because of how well our secondary has performed, along with the defense as a whole.”
There was much talk about rookie offensive tackle Jake Long making the team. He finished first in the fan voting but that was not enough. Buffalo's Jason Peters, Cleveland's Joe Thomas and Tennessee's Michael Roos are the tackles this year.
Quarterback Chad Pennington, who has the second-highest rating in the AFC, did not make the cut. The three quarterbacks selected are Denver's Jay Cutler, who leads the conference with 3,851 passing yards, Indy's Peyton Manning, who was selected the starter and is scheduled to start his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl, and Brett Favre of the New York Jets. This is Favre's 10th Pro Bowl but first for the AFC.
Honestly, this quarterback trio is curious. Who really believes Favre is worthy? And even if you think Pennington should not have been voted in -- I don't -- you have to wonder how Favre could be there ahead Phillip Rivers, who has pretty much better numbers across the board than Favre.
My three QBs would have been Manning, Rivers, and Cutler, with Pennington fourth and Favre a distant fifth.
In other words, I think Pennington is more deserving than Favre. But I also think Rivers is more deserving than Pennington.
It is kind of shocking that the New York Jets have a total of seven players on the Pro Bowl squad -- more than any other team. More than Tennessee which has six. Baltimore is next with five.
The seven Jets on the roster are guard Alan Faneca, Favre, cornerback Darrelle Revis, center Nick Mangold, Jones, nose tackle Kris Jenkins, and kick returner Leon Washington.
The New England Patriots, tied with Miami and New York for the AFC East lead, tied the Dolphins with two Pro Bowl players. They are receiver Wes Welker and kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
Although Miami kicker Dan Carpenter easily won the fan voting portion of the Pro Bowl balloting, it was New England's Gostkowski who gets and deserves the nod. This guy is more accurate than Carpenter this season.