The NFL announced its Pro Bowl players for the 2013 season and four Dolphins are on the teams that will play next month.
Defensive end Cameron Wake, cornerback Brent Grimes, center Mike Pouncey and punter Brandon Fields were named to play in the game on January 26. The game, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, will be played at 7 p.m. eastern and aired on NBC.
“I want to congratulate Brandon, Brent, Mike, and Cam on being named to the NFL Pro Bowl team,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said. “It is a well-deserved honor. I know they will be outstanding representatives of their teammates and the rest of the Dolphins organization in Hawaii.”
Fields, in his seventh NFL season, will be making his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2014. Fields is ranked second in the NFL in punt average (48.8 per punt), second in net average (42.8), third with 33 punts inside the 20-yard line and has also recorded the third longest punt (74 yards at Buffalo on December 22, 2013) in the league during the 2013 season. Fields is one of only two Dolphins punters to be selected to the Pro Bowl, joining Reggie Roby (1984, 1989).
“It’s a great honor to be selected to the Pro Bowl,” Fields said. “I am very excited on my first selection and to be able to celebrate it with three of my teammates. I want to thank coach Philbin and also (special teams coordinator) coach (Darren) Rizzi and (assistant special teams) coach (Marwan) Maalouf for all the work that they have put in and guidance the last few years to help me get to where I am at today.”
Grimes, in his seventh NFL season and first with the Dolphins, will be making his second trip to the Pro Bowl. He previously was selected to the 2011 NFC Pro Bowl squad as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. In 2013, Grimes has started all 15 games at cornerback and has recorded 55 tackles, leads the Dolphins with 15 passes defensed, and is tied for the team lead in interceptions with four, including one which he returned 94 yards for a touchdown. Grimes is the just the third Dolphins cornerback selected to the Pro Bowl, joining Sam Madison (1999-2002) and Patrick Surtain (2002-04).
“This selection means a lot especially coming off last year, to come back and make the Pro Bowl is a big deal,” Grimes said. “I would like to thank all the fans, the whole Dolphins organization for believing in me and giving me a chance. Of course I would also like to thank all of the defensive coaches, especially (defensive coordinator) coach (Kevin) Coyle, (defensive backs) coach Lou (Anarumo), (assistant defensive backs) coach Blue (Adams) and (defensive assistant) coach (Jeff) Burris for not only believing in me to get me here but believing in me throughout the year and helping me to become a better player.”
Pouncey, in his third NFL season, will be making his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2014. Pouncey has started at center in 13 games for the Dolphins in 2013. He is the first Dolphins center selected to the Pro Bowl since Tim Ruddy in 2000 and is only the fourth Dolphins center selected to the Pro Bowl, joining Hall of Famers Jim Langer (1973-78) and Dwight Stephenson (1983-87) and Ruddy (2000).
“It’s truly a great honor to be named to the Pro Bowl, this recognition obviously would not have been possible without the all the other guys on the offensive line around me,” said Pouncey. “I would also like to thank the fans, the Miami Dolphins organization, Coach Philbin, the offensive coaching staff and especially Coach (Jim) Turner who have helped me reach this honor.”
Wake, in his fifth NFL season, will be making his third trip to the Pro Bowl and second as a defensive end (he made the Pro Bowl in 2011 after a 14-sack season as a linebacker). In 2013, Wake has registered 35 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, eight tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one safety through 15 games. On October 31, 2013, Wake recorded the first safety of his NFL career when he sacked Andy Dalton in the end zone with 6:42 remaining in overtime giving the Dolphins a 22-20 victory over the Bengals. It marked just the third time in NFL history that an overtime game had been decided on a safety.
Wake is one of only two Dolphins players to earn Pro Bowl recognition at different positions (linebacker in 2011 and defensive end in 2013 and '14), joining teammate Randy Starks who was selected as a defensive end in 2011 and as a defensive tackle in 2013.
“This honor would not have been possible without my teammates, the coaching staff and the fans of the Miami Dolphins," Wake said. "I have to thank, coach Philbin, coach Coyle, (defensive line) coach (Kacy) Rogers, (assistant defensive line) coach (Charlie) Bullen and the rest of the defensive coaches. It’s an honor that I will share with all my teammates who deserve credit for this as well.”
The Dolphins and Patriots lead the AFC East teams with four Pro Bowl players. The Bills had three players on the team. The New York Jets did not have a Pro Bowl player this season.