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Send Your Bucs to Hawaii! Pro Bowl Balloting Has Begun

Posted Oct 23, 2012

Online fan voting for the 2013 Pro Bowl kicked off Tuesday on NFL.com, so you can immediately begin helping your favorite Bucs make a trip to Hawaii in February


Davin Joseph carried the torch for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Hawaii last winter.  Someone new will have to pick it up this coming February.

 

Joseph made his second trip to the Pro Bowl following the 2011 season and, in that case, was the Buccaneers' only representative in the NFL's annual all-star game.  Unfortunately, the star offensive guard is spending the 2012 season on injured reserve, so he won't get a chance to defend his spot on the NFC team.  Perhaps teammate Carl Nicks can take his place.  Nicks, who played for the New Orleans Saints for four seasons before signing with Tampa Bay last March, was also on that victorious NFC Pro Bowl squad last season.

 

Will Nicks make a return trip, representing the Buccaneers this time.  And will he be joined by any of his new Tampa Bay teammates?  You can help decide.

 

As always, this year's AFC and NFC rosters will be chosen by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches.  While NFL players and coaches will gather in their headquarters to cast their votes much later in the season, the balloting for fans has already begun.  The polls opened on Tuesday on NFL.com; voting is now available online and on web-enabled mobile phones by going to NFL.com/probowl.

 

Being part of the all-star selection process is an enjoyable aspect of being an NFL fan, and Buccaneer rooters are sure to do their part to help out their own favorite players.  The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. It was the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.

 

Having been to each of the last two Pro Bowls as a Saint, Nicks may have an excellent chance to extend his streak with a new team.  His blocking has helped the Buccaneers' rapidly-improving offense pick up nearly 1,000 yards in its last two games.  However, we are not suggesting that Nicks is the only deserving Buccaneer or even the most deserving Buccaneer.  That decision belongs to the fans (and later, opposing players and coaches).  It is worth noting that several Buccaneers rank among the conference's leaders through the first seven weeks of the season.  Here is where some of the Buccaneers currently stand on the NFL stat charts, presented alphabetically:

 

  • CB Ronde Barber: tied for 4th in interceptions (3); 1st in interception return yardage (132)
  • S Mark Barron: tied for 9th in run stuffs (4.5)
  • DE Michael Bennett: tied for 13th in sacks (3.5)
  • LB Lavonte David: tied for 14th in tackles (49); 2nd in run stuffs (6.5)
  • LB Mason Foster: tied for 17th in tackles (48); 1st run stuffs (7)
  • QB Josh Freeman: 2nd in yards per pass attempt (8.22); 5th in TD passes (11), tied for 4th in fewest interceptions (5)
  • WR Vincent Jackson: 3rd in receiving yards (586); 1st in yards per reception (21.7); tied for 3rd in TD receptions (5); tied for 6th in non-kicker scoring (30 points); 9th in yards from scrimmage (586)
  • P Michael Koenen: 1st in NFC in touchback percentage (75.0%)
  • RB Doug Martin: 8th in rushing yards (408); 2nd in rushing yards among rookies; 2nd in yards from scrimmage among rookies (553)

 

Again, it's important to note that these players are not being singled out as the only Buccaneers most worthy of your votes.  Some players are excelling at positions that don't tend to generate many statistics, such as nose tackle Roy Miller or Nicks and his teammates on the offensive line.

 

Six current Buccaneers have made at least one trip to the Pro Bowl, led by Barber and his five all-star selections.  Jackson, Joseph and Nicks have all been twice, while tight end Dallas Clark and left tackle Donald Penn have been once each.

 

Online voting for the Pro Bowl will conclude on Monday, December 17 and the teams will be announced on Wednesday, December 26.  Following is a chart of how many players will be selected at each position for each conference team:

 

OFFENSE

DEFENSE

SPECIAL TEAMS

Wide Receivers (4)

Defensive Ends (3)

Punter (1)

Tight Ends (2)

Interior Linemen (3)

Placekicker (1)

Tackles (3)

Outside Linebackers (3)

Kick Returner (1)

Guards (3)

Inside/Middle Linebackers (2)

Special Teamer (1)

Centers (2)

Cornerbacks (3)

Need Player (1-Coach’s Choice)

Quarterbacks (3)

Safeties (3)

 

Running Backs (3)

 

 

Fullback (1)