McCoy, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fourth-year defensive tackle, will be headed back to the Pro Bowl for a second straight year. He’ll be joined by cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is a Pro Bowler for the fifth time, but for the first time as a Buccaneer.
The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 26, the Sunday before the Super Bowl. It will be broadcast by NBC, with kickoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.
The NFL announced its 2014 Pro Bowl selections on Friday, and the Bucs learned they would be represented by McCoy and Revis, two key parts of an emerging defense. Pro Bowl alternates were not immediately revealed, but it’s possible that additional Buccaneers will eventually find their way into the game due to injuries and other Pro Bowlers advancing to the Super Bowl.
McCoy’s selection is an indication that the Buccaneers’ breakthrough star of 2012 is only getting better. The pick of Revis is a validation of Tampa Bay’s aggressive move to get the all-star cornerback in a trade with the New York Jets this past offseason. Those two are expected to form the cornerstone of the next great Buccaneers defense, along with the likes of linebacker
McCoy is only the fourth Buccaneers defensive lineman to earn multiple Pro Bowl berths, joining DT Warren Sapp (7), DE Lee Roy Selmon (6) and Rice (2). The last dominant Buccaneers’ defense of the 1990s and 2000s featured a handful of players who were nearly annual selections to the Pro Bowl. McCoy could be at the forefront of a new trend – he’s the first Buccaneer to earn consecutive Pro Bowl honors since cornerback Ronde Barber (2004-06) and linebacker Derrick Brooks (1997-2006).
And Revis will likely add to that trend. His season-ending knee injury last September while with the Jets snapped his own streak of four straight Pro Bowl selections, but he picked right up where he left off in his first season back, now with the Buccaneers. By midseason, as Revis began to round fully back into his “Revis Island” form, taking on the opposition’s #1 receiver week after week, it was clear that he was as impactful of a player as ever.
Because he discourages passes to his area of the field, Revis’ numbers are often inadequate to describe his impact on a game. Still, he leads the Buccaneers in passes defensed with 10 and also has two interceptions, 47 tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles. For those who prefer more in-depth analysis based on game-tape study, Revis is the top-rated cornerback on ProFootballFocus.com, by a fairly significant margin. (McCoy, incidentally, is the top-rated defensive tackle on PFF, by an even greater margin.)
Revis will be the Bucs’ first cornerback in the Pro Bowl since Barber’s last trip in 2008. He is just the fifth defensive back in team history to earn the honor, joining Barber (five Pro Bowl selections), John Lynch (five), Donnie Abraham (1) and Wayne Haddix (1). This is the first time the Buccaneers have had multiple defensive players in the Pro Bowl since 2008 (Barber and Brooks).
McCoy and Revis also get to be guinea pigs, of a sort, for what could be the most entertaining Pro Bowl experience in years. Calling it the “Pro Bowl Unconferenced,” the NFL did away with AFC-NFC designations and just picked the best players at each position regardless of conference. Instead, to create two teams, the league will let two NFL.com Fantasy Football winners pick their teams from the pool of players. Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will assist with the draft, producing a Team Rice and a Team Sanders.
There are a number of changes to the rules of the game, as well, most notably that each of the four quarters will be more like a game’s half. That is, there will be a two-minute warning at the end of each quarter and the ball will change hands to start each new period. There will be no kickoffs; a coin toss will determine initial possession and after that each quarter and each possession after a score will start with the ball at that spot.