G Davin Joseph is the first offensive guard drafted by Tampa Bay to make the Pro Bowl as a Buccaneer
As of Tuesday morning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were sending two players to the NFL's 2009 Pro Bowl, one first-timer and one almost perennial all-star.
Now, the Buccaneers will be sending two of each.
On Tuesday afternoon, cornerback Ronde Barber and guard Davin Joseph were added to the NFC's Pro Bowl roster. Both had been first alternates after the voting process, which meant they were first in line to replace Charles Woodson and Leonard Davis, respectively, when those two pulled out of the game due to injuries.
Joseph, like return specialist Clifton Smith, will be making his first appearance in the Pro Bowl. On the other end of the spectrum Barber, like linebacker Derrick Brooks, has made a habit of Hawaiian vacations in February. Smith and Brooks were announced as the Bucs' two original Pro Bowl selections on December 16.
Doubling up their Pro Bowl contingent gives the Buccaneers their largest group headed to Honolulu since the 2003 season, when Brooks was joined by Keenan McCardell, Simeon Rice and Warren Sapp. Tampa Bay sent just one player (Jeff Garcia) to last year's Pro Bowl, had three all-stars each in 2006 and 2005 and were limited to two in 2004.
Of course, Brooks and Barber made up the core of the Bucs' Pro Bowl party during those years. Brooks' selection this season was his 11th, as he has been chosen every year since 1997 with the exception of 2007. Brooks has four more Pro Bowl selections than any other player in franchise history.
Barber is also among the most decorated all-stars in Buc annals. He will be making his fifth appearance in the game, including his fourth trip in the last five years, tying him with Hardy Nickerson and John Lynch for the fifth-most in team history. The latest honor comes on the heels of a 100-tackle season in which he also tied for the team lead with four interceptions, recorded two sacks and a fumble recovery and broke up 16 passes.
Barber helped the Buccaneers' defense rank in the NFL's top 10 for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.
"Throughout my career I have been fortunate to be on some great teams and my selection to the Pro Bowl is further evidence of that," said Barber. "It is a great honor to represent the Buccaneers and the NFC in Hawaii. Another Pro Bowl experience is one I really look forward to enjoying."
While Barber's selection is validation that he remains one of the top playmakers at his position in the NFL, the choice of Joseph represents a growing appreciation for the young lineman's powerful game. Tampa Bay's starting right guard since early in his 2006 rookie campaign, Joseph helped the Buccaneers build one of the league's most effective rushing attacks in 2008 before injuries took a serious toll on Tampa Bay's running back corps.
"It is heck of a honor and I am thrilled," said the former Oklahoma star. "Being a player the ultimate goal is to win games, get to the playoffs and win a championship. And certainly a big goal of mine is to win a Super Bowl. But one of the things that I had hoped to accomplish through all my hard work and determination to win a championship was to make it to a Pro Bowl. I wish I could bring my other four offensive linemen with me but I will do my best to represent them and our entire team the best way that I can in Hawaii."
Joseph is only the second guard in Buccaneer history to earn an invite from the Pro Bowl, and the first homegrown product to do so. Veteran guard Randall McDaniel was picked for his 11th consecutive Pro Bowl in 2000 in his first season with the Buccaneers after spending the majority of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. The Buccaneers drafted Joseph in the first round in 2006.