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Six Ravens Named To Pro Bowl

Posted Dec 26, 2012

RS Jacoby Jones, FB Vonta Leach, S Ed Reed and OG Marshal Yanda are Pro Bowl starters.


The Ravens are once again among the NFL’s leaders in Pro Bowlers.

Baltimore will send six, and up to seven, Pro Bowlers to Hawaii this season. That is, if they aren’t playing in the Super Bowl XLVII a week later.

The Ravens have four starters: wide receiver/return specialist Jacoby Jones, fullback Vonta Leach, safety Ed Reed and guard Marshal Yanda.

They have two other Pro Bowlers who aren’t starters: defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and running back Ray Rice. Safety Bernard Pollard is a first alternate.

The Ravens’ six Pro Bowlers are the third most in the AFC. Houston leads with eight and New England has seven. The San Francisco 49ers lead the NFL with nine Pro Bowlers. Here’s the full list.

“I think most of us look at it like it’s a team thing,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “Vicariously, we all take pride in that. When a guy makes it on offense, all the guys on offense feel like they were a part of that. It’s a big deal.”

For the first time since 2005, inside linebacker Ray Lewis will not be on the Pro Bowl team. The 13-time Pro Bowler will have sat out the final 10 games of the season after suffering a triceps injury in Week 6. A hamstring injury limited him to six games in 2005.

Suggs went from being the Defensive Player of the Year last season to not making Pro Bowl roster this year. He missed the first six games of the season with an Achilles tendon tear and has logged 22 tackles and two sacks in eight games since returning.

Suggs and Lewis’ absence speaks to the achievement of Reed, who now takes over the team lead with his seventh-straight Pro Bowl appearance.

“You look at a guy like Ed Reed, who has made it all these years in a row,” Harbaugh said. “It almost becomes expected, but then what an accomplishment that really is if he were to make it.”

Jones, a first-time Pro Bowler in his sixth season, signed with the Ravens last offseason after being cut by the Houston Texans, and has given the team an injection of big plays. He has three return touchdowns this season and leads the NFL in kickoff return average.

“I had a chance to come here, and it’s been a breath of fresh air,” Jones said. “As soon as I walked through the door, they told me to be myself and that they’d give me an opportunity. They told me to make plays when they call my number, and that’s what I’ve tried to do – make plays when they call my number.”

Jones also gave credit to his blockers. He said he’s taking running back Anthony Allen to Hawaii with him.

“My guys have done a great job blocking; I give all praise to them,” Jones said. “This means a lot. It says you are in the elite of the elite, which is tough to do, and that takes a lot of consistency and hard work.”

Starters

KR/PR Jacoby Jones
1st Pro Bowl

Jones has three special teams touchdowns this year, including two on kickoff returns (versus Dallas and Oakland), and one on a punt return (in Pittsburgh). He leads the NFL in average yards per kickoff return (32.1), and has been on the brink of breaking a couple more. Jones tied the NFL record with his 108-yard return for a score against Dallas. His 63-yard touchdown against the Steelers was the only touchdown the Ravens scored on the night in a 13-10 win.

FB Vonta Leach
3rd Pro Bowl
Leach has been crushing opposing defenders again this season, including a memorable block in which he put Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton on his back. He’s helped pave the way for Baltimore’s ground game, and has been more of a weapon as a receiver this season than in years past. Leach has 20 catches for 141 yards (second most of his career) and he scored his first touchdown since 2008 this season. While Leach had a tough time getting on the field early in the season with Baltimore’s hurry-up offense, he found his way back on with his physical play.

S Ed Reed
9th Pro Bowl
In his 11th season, Reed has four interceptions and has already tied his career-high with 16 pass deflections. With 58 tackles, he’s two short of the most he’s registered since 2004 when he had 76.  He’s taken some heat for a lack of desire to lay big hits, but Reed has still been around the ball a lot this season. He also scored his seventh-career touchdown.

OG Marshal Yanda
2nd Pro Bowl

Yanda is going to his second straight all-star game, showing the league views him as the best in the AFC at his right guard position. Yanda has not allowed a sack all season and is a gritty run blocker. He missed one game with an ankle injury, but was back on the field last week against the Giants. The sixth-year player has been Baltimore’s most consistent lineman all season.

Non-Starters

DT Haloti Ngata
4th Pro Bowl

Despite playing with shoulder and knee injuries that kept him out of one game and have hobbled him for much of the year, Ngata has already tied his total number of sacks from last year with five. He’s got 51 tackles and one pass deflection. The physical specimen has turned it up in recent games as he’s gotten healthier, including a sack against Giants quarterback Eli Manning Sunday.

RB Ray Rice
3rd Pro Bowl

Rice finished with the tenth most fan votes of any player. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth straight season, setting a new franchise record. Rice’s 1,138 rushing yards are the sixth most in the AFC, but his 478 receiving yards are the most of any running back in the league. Rice is currently sixth in the NFL in total yards (1,616). Rice reached the double digits in touchdowns for a second straight year with 10 so far.

First Alternate

S Bernard Pollard
1st Pro Bowl

If any of the top three AFC safeties cannot go to the Pro Bowl for any reason (ex: injury, Super Bowl), Pollard would step in. Pollard has 98 tackles this season despite playing through a rib injury for much of the year. He’s got two sacks, one interception and six pass deflections. The hard-hitter and big talker has been one of the team’s most consistent defenders. His ribs forced him out of action for the past two games, however.

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