Five Baltimore Ravens were voted to the Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday evening. LB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed, FB Le'Ron McClain, DT Haloti Ngata and RB Ray Rice were selected to play in the NFL's All-Star game, which will be held on Jan. 31, 2010, in Miami's Dolphin Stadium.
Tabbed as a starter for the AFC squad, Lewis was named to the 11th Pro Bowl of his 14-year career. He has recorded a team-high 152 tackles through 15 games this season, adding three sacks, six passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for the Ravens' No. 3-ranked defense.
"This is always an honor," Lewis stated. "I don't take it for granted. To be recognized by your peers, the coaches and the fans is a privilege."
Reed, who was also selected as a starter for the AFC, was named to the sixth Pro Bowl of his eight-year career. Though he has missed the Ravens' past four games with a groin injury, Reed has totaled 51 tackles (47 solo), three forced fumbles and three interceptions for 111 yards this season, including a 52-yard touchdown return.
McClain was named to the second Pro Bowl of his three-year career as the AFC's starting fullback. This season, he has helped pave the way for the Ravens' seventh-ranked rushing attack that is averaging 130.7 yards per game and has produced 19 touchdowns on the ground.
Selected to his first-ever Pro Bowl, Ngata has been a staple on the defensive line by producing 40 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for Baltimore's sixth-ranked run defense (96.1 yards per game). With Ngata's help, the Ravens also rank first in average yards allowed per rush (3.5).
"I've been working so hard to be one of the best ever since I entered the NFL," Ngata said. "This is unbelievably gratifying and a great honor. As a player in college, you just want to get to the league. If you're fortunate enough to make it to this level, everyone then dreams of going to the Pro Bowl.
"Without the other D-lineman on our team, I wouldn't be able to do the things I do," Ngata added. "I'm thankful for guys like Kelly Gregg, who has taught me so much about technique and been a great role model. Trevor Pryce, Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards have helped me grow, and they push me every day. Coach [Clarence] Brooks is somebody who makes me better and constantly demands the best out of me. None of this is possible without any of these guys, so that's why this is a group award."
In just his second season, Rice earns his first Pro Bowl nod after tallying 1,952 total yards from scrimmage (second in the NFL) through 15 games. He currently leads the Ravens with 1,269 rushing yards and 74 receptions (for 683 yards). His 1,269 rushing yards stand sixth in the NFL, while he has also produced at least 100 total net yards from scrimmage in 12 of 15 games.
"This is such an honor," Rice stated. "Even though I'm going as an individual, I consider this a team award. I want to thank all my teammates and coaches who have made this possible. Growing up, I dreamed of playing in the NFL, but making the Pro Bowl is surreal. I've always played the game in hopes of earning other people's respect, and knowing that the fans, coaches and players voted for me is humbling. I promise to represent the Ravens organization and City of Baltimore by continuing to do nothing but my best."
Alternate Note: One Raven who did not make the Pro Bowl but was selected as a first alternate wasG Ben Grubbs. Grubbs would receive an invitation if a player in front of him cannot attend due to injury.