Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Several Redskins Hopeful As Pro Bowl Rosters Set To Be Revealed Tuesday Night
The 2012 Pro Bowl rosters will be announced Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a special selection show on the NFL Network, and how many – if any – Washington Redskins players are elected is uncertain.
Washington did not have a single player leading in voting at any position when the results of fan balloting were released last week. That’s not particularly surprising, given the team’s 5-10 record entering Sunday’s finale at Philadelphia.
But the fan voting only accounts for one third of the overall process – players and coaches make up the other two-thirds – ensuring the voting is not entirely a popularity contest. The Redskins players cast their votes on Thursday.
Three players – cornerback DeAngelo Hall and linebackers London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo – were elected to the annual all-star game last year. Hall was named the game’s most valuable player; he was the only player to be selected outright to the team, with the other two making it as alternates. At least two Redskins have made the NFC team every year since the 2005 game.
If players aren’t named to the teams off the results of original balloting, they can be added as alternates either as the result of injury or a lack of interest in participating. Because the game will be held the week before the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season, players on the teams playing in the Super Bowl are not permitted to play, allowing for additional alternates to be selected.
Among the candidates to make the team when rosters are initially released include:
- Inside linebacker London Fletcher: The 36-year-old veteran is leading the NFL with 163 tackles – the most he’s had in a single season since the league officially began tracking the statistic in 2001. He also has two sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. Fletcher made the Pro Bowl after the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
- Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo: The third-year player already has 56 tackles, which ties the career high he set last year. His number of sacks are down – he has seven after finishing with 8.5 a year ago and 11 as a rookie – but he is playing much better in coverage, having deflected five passes. Orakpo made the Pro Bowl after the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
- Cornerback DeAngelo Hall: Though he’s had an up-and-down season, Hall has 87 tackles, good for second on the team, and three interceptions. He’s also defended 15 passes and forced a fumble while playing the most snaps of any Redskins defensive back. Hall played in the Pro Bowl after the 2005, 2006 and 2010 seasons.
- Tight end Fred Davis: A four-game suspension to end the season dampened what was a breakout season for the fourth-year player. At the time of Davis’ suspension, which came for failing multiple drug tests, he led the team with 59 catches for 796 yards and also had three touchdowns. It would be Davis’ first Pro Bowl selection.
Other Redskins who may be selected to play in the game include rookie outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (61 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one interception, four forced fumbles), receiver Jabar Gaffney (64 catches, 919 yards, five touchdowns) and nose tackle Barry Cofield (23 tackles, 2.5 sacks and eight passes defended).