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A Number of Steelers Should Find Their Way to the Pro Bowl

Tuesday night in a show on NFL Network, the league will disclose who has been selected to make the Pro Bowl for both the AFC and the NFC. The Steleers, winners of 11 games and with a win Sunday the #2 seed in the conference and the AFC North Champs, should have a number of players on that roster.

Here’s a look at the players that deserve to be at least in strong consideration for the AFC Pro Bowl this season.

Troy Polamalu, Safety – The heart and soul of the defense, Polamalu has been a huge difference maker, and the Steelers may not be in position to be the #2 seed if it were not for his game-saving play on Joe Flacco against the Ravens a few weeks back. He has 62 tackles, six interceptions and one sack. When he’s healthy, the Steelers D is as good as any in the league. A shoe-in for sure to make the team.

James Harrison, Linebacker – Like him or not, Harrison is another difference maker, and when he’s playing at a high level (which is just about every week), he’s another Steeler defender that is tough to stop. He has 94 tackles, 11 sacks and two interceptions this season, and come the postseason his play will go a long way in determining how far the Steelers go. Will be interesting based on the fines the league has handed him if his peers vote him in.

Mike Wallace, Wide Receiver – The 2nd year wide out has officially taken over as the teams #1 receiver, and his big play ability has been a huge spark to the Steelers offense. He has 53 receptions for 1,152 yards and nine touchdowns, and this season he and Ben Roethlisberger have hooked up for five touchdowns of 40+ yards. He might get overlooked by the players, but trust me, his time to play in this game will come at the latest next season.

Rashard Mendenhall, Running Back – While everyone says the Steelers can’t run and the O-line is crap, all Mendy has done is run for 1,237 yards and 11 touchdowns, and his big games in weeks one and three vs the Falcons and Bucs helped the team while Roethlisberger was suspended. He had a huge game in the OT win over the Bills, and a 99-yard game in the near win over the Jets, a team many don’t have success running against. Another big piece to the playoff puzzle, Mendy deserves a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Maurkice Pouncey, Center – And to think that some in Steeler Nation didn’t like this pick with the 18th overall choice in April’s draft. All Pouncey has done in the past 9 months was push undersized center Justin Hartwig out the door, play every game as the teams starting center without missing much time, and help the team rank 10th in rushing with 121.6 yards per game and a 4.1 yards per carry average. In the mold of Mike Webster and Dirt Dawson, Pouncey is going to be the rock at center for this team for a long time to come barring injury.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. DrGeorge

    December 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Matt, you are a true Steelers fan, but your list is optimistic. Polamalu will be overlooked because of his absences due to injury, even though he is physically the best when healthy. Pouncey will be under-appreciated because he is a rookie, even though he is already one of the best at his position. Harrison and Wallace are locks to make it, or should be, because of their physical skills and high profile.

    However, Mendenhall is not Pro Bowl quality. He is a good back, but not a great one. His numbers are inflated because he is overused; it’s easy to get 1000 yds a season if you are given most of the carries. That’s only 63 yards a game!

    Look at the Pro Bowl this way: if you had your pick of every player at a given position across the NFL, who would you take? Pouncey, Polamalu, Harrison and Wallace compare favorably with anyone at their positions. They are in the top five at what they do. But Mendenhall does not make my list of the top five RBs in football. He doesn’t even make the top ten. Logically, you could make a stronger case for LaMarr Woodley or Heath Miller or even Big Ben. If I were building a team from scratch, I would take all of them ahead of Mendenhall.

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