No Bengals are heading to the Pro Bowl
By JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — The AFC North champions don’t understand how they can be shut out of the Pro Bowl.
None of the Cincinnati Bengals was voted into the honorary game,
leaving them a little taken aback after the list was announced Tuesday
night. They were the only AFC division champion that failed to have a
player picked — Indianapolis got six, San Diego five and New England
It’s the second straight year that
the Bengals don’t have a Pro Bowl player. The only other AFC team not
represented this season is 3-12 Kansas City.
Bengals players were surprised they all were overlooked.
“I don’t even know what to think about it,” said running back Cedric
Benson, who was a second alternate. “That was a bit surprising. There’s
been a lot of great plays made, a lot of guys have played consistent
for us to be where we are, winning our division.
“So I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it. I know sometimes it
tends to be the known names in the league get in that thing. That’s all
right. We still have a chance to get to the Super Bowl.”
The NFL has made some significant changes in the Pro Bowl this season.
Instead of holding it after the Super Bowl, it will be played during
the week between the conference championships and the title game.
Nobody involved in the Super Bowl will participate in the Pro Bowl.
“Pro Bowl? Who cares?” said receiver Chad Ochocinco, who has played in
five of them. “I have a chance — we have a chance — at the Lombardi
Trophy. In my eyes, we are all Pro Bowlers. In our fans’ eyes, we’ve
done what we needed to do this year.
know who the Pro Bowlers are on this team, whether we made it or not. I
like the fact we have something else to play for besides that. I’ve
done the Pro Bowl over and over and over, year after year after year,
with nothing else to look forward to.”
Bengals figured someone from their defense would get chosen. Cincinnati
has given up the fifth-fewest points in the league and ranks fourth in
yards allowed. Cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall are tied for
second in the AFC with six interceptions apiece, making them the
leading Pro Bowl candidates on the team.
“It’s kind of weird that no one made it from our team, being one of the
top defenses,” defensive tackle Domata Peko said. “Like I told you guys
before — I think it was week one or even the preseason — everyone was
doubting us then. Still to this day with the whole Pro Bowl thing,
people are doubting us.”
Quarterback Carson Palmer figured that Joseph or Hall would get their first Pro Bowl selections.
“Very disappointed,” Palmer said. “I’m not surprised. I thought one of
our corners would make it — at least somebody on defense. As good as
our defense is, I can’t believe somebody on defense didn’t make it.”
None of the Bengals offensive players leads the AFC in a statistical
category. Palmer is eighth in passer rating; Benson is fifth in yards
rushing after missing two games; Ochocinco is 11th in catches and yards.
Coach Marvin Lewis found it appropriate that no individual Bengal was honored.
“I guess all year we’ve been talking about this football TEAM, and our
guys realize that,” Lewis said. “We’ve won a lot of games being a
football TEAM. It’s an individual honor, so they just let it go.”
Received 12/30/09 04:59 pm ET