Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing isn't happy about being snubbed from the 2012 Pro Bowl roster, and he hasn't been shy about voicing those thoughts.
Cushing said as much on Wednesday to the Houston Chronicle.
'I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t,' Cushing said. 'I play this game to be the best, and I’m never going to hide that. Obviously, (the voters) don’t think I’m good enough yet, and I’ll continue to (improve). As far as motivation and a driving force, this is going to be a big one.'
Wade Phillips, Cushing's defensive coordinator, also came to his aid in the snub argument.
'They don’t see how many plays [Cushing] makes that are unseen, unless you put the camera on it, slow it down and go in slow motion,' Phillips said. 'I know a lot of people are deserving, but that guy’s a holy phenom now. He’s one of the best I’ve coached, and I’ve been at it a long time.'
Now, do Cushing and Phillips have a point?
There's a pretty strong argument that they do.
I won't make the argument that Derrick Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs isn't deserving of a Pro Bowl nod, but Ray Lewis shouldn't have been included. That's not because Lewis didn't have a good season, either, because he did.
However, Lewis has missed four games this season. I don't think that a player that missed a quarter of the season should be voted in over a guy that has played at an elite level for (soon-to-be) 16 games.
It's obvious that Lewis was picked on name recognition, which is something we've come to expect from the Pro Bowl process. Whether or not Cushing has a solid argument, that's just the cold, hard truth. The Pro Bowl voting is flawed and everyone knows it.
If he's lucky, he'll get picked next season. The Pro Bowl typically rewards players the year after they deserve it. However, that trend and the flaws in the system do not mean he shouldn't have gone this year.
Phillips and Cushing were right about their assessment of a Pro Bowl snub.