Chicago Bears Land 5 in Pro Bowl: Immediate Reaction

Bob WarjaSenior Writer IDecember 26, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 25:  Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears awaits the snap against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 28-10.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Five Chicago Bears players got the nod as Pro Bowl representatives on Wednesday, which is a pretty good number for a team that may not even make the playoffs. However, it is telling that only one of those players was from the offensive side of the football.

Brandon Marshall, the lone representative on offense, joins Julius Peppers, Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Henry Melton in the Pro Bowl, as announced by the NFL.

To me, the obvious disappointment is the exclusion of Lance Briggs, who has actually played very well this season and was more deserving than Peppers. He had made the team every year since 2004.

Peppers failed to register a full sack in eight of the 15 games he has played in. He accumulated more than 25 percent of his total sacks last week against a very bad Arizona offense.

No other player was even close to deserving, and the inclusion of both starting cornerbacks represents a strong kudos to defensive backs coach John Hoke, who has done a wonderful job with the unit.

For Jennings, it is quite a comeback after being in Lovie Smith's doghouse last season. Jennings had always played decently in coverage, but he just didn't get takeaways. This year, with the help of Hoke, he is going to the football and making plays.

Melton's selection was a minor surprise, but he is deserving. He is the first player since Tommie Harris in 2006 and 2007 to effectively play the vital three-technique in the Bears defense.

A former running back in college, Melton was moved to defensive end and then finally to his present position at defensive tackle with the Bears. His 13 sacks are the second-most at his position in the NFL over the past two seasons.

Meanwhile, Marshall has been the only consistent performer on offense for the Bears this season. Despite a QB who ranks 22nd in the league in passer rating, Marshall is second in the league in receptions (113) and yards (1,446).

It is the fourth Pro Bowl for the veteran receiver.