5 Titans Players Who Should Get Pro Bowl Consideration
Pro Bowl voting has started. The Titans may have had an underwhelming season, but a few players still did a great job and deserve some Pro Bowl consideration.
Chris Johnson is the usual standby Pro Bowler for the Titans, but he may not even get to 1000 yards this season (whether you want to call that elite or not), so he isn't going this season.
So what other players from the Titans deserve Pro Bowl consideration? Here are five that I think should at least be in the running.
1. Marc Mariani
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Mariani had a phenomenal rookie year in 2010. He was one of five rookies to make the Pro Bowl, and he was the only rookie that wasn't drafted in the first round to do so.
This year, he's been a little quieter (thanks to the new kickoff rule, which seems determined to make kickoffs as boring as possible) but still great.
He's already returned more punts for more yards than he did last season, averaging only slightly less (11.2 yards per return) than he did last season (12.2) and scoring one touchdown.
His kick returns are not as good as last year, but no one's are with the new kickoff line. For the season, Mariani has averaged 23.5 yards per return, just shy of his 25 yard average in 2010. Considering the ball is being kicked five yards closer, that means he's been better.
He made the Pro Bowl last year, and he ought to make it this year too.
2. Michael Roos
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It's unfortunate for Roos that two of the absolute best left tackles in the league, Jake Long and Joe Thomas, are in the AFC and on teams that are never going to be in the Super Bowl, so they always end up in the Pro Bowl.
I would argue that, this year, he's done better than Jake Long, but I'm obviously biased. Still, Roos is a top five left tackle, without a doubt, and he deserves at least consideration as a backup.
He's made the Pro Bowl before (in 2008) and he's been just as good this season. He beats pretty much every defensive lineman he matches up against and buys a ton of time for Hasselbeck in the pocket.
The Titans have had some offensive line troubles this season, but none of those troubles come from the tackle position.
3. Ahmard Hall
No one gets really excited about which fullback goes to the Pro Bowl, but it's still an important position.
Ahmard Hall has been a quietly great fullback for his whole career. When Chris Johnson rushed for 2000 yards, Hall's downfield blocking was a major part of what opened up big holes for Johnson.
Hall continues to block very well, and this season he has run and caught the ball a lot more often than he usually does because of the injury to Kenny Britt and the ineffectiveness of Johnson.
Mostly, he's an excellent blocker and a team player who puts 100 percent in every time. Also, I will use any excuse I can to use that picture.
4. Michael Griffin
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Griffin has always been a top level free safety, and despite a few big mistakes, he's continued the trend this season.
He's been a critical safety valve for the Titans this season to help stop big plays. So far he's racked up 62 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception along with six broken up passes.
His one forced fumble was the one against Buffalo that helped turn the tide of the game and keep the Titans ahead, so one of the Titans' wins was primarily because of his actions.
The only free safety that I am 100 percent certain is better than Griffin (in the AFC) is Ed Reed, and Griffin has nearly 20 more tackles for the season than Reed, so there's that. Griffin is a baller.
5. Cortland Finnegan
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Finnegan has had a phenomenal season. He has 68 tackles, a sack, an interception and 10 defended passes. He also had three or four near misses that were inches away from being interceptions.
That's more broken up passes, by the way, than Nnamdi Asomugha and as many as Asante Samuel. He has more tackles than the two of them combined. If those aren't Pro Bowl numbers, I don't know what are.
A lot of people are turned off by Finnegan's aggressive style of play, but my coach always said "Football is a violent sport played by violent men," so I'm not going to fault him for being a football player.
And for the record, Finnegan wasn't the one who lost his cool and started throwing punches in last year's Texans game; that was Andre Johnson.