2012 Pro Bowl Roster: 5 New Orleans Saints Who Got Snubbed
Tuesday evening the NFL announced its selections for the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl. Remarkably the 12-3 New Orleans Saints were only awarded five selections onto the team, whereas a fellow 12-3 team—the San Francisco 49ers—were awarded eight spots in the All-Star game.
By now it's little surprise that the Saints are under-appreciated by fans and the media. But the players and coaches' votes seemed to only hurt Saints players, and not help their cause.
The Saints got obvious selections in the form of Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans, and gained a surprising selection in the form of left tackle Jermon Bushrod.
And that was it. There are five players who were clearly deserving of spots who did not gain them, and here they are.
RB/KR Darren Sproles
As a running back alone, Sproles does not deserve a Pro Bowl selection. As a receiver, he still doesn't warrant a spot. But as a running back, receiver and kick returner there was seemingly no way Sproles could not earn a nod.
There should be a utility position just for a player like Sproles, whose value to the team is as great as any player in the entire league—aside from quarterbacks.
Sproles has over 2,000 total yards, eight offensive touchdowns and a bevy of exciting and clutch plays for this explosive New Orleans offense. It appears the Saints were hurt by their reputation as being able to place any player in any spot and gain success.
That is seemingly the only way Sproles could be snubbed as he was.
WR Marques Colston
Marques Colston remains the best player in football to never make a Pro Bowl. Just as Sproles was hurt by the team's reputation of plugging anybody in the lineup, Colston has been hit by this epidemic in all six seasons of his career.
Colston did miss multiple games with injury in 2011, but his production has been as good as any season in his entire career. In 13 games he has 73 receptions for 998 yards and six touchdowns.
Assuming he plays Sunday, he is almost a sure thing for another 1,000-yard season.
This snub is not unexpected, but certainly disappointing. Colston is the best receiver on the best offense in the NFL. Doesn't that count for something?
CB Jabari Greer
As all of America saw Monday night, Jabari Greer is the finest tackling cornerback in the NFL. And his cover skills, along with his ball skills, are as good as any player in football.
Of course, it goes unnoticed because the Saints rank 30th in the league in pass defense. What stats don't tell you is that most of those yards come when the Saints are well ahead and by nature going to give up a lot of yards through the air.
What voters missed is that the Saints are in the middle of the league in points allowed, and that Greer makes plays when plays have to be made.
Another expected snub, but just as is true of all of these, it was fully expected.
S Roman Harper
Roman Harper was pretty much a landslide winner in fan voting at the strong safety position in the NFC. With 92 tackles, 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles, he should have been.
How the coaches and players failed to make Harper a Pro Bowl selection is highly questionable, especially given his place in the game the past two seasons.
This one is more unexpected than the prior two snubs, and equally disappointing.
P Thomas Morstead
Thomas Morstead was the second-best punter in the NFC in just about every category—and he only trailed Andy Lee in said categories by minute percentages.
Add in Morstead's prowess as a kickoff artist, and a Pro Bowl selection seemed inevitable. Of course, the voters disagreed.
The writing was probably on the wall for a Morstead snub, but is still disappointing, given just how great a season Morstead has had.