Five Seahawks headed to Pro Bowl

After sending no players to the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2010, the Seahawks will be sending five players — at least — to Hawaii for the second consecuitve year following this season.

Center Max Unger and left tackle Russell Okung were both named starters on the NFC squad Wednesday, while safety Earl Thomas and running back Marshawn Lynch were named to the team as backups. Leon Washington also got a Pro Bowl nod as a kick returner.

Of course the Seahawks, like every other playoff bound team, hope to have nobody play in the Pro Bowl now that it is contested a week before the Super Bowl, making players on the NFC and AFC championship teams ineligible for the game. But if the Seahawks don’t end up in New Orleans, they could end up with one of their best Pro Bowl showings in team history.

In addition to the five players named to the NFC team, the Seahawks also had eight players named Pro Bowl alternates. Cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive end Chris Clemons and fullback Michael Robinson were named first alternates; safety Kam Chancellor, punter Jon Ryan and special teamer Heath Farwell were named second alternates; quarterback Russell Wilson was named a third alternate and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was named a fourth alternate.

Last season, only Thomas was initially named to the Pro Bowl roster, but four more players — Chancellor, Robinson, Lynch and Brandon Browner — ended up in Hawaii because of injuries to others and players headed to the Super Bowl.

“It’s a big turnaround for us from a couple of years ago when we couldn’t get anybody there,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said prior to the announcement of the teams when asked who on his team might be Pro Bowl worthy.

Okung and Unger making the Pro Bowl team as starters is one indicator of just how far Seattle’s offense has come since early in the season, when it was one of the least productive in the league. The improved play of Wilson has received a lot of attention, and rightly so, but the play up front also has been a big reason why Seattle’s offense is now up to No. 8 in the NFL in scoring.

“Any time you’re having success as a team, that’s when those individual honors come,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “But it’s great for those guys — for Russell and Max. There’s a lot of hard work that goes on up there and energy that they expend each and every week. Those guys aren’t ever awarded and a lot of people don’t even know their names most of the time, or the work that they do. They really deserve it; they’ve worked hard.”

Yet, as good of sign as it is for Seattle’s offense to have at least three Pro Bowl players, it is equally puzzling that a defense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL in points allowed and No. 4 in yards allowed had just one player named — as a backup.

No snub is more notable than that of Sherman, who is tied for first in the league in passes defensed, second in interceptions and is considered by many to be the top shutdown corner in the league with Darrelle Revis out with a knee injury. Despite sterling credentials, Sherman was not deemed one of the top three corners in the NFC by Pro Bowl voters, and his inclusion as an alternate shows he was eligible for selection because the league has not yet ruled on the appeal of his suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances.

It is, of course, possible that voters decided to penalize Sherman for that failed drug test despite not knowing the outcome of the appeal. Before the Pro Bowl teams were announced, Sherman was asked if he would be upset about missing the Pro Bowl should he lose his appeal.

“I don’t worry about that,” he said. ‘It don’t mean nothing. I bet you I’ll be on first-team All Pro. That means a lot more to me.”

The All Pro team, which is decided by media vote, does not automatically exclude a player for a suspension, though individual voters could certainly make that decision on their own.

After the Pro Bowl selections were announced, Sherman took to Twitter with a bit of sarcasm, writing, “Don’t be Mad 12s I obviously didn’t play well enough to make it. All good”

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Sports

A gang of Lake Stevens Vikings take down the ball carrier during the 4A semifinal against Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Versatile defense plays key role in Lake Stevens’ run to title game

The Vikings’ flexible defense has slowed down a variety of offenses en route to another 4A state championship game trip.

Top row (left-right): Kamiak’s Bella Hasan, Monroe’s Adria Lincoln, Jackson’s Sylas Williams. Middle row (left-right): Stanwood’s Vivienne Berrett, Shorecrest’s Parker Baumann. Bottom row (left-right): Arlington’s Jenna Villa, Mountlake Terrace’s Zaveon Jones. (Herald photos)
Top returning prep basketball players in Snohomish County

A look at some of the area’s premier hoopsters as the season gets underway.

CORRECTS THAT PERRY WAS 84, NOT 88 AS ORIGINALLY SENT - FILE - Seattle Mariners pitcher Gaylord Perry throws in his 300th Major League victory, a 7-3 win over the New York Yankees in Seattle, May 6, 1982. Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young winner Gaylord Perry, a master of the spitball, died Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at his home in Gaffney, S.C. He was 84. (AP Photo/Barry Sweet, File)
Ex-Mariner Gaylord Perry, 2-time Cy Young winner, dies at 84

Perry, who pitched for eight major-league teams from 1962 until 1983, was a five-time All-Star who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) running with the ball during an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Seattle, WA. The Raiders defeated the Seahawks 40-34. (AP Photo/Ben VanHouten)
Seahawks’ Walker struggling to find yards after strong start

Since exploding with 6.1 yards per carry through Week 7, Walker has averaged just 2.9 in the past four games.

Prep roundup for Thursday, Dec. 1

Prep roundup for Thursday, Dec. 1: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Western Washington's Dayana Diaz (left), a Granite Falls High School graduate, dribbled the ball during a game against Simon Fraser on Oct. 8, 2022, in Burnaby, B.C. (Photo provided by WWU)
Community roundup: Locals help WWU soccer team reach Final 4

Plus, the Silvertips sign a prospect forward, the Professional Bull Riding tour announces a return to Everett and more.

United States' Yunus Musah, right, Aaron Long, center, and United States' goalkeeper Sean Johnson celebrate after defeating Iran in the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Pulisic goal advances U.S. in World Cup with win over Iran

The Americans needed a victory to reach the round of 16 after draws with Wales and England.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll yells from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Commentary: Who are the real Seahawks? We’re about to find out

After two straight losses Seattle will soon have to right the ship or its feel-good start will end up in a sob story.

X
Prep roundup for Wednesday, Nov. 30

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Nov. 30: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Most Read