Thread: Vikes Probowlers!!
12-22-2005, 02:50 PM #41
Re: Vikes Probowlers!!
From the Grand Forks Herald;
Posted on Thu, Dec. 22, 2005
[size=18px]NFL: Joy and ache
Despite great season, Pro Bowl snubs Williams[/size]
By Sean Jensen
Knight Ridder Newspapers
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Just before lunch Wednesday, the Minnesota Vikings congratulated kick returner Koren Robinson and free safety Darren Sharper for being selected to the 2006 Pro Bowl squad.
But the players had to wait until after their 3:30 practice to gripe about teammates who were overlooked. Nose tackle Pat Williams topped that list.
"That's what I'm upset about," said cornerback Antoine Winfield, who teammates also felt was deserving. "(Pat Williams) has played some good football, and he's an anchor on our defensive front. I don't know how he didn't get in."
Said defensive end Lance Johnstone, "The Pro Bowl has become a joke. It's hard to take away from some guys who are playing well. But for Pat not to make it is just ridiculous."
Williams wasn't interested in debating the decision.
"I ain't got nothing to say," he said. "I ain't worried about it."
For the first time since 1985, the Vikings didn't have an offensive player chosen for the all-star event. Minnesota had at least two offensive Pro Bowl players every season since 1986, largely because of guard Randall McDaniel, who was selected a team-record 11 times.
This season, the only offensive player to merit consideration was left tackle Bryant McKinnie. But he was not picked.
Last year, center Matt Birk, quarterback Daunte Culpepper and defensive tackle Kevin Williams represented the Vikings. Birk and Culpepper are on injured reserve this season. Williams has missed two games with a knee injury, and he has not been nearly as productive as his first two NFL seasons.
Sharper downplayed his selection, the third of his career. But Robinson was excited, reflecting on a whirlwind year in which he was released by the Seattle Seahawks after a DUI charge, checked into a 30-day substance abuse rehabilitation facility and signed with the Vikings in early September.
"I just feel good, to have that type of year that I've had," said Robinson, who averages an NFC-leading 26.6 yards per kick return. "It's overwhelming, once you really start thinking about it, when you didn't even know if you could get to play football. I might have burnt all my bridges."
Now he's building new ones.
Robinson was named by his teammates as the Ed Block Courage award winner last month. He will be a coveted free agent in the offseason. After signing him to a two-year deal on Sept. 12, the Vikings released him to protect themselves from having to pay his entire salary for the 2005 season in the event things didn't work out. With interest from multiple teams, including the Green Bay Packers, Robinson ended up signing a one-year deal that gave the Vikings the option to match any deal from another club this offseason.
"I haven't been able to sit down and reflect on everything that I've been through and what it really means," Robinson said.
Sharper, tied for second in the NFL with eight interceptions, couldn't fathom why Williams wasn't selected.
"You start thinking 'Is this right, is everyone going that's supposed to go?' " Sharper said. "He has had the most, even more than me, he has had a Pro Bowl year."
Agent Angelo Wright said other players conspired against Williams.
"I know for a fact that the Bears were upset about Pat's comments about (center) Olin Kreutz," Wright said. "So, Kreutz and the players called around and were in cahoots to make sure Pat didn't get votes."
Wright pointed out that Williams was third in fan votes, and he said coaches would have given him the benefit of the doubt.
"There's a code," Wright said. "There's certain things you don't say about someone else."
Williams certainly had an argument. Rod Coleman's numbers are hard to ignore (34 tackles, 9.5 sacks and four forced fumbles). But Williams led defensive tackles with 58 tackles, and he has played at a consistently high level all season. Detroit's Shaun Rogers, meanwhile, missed two games, and he had 30 tackles and 5.5 sacks, while Chicago's Tommie Harris had only 28 tackles and three sacks.
"I'm not going to say they're not deserving," Wright said. "But none of them has played at Pat's consistent level all season.
"He was third in fan voting. You can't tell me the coaches didn't have him in the top three, so it had to be the players."
Winfield took the news in stride.
"I'm not worried about that," he said. "I'm going against some good competition. Those guys that went had some good seasons. Hopefully one of these years I'll get in."
"If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"
12-22-2005, 07:19 PM #42Jersey Retired
- Join Date
- Jan 1970
Re: Vikes Probowlers!!
I read that some Vikings officials say one reason Pat Williams was not voted to the Pro Bowl is that the Vikings defensive nose tackle came over from the AFC this year, and the NFC players who vote for their Pro Bowl team didn't know Williams until this season.Kentucky Vikes Fan
When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.
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