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  1. #1
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    Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    Posted on Thu, Nov. 23, 2006

    [size=13pt]Defensive stop[/size]

    Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press


    The Vikings' defense ranks seventh in the NFL.

    NFL fans apparently aren't impressed. No Vikings are candidates to start in the 2007 Pro Bowl, based on fans' voting, which continues through Dec. 12.

    Defensive tackle Kevin Williams is the Vikings' only starter whom fans rank in the top five at his position. That could leave Williams out of the game because only three interior linemen qualify, and he is fourth in votes, behind Tommie Harris of Chicago, Brian Young of New Orleans and Darwin Walker of Philadelphia.

    The Vikings believe Williams deserves a spot on the team. They think the same of cornerback Antoine Winfield and defensive tackle Pat Williams, but neither is in the top five in votes.

    Asked if he's disappointed, Winfield said: "Not at all. It's a popularity contest. I don't even look at that. I just play my game."

    But there is hope for Winfield, Williams and Williams.

    The Pro Bowl squad is determined by fans, players and coaches; voting from each group counts for one-third of the total. Players and coaches vote Dec. 14-15.

    The top vote getters at cornerback are, in order, Atlanta's DeAngelo Hall, Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber, Philadelphia's Lito Sheppard, Dallas' Terence Newman and Chicago's Charles Tillman.

    Ironically, the Vikings' struggling offense has two players in good shape to make the Pro Bowl roster. Guard Steve Hutchinson leads NFC guards with nearly 90,000 votes, and center Matt Birk is second to Olin Kreutz of the Bears. The top two centers make the team.

    At running back, Tiki Barber of the New York Giants, Atlanta's Warrick Dunn, Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook, Washington's Clinton Portis and St. Louis' Steven Jackson have the most votes.

    Portis struggled, but is lost for the season with a broken bone in his hand, and Chester Taylor of the Vikings has more rushing yards than Dunn, Westbrook and Jackson.

    Fullback signed: As expected, the Vikings signed rookie fullback Naufahu Tahi off the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad to replace veteran Tony Richardson, who was placed on injured reserve.

    Richardson is out with a fractured right forearm, and the Vikings will miss his leadership. But they were impressed with Tahi's versatility as a blocker, pass catcher and even ball carrier, traits that make him a good fit for the West Coast offense. Jeff Dugan did a solid job of replacing Richardson on Sunday in Miami. But Dugan was a tight end converted to fullback.

    Teams can sign players off another team's practice squad. In many cases, teams aren't even aware that a player has been plucked off their practice squad because interested teams often proceed covertly.

    Tahi and Vikings coach Brad Childress were not available for comment Wednesday. But Tahi was on the sideline at the afternoon practice and attended meetings.

    Injury update: Childress said starting right guard Artis Hicks is "struggling" with his ankle sprain and was not scheduled to practice Wednesday. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

    A magnetic resonance imaging exam showed that rookie cornerback Cedric Griffin's neck is fine, Childress said, but Griffin is still listed as questionable.

    As for right tackle Marcus Johnson, he dressed for practice and also is listed as questionable.

    Linebacker Napoleon Harris (wrist), receiver Marcus Robinson (low back), running back Taylor (neck), defensive tackle Pat Williams (knee), linebacker Dontarrious Thomas (hamstring), cornerback Antoine Winfield (concussion) and defensive end Jayme Mitchell (shoulder) are listed as probable.

    If Hicks cannot play, he likely would be replaced by veteran Jason Whittle. But the Vikings might consider going with Anthony Herrera, who has been inactive for every game except the opener.

    "He'll be a guy that's taking turns this week, and then at the end of the week I'll have to see who I have available to stay active," Childress said. "It's kind of like a checkers game there, but there'll be guys swinging in and out of both the guard and tackle position, providing that those other guys can't practice."

    Childress said Johnson would start if he's healthy.

    "I just want him to be able to play full-speed ahead," Childress said. "That's the biggest thing."

    Business first: During the conference call Wednesday, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr. was asked a question by his father, Larry Fitzgerald Sr., a columnist for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. While Fitzgerald Sr. didn't announce himself, his son recognized his voice on the third question.

    "Dad, you can ask me these questions at home," Fitzgerald Jr. said before answering the question.

    Briefly: The team assigned offensive lineman Jimmy Martin to the practice squad and released tight end Richard Angulo.

    • About 200 tickets remain for Sunday's game. They are available through Ticketmaster.

    Sean Jensen can be reached at [email protected] Check out his blog at www.vikingsnow.blogspot.com.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    Pro Bowl voting is a crock. If you look at the CBs who are leading in votes they're just the ones with the most recognizable names.

    I love Birk and Hutch, but with the way our line has played this year, they don't deserve the Pro Bowl, IMO.

  3. #3
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    "Ltrey33" wrote:
    Pro Bowl voting is a crock. If you look at the CBs who are leading in votes they're just the ones with the most recognizable names.

    I love Birk and Hutch, but with the way our line has played this year, they don't deserve the Pro Bowl, IMO.
    I agree about it being a crock, most poeple vote for well know known names instead of how the players are playing.
    If the names not recognized they don't usually get in.

  4. #4
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    Asked if he's disappointed, Winfield said: "Not at all. It's a popularity contest. I don't even look at that. I just play my game."
    he got that right. i think he deserves it.
    "God has blessed me tremendously. I'd be a fool to complain."
    "From what I understand, the coaches will put the best 11 on the field."
    -Tyrell Johnson

  5. #5
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    Ummm.. chester taylor anyone?


    Pro bowl is so stupid. The people voting vote for the names they've heard of on ESPN every day and if they don't know any of the names they go to the NFL.com stats page and vote for the guy with the most yards or interceptions. That's why people like Antoine and Ronde never get in. People only look at picks when these guys are leading their teams in tackles.

    All of this just to play in a game that doesn't matter and that no one cares about. Heck, the skills competition is more exciting.

  6. #6
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    "PurplePeopleEaters" wrote:
    Ummm.. chester taylor anyone?

    http://www.purplepride.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6169&dateline=1318052  159

  7. #7
    darkflood is offline Starter
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    Exactly. Jeremy Shockey has been voted in to every Pro-Bowl ever it seems, even when he missed most of the season due to injury or if he sucked(which has been almost evry year). Besides, I wonder if players care about the Pro-Bowl. A lot of them don't play even because of small injuries, hangnails and stuff
    WELL, I LL ASK HIM, BUT I DON T THINK HE WILL BE VERY KEEN. UH, HE S ALREADY GOT ONE, YOU SEE.

  8. #8
    Gift's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    "darkflood" wrote:
    Exactly. Jeremy Shockey has been voted in to every Pro-Bowl ever it seems, even when he missed most of the season due to injury or if he sucked(which has been almost evry year). Besides, I wonder if players care about the Pro-Bowl. A lot of them don't play even because of small injuries, hangnails and stuff
    I bet every single player cares & anyone who says they dont is lying.
    http://www.purplepride.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6169&dateline=1318052  159

  9. #9
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    The fan votes is allmost allways based more on names more than if people really played good that year.

    I believe it was last year when the fans voted for Kevin Maewe of the Jets at C even though he were on IR for most of the year.

    It's kind of the same with Birk. I love him, but lets face it, he hasn't played like a probowler this year. But noone votes for someone like fx Jeff Faine who played surprisingly well for the Saints at anchoring that line after they got him from the Browns this year.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vikings rank low with Pro Bowl voters

    The probowl has been a joke for a long time.
    Many contracts give incentives to players if they make it.
    The game and the selection process is such a joke that I don't even watch it unless I happen to go see the game live.
    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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