Pewter Report Intern
The Pro Bowl roster will be announced Wednesday evening live on NFL Network and the Buccaneers have a handful of players who arguably have done enough to earn a grass skirt and the coveted postseason honor. In this Pewter Report article, Haley Cornish provides a list of Bucs that could hear their name called on Wednesday night.
With the 2013 Pro Bowl team announcement coming tonight, the Buccaneers have a few players who could potentially make the team. The Bucs have the opportunity to send many more players to Hawaii this year than they have over the last few seasons. Players that could make the Pro Bowl this year include S Ronde Barber, WR Vincent Jackson, RB Doug Martin, DT Gerald McCoy, DE Michael Bennett, and OT Donald Penn.CB Ronde Barber
Barber, who has four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and one forced fumble, has a great chance to make the roster in his 16th season. What’s most impressive about Barber is not only the fact that he is playing the best at his position at the age of 37, but that this is his first year playing free safety. Barber has the best chance on the Bucs roster to make the Pro Bowl for the sixth time in his illustrious career. However, only one free safety from the NFC will make the roster, which will make it a bit more difficult for Barber to get in.WR Vincent Jackson
Jackson was probably the best free agent signing in the offseason and will probably get a Pro Bowl appearance to show for it. The main issue with whether or not Jackson will make the roster is the amount of talented receivers in the NFC this year. The Lion’s Calvin Johnson and the Bear’s Brandon Marshalls are shoe-ins, but there are two more available spots for the rest of the conference. The final two spots will probably be between Vincent Jackson, Falcons Roddy White and Julio Jones, the Saint’s Marques Colston, and the Cowboy’s Dez Bryant. Colston is a long shot, and I don’t see both Roddy White and Julio Jones making the roster. So it will likely come down to Vincent Jackson against Dez Bryant for the final spot. Although, Jones and White could lose votes to each other, allowing both Jackson and Bryant to get in.
RB Doug Martin
Martin would have most likely been a sure Pro Bowler if the voting had occurred a few weeks back. He still has a good shot, but his numbers have been much more mundane the last couple weeks which could cost him. Viking’s Adrian Peterson will be on the roster, and Seahawk’s Marshawn Lynch has a great chance as well. But there is a third spot available for one more running back. Martin will need to beat out veteran 49er Frank Gore and fellow rookie, Redskin Alfred Morris for the final spot. Although Morris has more rushing yards than Martin (but less receiving yards), experts should ask themselves if he would’ve had the same success without rookie sensation Robert Griffin III. The answer to that is probably not, which is why I think Martin has the edge over Morris. Gore has fewer yards and touchdowns than Martin, and hasn’t done anything impressive since week seven. Martin definitely should make the roster, but is someone who could be snubbed tonight.DT Gerald McCoy
McCoy also has a decent chance to make the Pro Bowl for the first time in his short career. McCoy, who has five sacks and one forced fumble, won’t be making the roster because of his stat line. As many Bucs’ fans know, McCoy has done much more beyond the stat sheet. He has been a rock in the run game, and has managed to beat double teams and get pressure on the opposing quarterback. McCoy has pressured quarterbacks into making poor decisions that lead to either incompletions or interceptions. Although McCoy did not lead in fan voting (probably because fans usually look purely at stats when voting) he has been on a lot of the experts ballots as the third choice in the NFC for defensive tackle, behind 49er’s Justin Smith and Bear’s Henry Melton. It will likely come down between fellow 2010 first-round pick Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy for the third DT spot. Both have a similar stat line, but Suh could lose votes for his misconduct on and off the field. DE Michael Bennett
DE Michael Bennett has an outside shot at making the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. But with tough competition like the Falcon’s John Abraham, Giant’s Jason Pierre-Paul, Viking’s Jared Allen, and Panther’s Charles Johnson it will be very difficult. John Abraham is likely going to be on the roster, so that leaves two spots open. Bennett does have an advantage over Pierre-Paul, Allen, and Johnson in terms of forced fumbles (3). But all three have more sacks than Bennett. Also, the fact that Bennett has been virtually non-existent in a few games this will surely count against him.OT Donald Penn
Penn could come as a surprise to many Bucs fans as a guy who could sneak into the Pro Bowl. Penn has been on several expert rosters, including two on NFL.com. Penn had a great start to the season, blocking well for both Freeman and in the run game. However, when guard Carl Nicks went on injured reserved, he has seemed to drop off a little bit. He hasn’t been blocking very well for Freeman, and has missed several blocks causing Martin to get hit immediately in the backfield. However, experts might attribute that to the fact the entire offensive line has changed. In fact, Penn is the only lineman who has stayed in his position all season.
The Buccaneers have the opportunity to send more players to the Pro Bowl in 2013 than they have in years. The fact that a potential 6-10 team could have six Pro Bowl players is very impressive. The final 2013 Pro Bowl roster will be announced tonight at 7:00 P.M. eastern time. For the Buccaneer players who don’t make the roster, they could be alternates and will end up playing if other players at their position get injured, make the Super Bowl, or choose not to participate.
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