ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 17: Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes in the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 17, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The NFL Pro Bowl returns to Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium on January 31, 2016 after a one-year break where it was held in Arizona last season. And while there is little science to the selection process, the honor is one that most NFL players covet and shoot for. The announcement will come down on Tuesday and below are four Buccaneers that could be selected to this year’s Pro Bowl in order of their chances based on what PewterReport.com thinks.
1. RB Doug Martin
Bucs running back Doug Martin’s rebound from the previous two seasons is rather remarkable. After being injured in 2013 and 2014, and missing 15 games over those two seasons, Martin has started every game for Tampa Bay in 2015 and has been been spectacular, racking up 1,305 yards and five touchdowns. Martin is just nine yards behind the league leading Adrian Peterson who has 20 more carries than Martin. The former first rounder also leads the NFL with runs of 20 or more yards (13) and is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Martin should hear his name called on Tuesday despite not placing very high in the fan voting.
2. DT Gerald McCoy
Many Bucs fans have voiced their disappointment in Gerald McCoy’s play over the last half of the season, but nationally his reputation is still very good. Despite a slower second half of the season (3.0 sacks since the bye week, 7.5 total) McCoy could still be selected based on his past as much as performance. Injuries have taken a toll on the 2010 first rounder this season, but once a player finally cracks the Pro Bowl one time, his odds increase that he gets selected again. There are a lot of good players in the league at McCoy’s three-trchinique position, and the Rams Aaron Donald and the Bengals Geno Atkins are virtually locks. In addition to those two players having better numbers, the Panthers Kwann Short is part of a undefeated Panthers team and has nine sacks to rank third in the NFL in sacks from the defensive tackle position.
3. LB Lavonte David
Star linebacker Lavonte David’s season has been the virtual opposite of McCoy’s, as the former Cornhusker’s year started slowly but has been building since the bye week. David is fourth in the NFL in tackles with 126, just 10 behind the league leaders NaVorro Bowman and D’Qwell Jackson’s who both have 136. David has also notched two sacks this season to go along with three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. Unfortunately for David, in the Bucs only nationally-televised game, last Thursday’s loss to the Rams, the Bucs defensive captain didn’t have a big impact on the game, and didn’t have any splash plays that might have swayed some voters.
4. G Logan Mankins
Unfortunately for offensive linemen, there are no stats lines to impress voters, and getting recognized on a team that doesn’t get the press clippings of playoffs teams, is difficult. Of course Mankins does have name recognition as a former Patriot who protected Tom Brady for years in New England. Will it be enough to hear his name called? Mostly likely not, and while Mankins may not even be the best lineman on the roster, he is probably the most valuable one, with his leadership and work ethic that have shown both rookies Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith what it takes to be an NFL professional. The Bucs have cut their sacks totals from last year by more than half, and a lot of that credit should go to Mankins.
Super longshots: WR Mike Evans, QB Jameis Winston
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
I suspect only Martin represents the Pewter Pirates.
On another note, I looked up how much dead cap money the Bucs have next year and it is under 1 mill.
I’m wondering how good the Panthers Josh Norman would look in pewter.
I wish I gave a crap about the Pro Bowl. I guess I liked it more when it was AFC v NFC and was played after the SB. It’s been a sham for so long, it seems no one cares. Including the NFL. Looking forward to our last 2 games and the draft. Go Bucs!
I nominate Stocker for pro bowl best blocking TE in league, Martin doesn’t get those yds without Stocker, behind every 1,000 yd rusher there is an outstanding blocking TE, hilarious
Well except for Seattle, Minn, St Louis, Oakland, Atlanta etc lol
Damn Jon, I almost shot Mt. Dew out my nose laughing while reading that. Your persistence is so respectable.
CG- Hearing fans stick up for Stocker a TE who has 50 yds receiving and less than 100 yds in two yrs and two measly TD’s in fours yrs keeps me up at night, I demand better results from our players, I will not settle for mediocrity, its a losers mentality
Hey I love your fire Jon, now if only most of our team had that same drive, we’d be in great shape!
Mankins Pro bowl? Maybe 5 yrs ago yes, he has gotten beat several times this yr and had some bad penalties, I think Marpet had a better yr all around at guard
Martin; that’s it.
Your right jongruden. I remember how well Dougie did last year with bad blocking and a bad OC.
What was it, 500 yards.
Jongruden, you strike me as the type of person who plays golf at Pebble Beach and pays his employees minimum wage so you can afford to play there.
A real Georgie Patton you are.
Mccoy and Martin. Seems right. Hopefully David gets in as alternate, but he struggled 1st half of year.
Props to PR and Mark Cook! They nailed it! Good to see some Bucs represented, even David and Mankins as Alternates. It’s gives the up and comers something to shoot for. Carolina has 10. We will have more one day I’m sure. Congrats fellas, have some pineapple on me!!
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