Five Chicago Bears have been named to the 2013 Pro Bowl and will be packing their bags for Hawaii for the week between the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl, unless that is, the Bears make an historic run to the Super Bowl and in turn would miss the game. Headlining the Bears’ selections are cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. Joining them are defensive linemen Julius Peppers and Henry Melton along with wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Jennings leads the league with eight interceptions despite missing two games with a bad shoulder. This will be his first selection. Joining Jennings will be second time selection Charles Peanut Tillman who has followed up his 2011 Pro Bowl campaign with another solid season. Tillman had his showcase game on the national stage when he shut down Calvin Johnson on Monday Night Football. Besides that showcase, he’s leading the league with 10 forced fumbles as his ball punch is sweeping the nation. Add to that three pick-6′s and you’ve got the makings of a Pro Bowl season.
Fellow defensive players Julius Peppers and Henry Melton join the party as representatives of the defensive line. Peppers was named to his fifth straight Pro Bowl and eighth overall along with DE’s Jared Allen and Justin Pierre-Paul. That’s some pretty good company for the Bears leading sack man, who’s got 11.5 through the first 16 games of the season.
For converted college running back turned defensive tackle Henry Melton, this will mark his first trip to the Pro Bowl and it couldn’t come at a better time. Melton’s contract is up and he’ll be in line for a big raise with a Pro Bowl added to his resume. He’s among the league leaders in sacks from the DT position. Needless to say, he’s excited to be going ‘Bowling.’
“It’s just an awesome feeling,” Melton said. “I was just talking to Pep (Peppers), and said, ‘Are we gonna be roommates (in Hawaii)? He said he didn’t want to be my roommate.”
First year Bear Brandon Marshall will be the lone offensive representative and will join Julio Jones, Victor Cruz and Calvin Johnson at the wide receiver position. Marshall has already set team records for receptions (113) and receiving yards (1446) on his way to the Pro Bowl. This will be Marshall’s fourth trip to the Pro Bowl.
Among the Bears not selected to the Pro Bowl is outside linebacker Lance Briggs, whose streak of consecutive Pro Bowls is snapped at seven. Briggs has been making the trip since 2004, but with the proliferation of 3-4 defenses the OLB spot has become dominated by guys who rush the passer for a living. The 2013 OLB Pro Bowlers are Aldon Smith, DeMarcus Ware and Clay Matthews. Despite another solid season by Briggs, it’s hard to argue he should have made it ahead of those guys.
What do you think? Did any Bears get snubbed? Should any others have made it? Is anyone going who doesn’t deserve it? Let’s see your comments.