Posts Tagged ‘Pro-Bowl’

The oft debated Pro Bowl - voting is open - ALREADY !

The oft debated Pro Bowl - voting is open - ALREADY !

With 11 weeks of the 2008 NFL Regular Season still to play for the NFL powers that be have decided that it is time for fans to start voting in the annual popularity contest, oopps, I mean Pro Bowl.

Maybe it’s just me but I think voting for people to be playing in Honolulu on February 8 2009 in late October 2008 is a bit premature.

Lets face it over half the players will be voted in on reputation alone, especially positions that garnish little fantasy football interest such as offensive and defensive linemen.

People going to vote are going to click on the likes of Jeff Saturday and Olin Kreutz because they recognise their names from previous Pro Bowls.

Who knows the Arizona Cardinals could have the best C in the NFL, but unless you live in the desert it is unlikey you can name him. Just for fun the Cardinals starting C is viewable on THIS LINK – did you honestly know who it was? Thought not.

Another reason I am cynical about opening the voting in Week 7 is that there is a helluva lot of football still to be played, and this means heroes (of week 1 through 6) becoming zeros and vice versa.

A few examples spring to mind following this rash of starting quarterbacks being hit by the injury bug. Lets first look at the Bengals. QB Carson Palmer is likely done for the year, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is now stepping in. Despite a 0-6 start the theory goes that Fitzpatrick could go 10-6 and lead Cincy to a playoff berth.

This would go un-noticed on the Pro Bowl radar as the likes of Peyton Manning will be a shoe in, with people likely voting for him already, despite a start that has been far from perfection.

Likewise the undefeated Tennessee Titans could throw up a horror show and end up 5-11, but the likes of DT Albert Haynesworth or even dare I say it Kerry Collins could be getting fitted for a hula skirt.

I have a few suggestions to make  Pro Bowl voting a bit more sensible and a bit fairer to teams, players and fans;

  • Before NFL fans are able to vote they should apply to the NFL via an online form. In that form they state the NFL team they support. Then when the online form is opened you CANNOT vote for players on the team you support.
  • Then when you have collated the results for the fans you weight it so that the results from all 32 teams are given equal billing. That way the fans of each team are not penalised for the amount of fans they have, the % who have computers, or the teams that have fair-weather fans (did anyone say Patriots fans post the arrival of Tom Brady?)

What do you think? Please vote below and also give an opinion…….

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389 tackles in three NFL seasons is quite a respectable output for a linebacker, averaging almost 130 tackles a season. Problem is it wasn’t enough for the New York Jets to keep Jonathan Vilmaon their roster, and in February this year he was traded to the Wembley bound New Orleans Saints.

The Saints starting linebackers from 2007 were hardly the same class as the great Saints ‘backers of the late 1980s (the Dome Patrol of Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, Ricky Jackson and Vaughan Johnson) with Mark Simoneau, Scott Fujita and Scott Shanle all performing to their best ability, but lets be frank, not at a Pro Bowl standard.

Vilma on the other hand is already a Pro-Bowl veteran, having made the game as an alternate in 2006, following on from his outstanding 2005 season, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The big debate as far as Vilma goes is that he was playing in the wrong defensive scheme as a New York Jet, in a 3-4 defense, but has found a true calling with the Saints as the star inside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme.

Vilma’s 2007 season was a write-off after just 7 games, with  a bone defect. This means the Saints were taking somewhat of a gamble by picking up his tab.

I will be really looking forward to seeing Jonathan Vilma roam the hallowed Wembley turf for the NFL International game against the San Diego Chargers on October 26.

Vilma is no Ray Lewis, and he is certainly not the same type of defender as the Chargers 2006 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Shawne ‘Lights Out’ Merriman, as he is disciplined as a tackler, and does not spend his time trying to crush quarterbacks.

He has the opportunity with the Saints to become an instant fan favourite, and get around 110 to 120 tackles and maybe even three or four turnovers.

Lets hope Vilma’s road to recovery from his disappointing 2007 campaign runs through London, and over 80,000 fans get to see Vilma wrapping up the likes of LaDanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates in the Red Zone of a most likely soggy Wembley Stadium.

I think Vilma will make a solid comeback and help propel the Saints to a wild-card and a record of 10-6.

How far the Saints can go if they make the playoff party is anyones guess after the Giants shocked the NFL world to lift the Lombardi Trophy in 2008 (via Wembley of course !!!) .

Will Vilma be a stud or a bust – give me your views…………