There is no game that has any less significance than the annual Pro Bowl. There is perhaps no individual honor that means more in a given season than a Pro Bowl nod, especially when selected to the original AFC or NFC roster.
For the Washington Redskins, nine wins and a possible NFC East Championship brought with it three Pro Bowl selections to the original roster and two more alternate selections. A possibility of 5 Redskins players could be in Honolulu, a week before the Super Bowl -- unless they are in New Orleans, preparing to play the biggest game of their lives.
Robert Griffin III, Lorenzo Alexander, and Trent Williams all earned Pro Bowl selections for the first time in their career. London Fletcher and Alfred Morris were selected as alternates.
For Griffin III, he joins Dan Marino as the only two rookie quarterbacks to be named to the original Pro Bowl rosters in year number one, according to Randall Liu of the NFL.
Alexander became the first Redskins player as a special teamer to make the Pro Bowl, since the red snapper - Ethan Albright in 2007. Alexander leads the NFL according to STATS, LLC with 19 special teams tackles, but the Redskins coaching staff has him credited with 29. Either way, you get the point. He's a stud.
Williams, who was suspended for the final four games last year, due to a violation of the NFL substance-abuse program was the team's # 4 overall pick in 2010 and the first selection of the Mike Shanahan era.
Only Ryan Kerrigan of the three first round picks the club has made in the Shanahan-Allen regime has not made a Pro Bowl yet, and he just set a career high for sacks with 8.5, and was simply dominant on Sunday in Philadelphia.
Griffin and Williams were chosen by management, but Alexander was retained. He was undrafted and bounced around before finding a home in Washington, and could have been discarded by a new staff that had no allegiance to him, except for one key guy who was retained in special teams coordinator, Danny Smith.
Instead, Alexander, became a part of the foundation poured down by Mike Shanahan when he arrived in Washington. Alexander was an unrestricted free agent in 2010, when the current regime inked him to a three year deal.
"I'm very humbled by everybody voting me in." Alexander thanked Smith, and several of his teammates for helping him get the nod, pointing out "obviously it's not a one man show."
For the "One Man Gang," he understands what it could mean moving forward. Alexander said via tele-conference on Wednesday night, "even more so than Pro Bowls, you want to be able to make it to the playoffs and go deep into the playoffs, and that's our main goal."
As mentioned, Alexander is a free agent once again this year, "hopefully that works out for me. Ultimately, I want to be here. I love this community, and the organization has always supported me."
Williams, is an athletic freak, who plays perhaps the most important position on the field (outside of quarterback) at the left tackle spot. He's the first Redskins offensive lineman to be selected since Chris Samuels was chosen in 2008.
Williams was voted a co-captain this year, despite his suspension to end the 2011 campaign which fortified his value. He is the kingpin to an offensive line group that has helped the Redskins lead the NFL in rushing for much of the year, as they are still number one at 162.3 yards per game and a group that has yielded 32 sacks in 15 games.
"Those guys make me better and likewise. This award that I'm receiving is a unit award, because I couldn't do it without them," Williams said via tele-conference on Wednesday night.
Griffin, was not available to comment via phone to reporters, but tweeted "Players, Coaches, Fans and most of all My Teammates, I could say so much more but will keep it simple & say Thank You."
Griffin becomes the sixth rookie quarterback in NFL history to be named to the Pro Bowl overall, but shares the distinction above with Dan Marino. He's also the first offensive rookie from the Redskins to be selected since Larry Brown in 1969.
The only snubs that you can really make a gripe about are Morris, who has only rushed for 1,413 yards and 10 touchdowns as opposed to San Francisco's Frank Gore who has a combined 1,359 yards and 8 touchdowns. Morris is an alternate selection and might get to play if Adrian Peterson bypasses the event.
Will Montgomery got a hard snub as Jeff Saturday of the Green Bay Packers made it over the Redskins rugged center. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Montgomery grades out as a + 21.0 overall on the year, including a + 2.8 in Philly on Sunday with a grade 2 MCL.
Saturday, who was benched recently, has a negative 5.0 cumulative grade on the season. He led the fan voting, which counts for 33.3% of the vote for the initial rosters. The other offensive center named? Seattle's Max Unger, who graded out just below Montgomery.
According to (@PFF), John Sullivan of the Vikings was an even bigger snub at a +28.0 to lead all centers. Of course, it helps to have Adrian Peterson as your running back.
As for right guard Chris Chester, he fell behind the three offensive guard selections for the NFC (Jahri Evans, Chris Snee, Mike Iupati) according to Pro Football Focus.
Just for the record, I have no issue with London Fletcher only being named an alternate. He clearly did not deserve to be in the same group as Patrick Willis and especially NaVorro Bowman.
Some have tried to make a case for Kai Forbath. Please people - he didn't even play in the first 5 games of the season. No offense, he's been terrific but you can't even make a reasonable argument.