PRO BOWL Six 49ers selected; Steelers get 3 and Browns shut out



Jerry Rice of the Raiders was selected for the 13th time.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Pro Bowl voters recognized the accomplishments of the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.
They ignored the Tennessee Titans.
Seven Eagles players were on the on the NFC squad announced Wednesday and the 49ers had six. The AFC East-leading Dolphins also had a half-dozen but the Titans, tied at 9-5 atop the AFC with Miami, Oakland and Indianapolis, were shut out.
"It helps us that we're 11-3," said Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent, one of three members of the Philadelphia secondary to make the team. "The team success gives you momentum."
Not for Tennessee, which has a good shot at gaining home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if it wins its last two games. But that might be just the motivation the Titans need, particularly the snub of quarterback Steve McNair, who has led them to eight victories in nine games.
McNair was the first alternate for the Feb. 2 game in Honolulu, beaten out by Oakland's Rich Gannon, Indianapolis' Peyton Manning and Buffalo's Drew Bledsoe.
"That's our Superman and our Pro Bowler right there," safety Lance Schulters said of McNair. "We're going to go out and prove that we have the best corps of guys period."
Six Dolphins
Five of the six Dolphins chosen were defensive players. The sixth was Ricky Williams, traded to Miami from New Orleans in the offseason to make room for Deuce McAllister. McAllister made the NFC squad.
"It says something good for our defense," said defensive end Jason Taylor, one of Miami's Pro Bowl selections. "We're not done yet. We're still on our way. We are doing some good things that are being recognized.
The 49ers had four offensive players -- quarterback Jeff Garcia, wide receiver Terrell Owens and offensive linemen Jeremy Newberry and Ron Stone. Defensive tackle Bryant Young and linebacker Julian Peterson also made the NFC squad.
In addition to Tennessee, three other teams were without Pro Bowl selections -- Detroit, Cleveland and Arizona. The Browns are 7-7, the Cardinals 5-9 and the Lions 3-11.
The selections cover two generations.
Oakland wide receiver Jerry Rice was chosen for the 13th time at age 40, the first time he's made it since 1999, when he played with the 49ers. Raiders safety Rod Woodson, 37, was chosen for the 11th time. San Diego linebacker Junior Seau was selected for the 12th straight season.
One rookie
At the other end of the spectrum were 22-year-old Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick and 22-year-old Jeremy Shockey, the New York Giants' tight end and the only rookie chosen. Shockey is the first rookie tight end selected since Philadelphia's Keith Jackson in 1988.
As usual, reputation played a major role. So did seniority and perhaps behavior.
One of those bypassed was rookie defensive end Julius Peppers of Carolina, who was suspended for four games for using a banned substance. He was second in the league with 12 sacks.
But the three NFC defensive ends are all established stars having good seasons -- Simeon Rice of Tampa Bay, Michael Strahan of the Giants and Hugh Douglas of the Eagles. By missing the Pro Bowl, Peppers missed out on a $1 million bonus.
The St. Louis Rams, 6-8 after being preseason favorite in the NFC, landed offensive tackle Orlando Pace and running back Marshall Faulk on the squad. Pace will miss his sixth game to injury this week and Faulk will miss his sixth straight start.
Yet Faulk was chosen ahead of the Giants' Tiki Barber, who is third in the NFC in rushing and leads in combined rushing and passing yardage. Barber was the first alternate at running back.
Colts' combination
Manning's favorite target, record-setting Marvin Harrison, also made the AFC team. Harrison already has set a single-season NFL mark with 127 catches.
Harrison didn't want to talk about his selection, so Manning spoke for him.
"I'm not really going to talk about me," Manning said. "But I will talk about Marvin because he's had a great season and I'm campaigning for him."
One of the Eagles not chosen was quarterback Donovan McNabb, who broke his right ankle Nov. 17 and probably will not return until the playoffs. The three NFC quarterbacks were Vick, Garcia and Green Bay's Brett Favre, who was selected for the seventh time.
The two Texans chosen were both veterans, defensive tackle Gary Walker and cornerback Aaron Glenn. Both were among the high-salaried players chosen in the expansion draft.

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