86 players have been selected - by fans, fellow players, and coaches - to partake in the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Team captains Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin will be selecting their teams on January 27th, 2016. The Saints, having what looks to be their worst season under coach Sean Payton's tutelage, were utterly snubbed.
You may recall, Drew Brees, Mark Ingram, Jimmy Graham, and Jahri Evans (did not participate) were selected to last year's game. This year, like the Saints, the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, and Chicago Bears were similarly rebuffed.
I'll get into the Saints here in a second, but allow me to highlight -
A few quick WTFs
No Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars?!
69 catches for 1,141 yards and 13 TDs... Granted, the Saints have some bright spots at WR though none capable of usurping the likes of WR selections Odell Beckham Jr. (91/1,396/13), Antonio Brown (116/1,586/9), Larry Fitzgerald (99/1,131/7), A. J. Green (77/1,206/8), DeAndre Hopkins (97/1,315/10), Julio Jones (118/1,544/7), and Brandon Marshall (93/1,261/11). Calvin Johnson (72/1,000/7) was also selected and I get that he's fast and tall etc., but sorry, he's not Pro Bowl material this year given Robinson's break out season.
Where is Mike Adams, S, Colts?
The veteran safety, despite missing 3 games, racked up 66 tackles, a sack, 5 picks, and 3 forced fumbles this season. Instead, the selections were Eric Berry (52 tackles, 2 interceptions), Kam Chancellor (74 tackles, 2 interceptions), and Charles Woodson (65 tackles, 5 interceptions). Granted, the success of a strong safety is not predicated on the number of interceptions they tally, but it's hard to argue against Adams' inclusion here, especially given his vote to the Pro Bowl just last season (in which he also had 5 picks).
What about Jurrell Casey, DE/DT/Wrecking ball, Titans?
Granted, this is an impressive list so Casey not being selected is less a snub than just lots of high quality competition at the position. Geno Atkins (10 sacks, 1 FF), Fletcher Cox (7.5 sacks, 3 FF), Aaron Donald (11 sacks), Gerald McCoy (7.5 sacks in 13 games), Kawann Short (9 sacks, 3 FF). I suppose I'd advocate for Casey displacing Calais Campbell, 2016 selection, who had 2.5 sacks to Casey's 7, but with defensive linemen, especially interior linemen, much of their production doesn't translate to statistics - How effective they are at flushing the QB out of the pocket, for example.
I didn't watch in depth (or any) tape on these linemen, so I digress.
Saints snubs IMO
Cam Jordan. Yes, he plays DE and yes, the competition at the position is stout. J.J. Watt (13.5 sacks, 1 FF), Muhammad Wilkerson (12 sacks, 2 FF), and Khalil Mack (15 sacks, 2 FF) are all certifiable beasts. Top that up with the ever emergent Ziggy Ansah (13.5 sacks, 4 FF), and Chandler Jones (12.5 sacks, 1 pick, 4 FF) and maybe I'm just being a Saints homer here. I don't know. Michael Bennett, the last (and least) of the group has a half sack (9.5) more than Jordan, but he doesn't have my heart and that's all that matters here!
Terron Armstead. I don't think I'm reaching here by suggesting that, arguably, the best player on the team is also one of the best tackles in the league. He has shown consistently his ability to stall pass rushers and to provide run support. It's a respectable tackle class including Jason Peters, Trent Williams, Tyron Smith and Joe Thomas, but Armstead is a respectable, classy lad and he deserves to play in Honolulu in 2016. We'll certainly be seeing him there in subsequent years. Terron Armstead - Leaving pass rushers sackless since 2013!
Drew Brees. What more can be said? The man is a machine. Playing through shoulder pains and what now is evidently a torn ligament in his foot (he intends to play out the season, btw), Brees has managed to keep being Brees. 68% completion, 28 TDs and 11 interceptions and a whole slew of weird new records. I won't even write the other QBs names here who were selected in his stead. Are they deserving? Sure they are. More than Brees? Astoundingly not!
Delvin Breaux! Boy, would it have been neat to see his name among those 86. I didn't really expect it given our grim secondary, but I'm very pleased with his play this season against some of the best in the game. Dude looks every bit as advertised and with such a cool story to boot. Helps too that he's a Louisiana native. Paired with a healthy fellow Louisianan in Keenan Lewis, Breaux will be heading to Honolulu himself in the coming years.
Incidentally, Brandon Browner is not allowed in Honolulu. For any reason.
What do you think, Saints fans? Did I forget anyone? Will you even watch the Pro Bowl? Do you even lift, Breauxs?