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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Will Bucs be shut out of Pro Bowl? Stay tuned



The NFL will announce its Pro Bowl rosters this afternoon at 6 on the NFL Network, and it remains to be seen whether any Bucs will make the cut.

Outside of left tackle Donald Penn, who is widely respected in NFL circles, it's hard to envision any other Bucs making it. The other player who seemed to have a very legitimate shot at Hawaii was cornerback Aqib Talib, but his season ended due to injury several weeks before player and coach voting was conducted.

This is not to say there aren't Bucs players worthy of the honor. It is, however, a realistic projection of what will happen. Pro Bowl selections tend to be well-known players who have earned their keep in this league, and given the average age of the Buccaneers roster, they don't have many players who meet that unofficial, if ridiculous, standard.

And when it comes to fan voting, which is a third of the voting block, the process is largely a popularity contest. That's why you'll probably still see some Cowboys on there despite their unsuccessful season. The Bucs, 9-6 or not, have little star power on their roster because their preeminent players (Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, Gerald McCoy) are so darn young.

No matter what happens, don't take it personally as a Bucs fan. But do delight in this possibility: While they might not make it this year, the Bucs have some up-and-coming players who should be Pro Bowlers for years to come.

And that means more to the future of this franchise than anything that comes out of today's Pro Bowl announcement.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 1:36pm]


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