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Avoiding The Pro Bowl

The players probably like the special recognition in being selected to the Pro Bowl, plus the extra money it likely adds to their next contract (or current contract depending on bonuses), but it just seems like an extra opportunity to get hurt. Favre hasn't actually played in a Pro Bowl since 1996 although he has been selected four times since then, so he apparently doesn't think too much of it either. I can't remember the last time I watched a Pro Bowl, and I don't really care if any Packers are selected.

Still it is surprising that LB A.J. Hawk has received the 4th most votes among defensive players. Some writers think it's a joke that Hawk was selected ahead of LB Nick Barnett. Although his 2007 stats are not as good as 2006 in many ways he has improved this season. He's better in pass coverage (still not great), he's always around the ball, and seems to hold his position very well on running plays. He has no sacks, but until the last two games, he's rarely blitzed all season. Barnett has played better this season, but as far as the Pro Bowl goes the NFL was probably not going out of their way to get him ahead of Hawk with Barnett's criminal case still pending. Hawk's probably the fifth best player on defense, behind DE Aaron Kampman, DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Barnett, and CB Charles Woodson, but the gap in talent and performance between Barnett and Hawk isn't that much.

If there is a joke on the roster, then it's CB Al Harris getting so many votes. He's playing his heart out, but he's gotten burned a whole bunch this season. Also, the exclusion of the Packers best defensive player, Kampman, is really odd.