McNair lands first career Pro Bowl spot

Friday, December 19, 2003

NEW YORK -- Steve McNair made his first Pro Bowl on Thursday, joining three teammates a year after the Tennessee Titans were shunned entirely but ended up in the AFC title game.

McNair, in his ninth NFL season, has thrown 22 touchdown passes and just six interceptions for the Titans (10-4).

Kansas City and Baltimore each had eight players selected for the Feb. 8 all-star game in Honolulu. Fans, coaches and players voted, with each group counted equally.

The Baltimore contingent was led by linebacker Ray Lewis and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, both multiple Pro Bowl selections. The Chiefs chosen included running back Priest Holmes and tight end Tony Gonzalez.

In addition to McNair, the Titans also had linebacker Keith Bulluck, wide receiver Derrick Mason and punter Craig Hentrich.

This season's version of last year's Titans were the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, each with two. The Patriots (12-2) are tied with Kansas City for the AFC's best record, and the Eagles (11-3) are tied with St. Louis atop the NFC.

The Patriots picked were defensive lineman Richard Seymour and cornerback Ty Law, while the Eagles were quarterback Donovan McNabb and cornerback Troy Vincent.

"To have the best team in the NFC, and to only have two players picked -- we were slighted," said McNabb, who was voted to the team for the first time, although he's been to the Pro Bowl three other times as an injury replacement.

Among those shut out in the voting was LaDainian Tomlinson of San Diego, who leads the NFL with 2,011 combined yards.. He is fourth in rushing, and was beaten out by the top three: Jamal Lewis of Baltimore, Clinton Portis of Denver and Holmes.

There were the usual strange selections, such as guard Larry Allen of the Cowboys.

Allen has been hurt much of the year and has been in and out of the lineup. Offensive line positions in the game often are permanent -- once a player makes it, he makes it forever, and this will be Allen's eighth Pro Bowl.

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