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Five Seahawks Selected to 2013 Pro Bowl
Renton, Wash. - Seattle Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger were named starting tackle and starting center, respectively, for the NFC squad in the 2013 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced today. In addition to Okung and Unger, running back Marshawn Lynch and safety Earl Thomas were both voted into the Pro Bowl as back-ups and Leon Washington was selected as the NFC’s kick returner.
Okung and Unger become the first Seahawks offensive linemen to be voted to the Pro Bowl since tackle Walter Jones after the 2008 season, and the first time two Seahawks teammates were voted starters since Jones and linebacker Julian Peterson in 2008.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” said Okung of being selected. “It’s a blessing I don’t really feel deserving of but two guys from our offensive line (selected to the Pro Bowl) and a lot of guys from our team - it doesn’t even feel real.”
Okung has started all 14 games played this season and has helped block for Marshawn Lynch who ranks 2nd in the NFL in rushing with a career-high 1,490 yards.
Seattle’s first of two first-round picks (6th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft, Okung has started all 36 games played in his career.
Unger has started all 15 games this season and leads an offensive line that has allowed rookie QB Russell Wilson to throw for nearly 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns, one shy of Peyton Manning’s rookie record, with a passer rating of 98.0. He has also helped elevate Seattle’s rushing attack to second in the NFL with 2,426 yards in 2012.
“I think it’s a testament to the development of our offensive line,” said Unger. “I think there are five deserving candidates on our offensive line that should have been able to go. Fortunately, Russell and I were selected and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Unger was drafted with the 17th selection in the second round (49th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft and has started all 47 games played in his career.
Lynch is second in the NFL in rushing with a career-high 1,490 yards and 11 touchdowns, and a career-high nine games over 100 yards rushing.
Thomas returns to the Pro Bowl after being voted a starter in 2011. He is fifth on the team with 58 tackles (38 solo), tied for second on the team with three interceptions and is second on the team with nine passes defensed. He recorded his first interception return for a touchdown at Buffalo (12/16) on a 57-yard return.
“It’s a great accomplishment that I couldn’t have done without my teammates,” said Thomas of being selected to his second straight Pro Bowl. “It’s not just about me; it’s about the other guys that are out there with me.”
Washington ranks 2nd in the NFL (1st NFC) with a 30.1 kickoff return average and is tied with Josh Cribbs for most career kickoff return touchdowns in NFL history with eight.
The Seahawks also have eight total alternates to the NFL’s annual all-star game. Defensive end Chris Clemons, fullback Michael Robinson and cornerback Richard Sherman are first alternates, safety Kam Chancellor, special teamer Heath Farwell and punter Jon Ryan are second alternates, quarterback Russell Wilson is a third alternate and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane is a fourth alternate. The player would be named to the team if a selected member of the NFC squad cannot participate.