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Focus on: The Pro Bowl
Just call this Pro Bowl Friday.
The Pro Bowl selections won’t be announced until later in the day, but the fans have spoken and they like the Seahawks.
Four Seahawks were the leading vote-getters at their positions, three others ranked second and Russell Wilson was third among the quarterbacks in fan balloting, which ended Thursday at NFL.com with the results announced Friday morning.
Marshawn Lynch led all Seahawks with 931,563 votes, which was second to the Kansas City Chiefs Jamaal Charles (959,707) among the running backs and fourth overall behind Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (1,432,257), New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (1,206,000) and Charles.
Wilson, meanwhile, generated 864,686 votes, which put him third among the QBs and sixth overall. Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (928,790) was between Lynch and Wilson in the fan balloting.
The fan balloting counts one-third in selecting the Pro Bowl players, with the other two-thirds coming from the votes of coaches and players around the league. The Seahawks’ players and coaches cast their votes Monday.
The 86 Pro Bowl players will be announced during a special on the NFL Network that starts at 6 p.m. PT on Friday. This is the first year NFC and AFC teams will not be selected. Instead, the players will be assigned to teams through a Pro Bowl Draft, which will air on the NFL Network on Jan. 22 at 5 p.m. PT.
Six Seahawks represented the Seahawks on the NFC Pro Bowl team last season – Lynch, Unger, Wilson, Thomas, left tackle Russell Okung and since-released kick returner Leon Washington.
Sherman was selected All-Pro last season, but not voted to the Pro Bowl. That should change this year, when Sherman leads the league in interceptions with eight.
The largest Pro Bowl contingents in franchise history coincided with the teams that posted the best records. The 2005 team that went 13-3 during its run to the Super Bowl had seven Pro Bowl players – running back Shaun Alexander, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, left guard Steve Hutchinson, left tackle Walter Jones, fullback Mack Strong, middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu and center Robbie Tobeck. The 1984 team that went 12-4 also had seven – cornerback Dave Brown, strong safety Kenny Easley, kicker Norm Johnson, quarterback Dave Krieg, wide receiver Steve Largent, nose tackle Joe Nash and special-teamer Fredd Young.
The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 26, the Sunday before the Super Bowl, in Honolulu. So while the Seahawks would love to be voted to the Pro Bowl, they’re hoping to have to decline because they’ll be in New Jersey preparing to play in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of guys here who are deserving,” Unger said this week, adding defensive linemen Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant to the list. “It’s crazy to me that Mebane and Red haven’t been voted into a Pro Bowl. Just dealing with them in practice, they’re incredibly difficult to block.
“Obviously we can’t vote for our own (teammates), but I’d give them the biggest endorsement.”