Pro Bowl thoughts

With the Dolphins sitting at 3-11, it didn't figure they would have a lot of players selected to the Pro Bowl this year. The final result was one, that being Jason Taylor. Should the Dolphins have had more? Less? We break down the team's Pro Bowl results.

In addition to Taylor's selection, the Dolphins also saw cornerback Patrick Surtain and tight end Randy McMichael chosen as first alternates; Brendon Ayanbadejo selected as a second alternate; and Zach Thomas picked as a third alternate.

Let's start with Taylor. Yes, his sack numbers are down from last year, and he even admitted on Wednesday being surprised he got picked.

But he shouldn't. Taylor gets double-teamed more often than not, and he turned in a Pro Bowl-worthy performance this season.

He is joined by the Jets' John Abraham and Indy's Dwight Freeney at defensive end, and it's difficult to argue with any of those choices.

Freeney is one-dimensional, but he does have 15 sacks. Other worthy candidates at DE could have included the Pats' Willie McGinest and Pittsburgh's Aaron Smith.

McMichael also had a Pro Bowl type of season, but it wasn't as good as what was accomplished by either Tony Gonzalez of Kansas City or Antonio Gates of San Diego. So there's no gripe here.

Same for cornerback, where Surtain was beaten out by Champ Bailey, Tory James and Chris McAlister. The truth is Surtain didn't have a Surtain type of season and may, in fact, have been outplayed by Sam Madison this year.

Moving on to Ayanbadejo, those who have watched the Dolphins play all year shouldn't be surprised at him getting this kind of recognition. The guy was terrific on special teams all year, and the play he made against New England Monday night (running down returner Kevin Faulk after only a 14-yard kickoff return) was typical of the way he played all season.

Because he had no reputation coming into this season, it was almost impossible for Ayanbadejo to make the Pro Bowl yet, but he's now on the map for next year.

Finally, there's Zach. The hamstring injury that has sidelined him the past month because killed his chances. Pittsburgh's James Farrior and the Ravens' Ray Lewis were the two choices at inside linebacker, and it's difficult to argue with either.

Looking elsewhere on the Dolphins roster, the only other player who had even a remote chance of being considered was punter Matt Turk, who quietly has had a very good season. He's among the AFC leaders in net average and punts downed inside the 20-yard line, but his gross average wasn't up to par.

But, let's face it, we knew the Dolphins weren't going to get much in terms of Pro Bowl representation given their record.

It's actually a good thing they didn't simply get shut out.


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