Five Giants headed to Hawaii

Five Giants were named to the 2006 Pro Bowl, which is the highest number of players since the 1990 Super Bowl championship team sent seven players to Honolulu. The Giants' Pro Bowl players are running back Tiki Barber, tight end Jeremy Shockey, defensive ends Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora and special teams standout David Tyree.

Last season, Barber was the Giants' lone Pro Bowl representative. This is just the second time since 1993 that the Giants have more than two Pro Bowlers; they had three in 2001.

The most noticeable omission was receiver Plaxico Burress, who was one of New York's seven alternates.

The other alternates are middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, kicker Jay Feely and punt returner Chad Morton were first alternates, punter Jeff Feagles is a second alternate, quarterback Eli Manning, wide receiver Plaxico Burress and center Shaun O'Hara are third alternates and guard Chris Snee is a fourth alternate.

"I'm very happy for our players," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "The first statement I made was ‘team above self.' With team success comes individual recognition."

Barber, the first Giants running back with multiple Pro Bowl appearances since Rodney Hampton in 1992 and '93, is having an extraordinary season. His team-record 220-yard outing last week against Kansas City increased his season total to 1,577 yards, another franchise standard that he can add to in the season's final two games. It was his fifth consecutive 100-yard game, another record. Barber is second in the NFL in rushing yards. He also has 421 receiving yards, which gives him 1,998 yards from scrimmage, 258 yards more than runner-up Shaun Alexander of Seattle. Barber needs 99 yards to break the Giants' single-season record he set last year and he is on the verge of being the first player to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage in back-to-back seasons since the Chiefs' Priest Holmes in 2001 and '02. This year, Barber has twice been selected as NFC Offensive Player of the Week, including this week.

Shockey was selected for the third time in his four seasons. That's the most Pro Bowls ever for a Giants tight end. Mark Bavaro made it twice.

Shockey is second on the Giants with 63 receptions for 873 yards and a team- and career-high seven touchdown catches. He needs 10 receptions and 25 yards to set new career standards in those categories.

Strahan was voted to the Pro Bowl for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. Only Lawrence Taylor (10), Harry Carson (nine), Rosie Brown (nine) and Emlen Tunnell (eight) were selected to more Pro Bowls as Giants.

Strahan and Umenyiora are the first Giants from the same position group to be selected together since Taylor and Pepper Johnson in 1990. They are the first pair of Giants defensive linemen chosen in the same season since end Leonard Marshall and tackle Jim Burt in 1986. In addition, Strahan and Umenyiora are the first tandem of defensive ends from the same team to go to the Pro Bowl together since Jason Taylor and Trace Armstrong of the Miami Dolphins in 2000.

Umenyiora leads the NFC and is tied for second in the NFL with 12.5 sacks. Strahan is right behind him with 11.5. Their 24 combined sacks lead all NFL tandems. They are the first Giants duo with at least 10 sacks apiece since Strahan (15) and Char Bratzke (11) in 1998.

Tyree, a third-year pro, is the Giants' first special teams player chosen since Reyna Thompson in 1990. Despite missing three games with an elbow injury, Tyree is third on the team with 14 special teams tackles (11 solo). He was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking a punt against Philadelphia on Nov. 20. Tyree's specialty is downing Feagles' punts inside the five-yard line.

Tyree, who was drafted on the sixth round in 2003 because of his special teams prowess, also has five receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown.

The Giants Beat Top Stories