Ravens Notebook

The AFC Pro Bowl squad took on a purple and black hue Tuesday night as seven Baltimore Ravens made the team in the final balloting.

And six were named as starters for the first-place AFC North franchise, including: running back Ray Rice, fullback Vonta Leach, middle linebacker Ray Lewis, free safety Ed Reed, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

A first-time selection, offensive guard Marshal Yanda was named to the Pro Bowl as a backup. The Ravens matched previous franchise highs of seven Pro Bowl selections in 2006 and 2003. Seeded second currently in the AFC playoff standings and in first place atop the AFC North heading into their regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens (11-4) are hoping they'll be preparing for the Super Bowl instead of playing in the Pro Bowl in Honolulu on Jan. 29.

"To be clear, I have no intentions of playing in the Pro Bowl," said Suggs, who leads the Ravens with 13 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time. "I plan on being in practice with my teammates that week, getting ready for the Super Bowl."

If the Ravens fall short of that goal, Rice and Leach will represent them in the backfield together at Aloha Stadium.

Rice made the Pro Bowl for the second time, leading the NFL with 1,869 yards from scrimmage. He ranks third in the AFC with 1,173 rushing yards and is tied for the conference lead with 10 touchdown runs.

Known for his versatility, Rice also ranks second among all running backs with 74 catches for 696 yards. If he gains four more receiving yards against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Rice will become the second player in NFL history to have at least 1,000 rushing yards and 700 receiving yards. Marshall Faulk did so four times. "This is a great honor, and I really want to thank my offensive line and coaches for helping me to become the player I am," Rice said. "I will celebrate after the season. We have unfinished business to take care of over the next few weeks." A bullish lead blocker, Leach made the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Ravens after signing with them during training camp.

"This means a lot to me, especially with it being my first year on a new team," said Leach, who also rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries and caught 12 passes for 51 yards. "With changing teams, the lockout and trying to learn a new playbook, I am so proud and happy to be going with my backfield mate. This is a great thing and something to celebrate, but that will have to wait until after the season. Right now we are getting ready for Cincinnati and a strong playoff run." The Ravens' third-ranked defense is accustomed to having a lot of representatives in the Pro Bowl. A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, this marks Lewis' 13th appearance.

Even though he missed four games with a right turf toe injury, Lewis leads the Ravens with 88 tackles to go with two sacks, one interception, six pass deflections and two forced fumbles. Although he dipped to three interceptions this season, Reed made the Pro Bowl for the eighth time. He also has 48 tackles, one sack, eight pass deflections and one forced fumble.

"It is definitely an honor and blessing," said Reed, whose 57 career interceptions leads all active players . "To come back after an injury last year and to be voted by my peers and fans is special. I am very appreciative of this honor, but right now there are bigger goals in mind. With the Bengals coming up this week and a push to the playoffs, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but this is definitely something I am proud of and am thankful for."

Offensive guard Ben Grubbs was named a first alternate to the Pro Bowl, and special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo was named a second alternate with quarterback Joe Flacco and strong safety Bernard Pollard both named third alternates and offensive tackle Michael Oher named a fourth alternate.

The Ravens' most notable Pro Bowl snub was cornerback Lardarius Webb, who had a stellar season with a career-high five interceptions. He didn't garner alternate status.

Meanwhile, Suggs tied a single-season franchise record with six forced fumbles. He has recorded 64 tackles and two interceptions. "I felt like a kid when I got the call," Suggs said. "I was excited and honored."

Signed to a five-year, $61 million contract that included $40 million in guaranteed money Ngata made the Pro Bowl for the third time in six seasons. Ngata generated 61 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He scored a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams on a 28-yard fumble return.

"It is a privilege and honor to be considered one of the best at your position among your peers, coaches and fans," Ngata said. "Hopefully, though, I won't be able to play in the Pro Bowl, because I want to be playing in Indy." Signed to a five-year, $32 million contract prior to the season, Yanda rewarded that investment with another strong season as he returned to his natural guard spot after playing tackle in the past. The gritty former Iowa standout hasn't been penalized once.

"I am ecstatic, that is really the only thing I can say," Yanda said. "This is such a great honor, something that I never really expected. When I made it to the NFL, I was so happy to be on a team and playing in the league. Now, to be a part of a Pro Bowl team is something very special. You don't get there alone. You have to be on a good team and playing well as a unit."



D.J. Jones promoted to active roster

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens have promoted rookie offensive tackle D.J. Jones to the active roster from the practice squad. He takes over the roster spot that was previously occupied by wide receiver and kick returner David Reed, who was placed on injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The Ravens also signed former Colorado wide receiver Patrick Williams to the practice squad. Jones, 23, is a 6-foot-5, 315-pounder from Nebraska who was signed to the Ravens' practice squad on Oct. 19 after being cut from the Miami Dolphins' practice squad. The Omaha native played in 39 games for the Cornhuskers, starting 17 and went undrafted after starting every game at right offensive tackle as a senior.

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