Who Will Be Hawaii Bound?

Despite a top-5 defense last season, the Redskins managed just one player in the Pro Bowl. Six wins had more to do with that than a defensive ranking.This time, the ranking is still high -- and the wins are greater. So Washington enters Wednesday with a realistic chance of having multiple players earn a spot in the Pro Bowl.

The teams will be announced Wednesday.

Here's our primer:


-- Linebacker Marcus Washington. He's improved and he's coming off a Pro Bowl season. There's no way he shouldn't go; Washington is a defensive leader for a playoff contender and top defense. And, late in the season, he's made even bigger plays. Nobody is steadier defensively than Washington.

--Guard Randy Thomas. His injury won't affect whether or not he makes the team because the voting was done last week. Players aren't allowed to vote for teammates, but center Casey Rabach admitted he voted for Thomas in the fan on-line poll. Thomas is having as good a season as any guard in the NFC and he was a key reason the Redskins ran the ball so well of late. Clinton Portis has run hard, but the line has done a terrific job opening holes. They should be rewarded and Thomas is the one who deserves the honor.

--Receiver Santana Moss. His numbers haven't been incredible in the past eight games, mainly because of increased attention from defenses. But Moss is dangerous every time he gets the ball. Look at Sunday: he caught only two passes, but both were for long gains inside the 5 and led to touchdowns.


--H-back Chris Cooley. His problem is that he's listed as a fullback and Mike Alstott often gets this spot. But Cooley has numbers too good to ignore and is a bigger part of this offense than Alstott, who has been more of a blocker this season.

--Portis. He has the numbers, but there's too much competition. Seattle's Shaun Alexander, New York's Tiki Barber, Atlanta's Warrick Dunn and Chicago's Thomas Jones make this a deep group. Portis is a likely alternate.

--Quarterback Mark Brunell. Again, he has the numbers and his play is as big a reason as any for Washington's success. His ability to manage the game, and connect with Moss deep, has helped this offense. Besides, there aren't many strong options. Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck will probably get in; after that, who knows? Carolina's Jake Delhomme is a possibility, too.

--Corner Shawn Springs. He didn't make it last season despite better numbers. But he's been asked to play a different role. Springs' tackling hasn't been as good, but his coverage has been. Besides, this is a good defense, it should have more than one player.

--Safety Sean Taylor. He received consideration last year. Though he lacks many big plays, you wonder if his reputation will help. Certainly, he has Pro Bowl talent and the coaches hope it's only a matter of time before it all comes together.

--Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin. He was probably better last year and he missed a few games. But he was wronged last year so perhaps this will be a makeup award. Problem is, a few defensive tackles have posted big sack numbers and that always helps. But Griffin's presence up front changes everything for Washington. Again, voters might decide Marcus Washington shoud not be alone in Hawaii.

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