Only three Steelers in Pro Bowl

Anyone who's watched five minutes of Steelers football understands why Aaron Smith should be playing in the Pro Bowl, but the following three Steelers have been so honored:

Three players from the Pittsburgh Steelers' league-leading defense have been selected to the 2009 AFC Pro Bowl team announced today by the NFL.

Steelers earning Pro Bowl recognition include inside linebacker James Farrior, outside linebacker James Harrison and strong safety Troy Polamalu. Harrison and Polamalu have been named starters to the AFC Pro Bowl team.

This season marks the eighth straight year that three or more Steelers players have been selected to the NFL's annual All-Star game. The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Pro Bowl squads were selected by a combined voting of fans, players and coaches.

Harrison, a two-year starter for the Steelers, earned his second consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl as a starter for the AFC squad. He has already tied team records with 15 sacks and seven forced fumbles, and was voted AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 11. That week, Harrison registered a sack and forced a fumble that resulted in a safety and also intercepted a pass, which he returned 33 yards. He ranks third on the team with 93 tackles (68 solo) and leads all Steelers with 33 quarterback pressures. The Steelers' 2007 team MVP, Harrison registered 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble in a Week 4 Monday Night matchup against the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens, and registered two sacks and two forced fumbles in Week 13 at New England.

Polamalu, who is widely considered the NFL's premiere strong safety, earned his fifth straight trip to the Pro Bowl and his third as a starter (2006, 2007). A five-year NFL starter, this year's selection ties Polamalu with Donnie Shell for the most Pro Bowl appearances by a Steelers strong safety. Polamalu currently leads the NFL with a career-high seven interceptions, ranks third on the Steelers with 10 passes defensed, and ranks fourth on the team with 75 tackles.

Farrior will make his second Pro Bowl appearance, both as a Steeler, and his first since the 2005 Pro Bowl, when he received All-Pro honors and finished second in voting for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Farrior currently leads the Steelers with 127 tackles (86 solo), putting him on schedule to finish as the team leader for the fifth time in seven seasons with the Steelers (2003, ‘04, ‘06, ‘07). Currently in his fifth consecutive season as the Steelers' defensive captain, Farrior has also recorded 3.5 sacks and recovered one fumble.

Pro Bowl Notes: The Steelers will send a linebacker to the Pro Bowl for the seventh time in the past nine seasons and for the 15th time in the past 19 years…The Steelers are sending multiple players to the Pro Bowl for the eighth straight season and the 17th time in the last 20 seasons…This year ends a streak of seven consecutive years (2001 Pro Bowl) that the Steelers have had at least one offensive player make the Pro Bowl.

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