With the Super Bowl matchup between the New York Giants and New England Patriots now set, the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters are being finalized in anticipation of Sunday’s All-Star contest.
As per NFL rules, Pro Bowlers from the two conference champions are ineligible to play in the games, and the NFL replaces those players with alternates.
The Giants had two Pro Bowlers in quarterback Eli Manning and defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul. (How receiver Victor Cruz did not make it is beyond me.)
The Patriots had eight Pro Bowlers, which opened up a lot of spots in the AFC. Right guard Brian Waters, who was excellent in 2011, was replaced by Jets right guard Brandon Moore, who is going to Hawaii for the first time.
The 31-year-old Moore signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2002, and after converting from defensive tackle in college he’s been a starter for the Jets at right guard since 2004.
In fact, since he earned the starting job in 2004, Moore has made 121 consecutive starts at right guard, 130 if you include the postseason. That’s the longest current streak of any guard in the NFL.
Frankly, his first Pro Bowl nod is long overdue. Until today, Moore arguably held the title of best offensive lineman to never make a Pro Bowl. This is a well deserved honor for one of the Jets’ team captains.
Moore is a great player and person, and even a couple of former Jets tweeted their congrats to their former teammate today, really demonstrating just how highly regarded Moore is around the league.
Former Jets running back and current Seattle Seahawak Leon Washington, who played with Moore from 2006 to 2009:
Former Jets left guard Alan Faneca, who played alongside Moore on the Jets offensive line in 2008 and 2009, seconded Washington’s sentiments, giving his kudos to “Meat,” as his teammates call him.
I’m really happy for Moore. He’s a great story. Undrafted, worked his way onto the roster after a position change, earned a starting job and is now finally a Pro Bowler after playing at that level for the last few years.
Next year, I’m sure Moore will settle for a different Bowl to play in this time of year. But for now, he deserves to be rewarded with a trip to Hawaii alongside three of his teammates.
In fact, two of the Jets’ other Pro Bowlers are center Nick Mangold and left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. (Cornerback Darrelle Revis was the other Jet to make it.)
It’s the second time in three years that the Jets sent three offensive linemen to the Pro Bowl. Back in 2009, when they had the best line in team history, they sent Mangold, Ferguson and Faneca to the All-Star game.