Miami Dolphins left guard Richie Incognito has been named to his first ever Pro Bowl on the strength of his 2012 season. The Pro Bowl will be played the week prior to Super Bowl XLVII, so Incognito will replace one of the players voted to start at tackle – Logan Mankins from the New England Patriots, or Marshal Yanda of the Baltimore Ravens as one of them will be busy prepping for the Super Bowl. It is likely that Wade Smith of the Houston Texans will start along with with Mankins or Yanda, and all due respect to Smith but I felt that Incognito should have earned a Pro Bowl spot ahead of him.
This season Incognito was a good run blocker, and a very good pass blocker. He allowed just four sacks, five quarterback hits, and six quarterback hurries. In comparison to the other top guards he is likely a better pass protector than Mankins, and surely better than Smith, but Yanda is the best. As far as run blocking Smith is not as good as Incognito, but Mankins is better and once again Yanda is likely the best.
Incognito was a better pass protector than run blocker, but it is worth noting that Reggie Bush ran much more successfully behind his left side than he did up the middle or to the right. The 6’3″ 320 pound veteran is under contract through next season where he will earn $4.1 million. It is very possible that he will have a new line-mate as the Dolphins may lose their longtime left tackle Jake Long (article on Long’s free agency is HERE).
Incognito has a reputation in the NFL, but he seems like a guy who you would love to have on your team as he is willing to go to battle and lay it on the line. I am hoping that this will be his first of a few Pro Bowl trips and his reputation will shift to be closer to recognizing what a good left guard he is.
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