<
>

Amends? Four Titans on AFC team

12/19/2003

NEW YORK -- Steve McNair made the Pro Bowl on Thursday along
with three other Tennessee Titans, a year after the team was
shunned with no selections yet still reached the AFC title game.

It was the first time in his nine-year career that McNair made
the NFL's all-star game. It will be played Feb. 8 in Honolulu.

Kansas City and Baltimore each had eight players on the team,
chosen by fans, coaches and players. The vote of each group counted
one-third.

The Baltimore contingent was led by linebacker Ray Lewis and
offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, both multiple Pro Bowl selections.
The Chiefs chosen included running back Priest Holmes and tight end
Tony Gonzalez.

In addition to McNair, the Titans also had linebacker Keith
Bulluck, wide receiver Derrick Mason and punter Craig Hentrich.

This season's version of last year's Titans were the
Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, each with two. The
Patriots (12-2) are tied with Kansas City for the AFC's best record
and the Eagles (11-3) are tied with St. Louis atop the NFC.

The Patriots were defensive lineman Richard Seymour and
cornerback Ty Law. The Eagles got quarterback Donovan McNabb and
cornerback Troy Vincent in the Pro Bowl.

"To have the best team in the NFC and to only have two players
picked, we were slighted,'' said McNabb, who was voted to the team
for the first time, although he's been to the Pro Bowl three other
times as an injury replacement.

Among those shut out in the voting was LaDainian Tomlinson of
San Diego, who leads the NFL with 2,011 combined yards. He is
fourth in rushing, and was beaten out by the top three: Jamal Lewis
of Baltimore, Clinton Portis of Denver and Holmes.

There were the usual strange selections, such as guard Larry Allen of the Cowboys.

Allen has been hurt much of the year and has been in and out of
the lineup. Offensive line positions in the game often are
permanent -- once a player makes it, he makes it forever, and this
will be Allen's eighth Pro Bowl.

Also selected was New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey, the
only rookie who made it last year. Shockey has 48 receptions to
lead all NFC tight ends, but hasn't played since being injured on
Nov. 9 and may not play the final two games.

The only rookie on either team this season is wide receiver
Anquan Boldin of Arizona, who has 86 receptions, third in the NFC.

McNair is joined at quarterback on the AFC squad by Peyton
Manning of Indianapolis and Trent Green of Kansas City. The NFC
quarterbacks are McNabb, Brett Favre of Green Bay and Daunte Culpepper of Minnesota.

The starters will be announced at a later date.