You’ve waited long, and patiently. You participated in the vote and were able to make a difference. Now I will present to you, your 2010 NFC South All-Star Team’s offensive unit.
It took some doing, but the division’s four lead bloggers from Cat Crave (goes without saying), Who Dat Dish, Blogging Dirty, and The Pewter Plank were able to come up with the majority of the NFC South’s best players — with a little help from you, the readers for the center, running back two, and punter positions.
Quarterback: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees has been a phenom ever since he started playing in the Big Easy. Not to slight his days with the San Diego Chargers, but which team and city did he win his first Super Bowl in?
I’ve been rating Brees right up there with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and better than Brett Favre. When selecting between Matt Ryan and Brees, the choice was rather obvious.
Running Back 1: DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers
Williams has really turned into something special for the Carolina Panthers. Three years ago, he was playing second fiddle to draft bust DeShaun Foster. Two years ago, he surpassed 1,000 yards rushing. In 2009, he and fellow running mate Jonathan Stewart became the first running back tandem in NFL history, to each surpass 1,100 yards rushing while on the same team and in the same season.
The choices weren’t as easy in this one, since there were running backs Michael Turner, Pierre Thomas, and Derrick Ward involved in the mix. While Turner is a beast, Williams stayed healthier longer, thanks in part to splitting carries with Stewart. Naturally, my gut instinct said to go with Williams.
Running Back 2: Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons
As I just mentioned, Turner has been an absolute beast when carrying the rock for the Dirty Birds. Look at his rushing stats over the last couple of years in Atlanta, and once again, it begs to be asked: what are the San Diego Chargers thinking? Suffice it to say, the Falcons are quite pleased with their investment of Turner.
In 2008, Turner almost surpassed 1,500 yards rushing! No small feat, by any means.
While I had no issue with either Turner or Stewart taking the No. 2 back role on the All-Star team, I did have a problem with Reggie Bush’s name also being introduced into the poll. Not as the No. 2 back, anyway. If it were a matter of which player has had the most popularity, then yeah, Bush is the man. But productivity and longevity were my two main criteria.
I voted Stewart (very biased of me, I know), but am still pleased that we have a workhorse behind Williams.
Wide Receiver 1: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
Whoever wants to argue that Smith is not the best receiver during and after the catch in the NFC South, especially, then I strongly recommend you visit YouTube and catch some Smitty highlights.
Obvioulsy, we had to decide among Roddy White, Marques Colston, and Steve Smith. Without batting an eye, Smith won by majority vote.
Wide Receiver 2: Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
White’s become a really cool receiver to watch, and I know that at the No. 2 spot on this roster, he will do quite well.
This was quite the easy decision to make, compared to the rest of the division’s No. 2 receivers.
Wide Receiver 3: Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
The second Saints player to make the roster, Colston. Just another solid possession receiver, whom I didn’t even vote on. I actually nominated Devery Henderson. Hey, I just wanted to give the “little” guy a chance.
Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Let’s face it. Gonzalez is the best tight end in the division. Second to him would be Jeremy Shockey of the Saints, but even then I’m not certain. Maybe Shockey’s left a bad taste in my mouth from his days with the New York Giants. Gonzalez is a class act on and off the field, and is another solid possession receiver at the tight end position.
Left Tackle: Jordan Gross, Carolina Panthers
Argue with me if you will, but Gross is one of the top left tackles in the league. Two years ago, before the Panthers gave him his big (and well-deserved) payday, probably just about every team had a sharp ear tuned into what was going on in Carolina between Gross and the Panthers. That year, Julius Peppers was an afterthought.
Left Guard: Travelle Wharton, Carolina Panthers
Wharton’s come through as a solid guard on Carolina’s offensive line. Aside from right tackle, left tackle, and center, I really don’t pay as much strict attention to what either of the guards are doing, so I don’t have much to offer on this one. I just went with the player whose name I was most familiar with.
Center: Ryan Kalil, Carolina Panthers
Thus far, we have half of the Panthers’ starting offensive line blocking for and snapping the ball to the best quarterback in the division.
I like Kalil because he’s done an excellent job as the center for the Carolina Panthers, and has done a decent job as a blocker on pass plays.
Right Guard: Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints
Evans guarded Brees during the Saints’ Super Bowl season. Just can’t argue with logic, here.
Right Tackle: Jon Stinchcomb, New Orleans Saints
I love Jeff Otah’s size, but I was only allowed one vote. Therefor, the Saints’ right tackle, Stinchcomb won by majority vote. I have no complaint, though. The guy’s got good size and was one of many keys to Brees’ and the Saints offensive success in 2009.
Which rounds out the offensive side of the ball.
On offense, our Carolina Panthers received the most attention, with five players being selected to the All-Star team. Your help brought center Ryan Kalil from behind and into the position.
The Falcons contribute three on offense, and the Saints four. Unfortunately Tampa Bay was given no love, and by unanimous vote was asked to keep it’s offensive players in Florida.
Check back Wednesday for the defensive selections!
Remember to visit Fansided.com beginning Monday, July 19th to vote for the NFC South against the rest of the division all-star teams.
The contest will be held on the FanSided Network homepage. In a classic winner-take-all playoff bracket, two teams will face off each round until a “Super Bowl” champion is decided just before the start of training camps.
While it’s normal to have vehement hatred towards our division rivals, when we reach this stage, we want to represent the NFC South and vote early and often.
Follow Cat Crave on Twitter, @THECatCrave. Check us out on Facebook, too! Oh and one more thing, please check out and become a fan of Fansided on Facebook! Fansided is the reason why we have a site dedicated to the Carolina Panthers.
Tags: All-Star Team All-Stars Atlanta Falcons Blogging Dirty Carolina Panthers Cat Crave D-Will DeAngelo Williams Drew Brees Gonzo Jahri Evans Jon Stinchcomb Jordan Gross Marques Colston Michael Turner New Orleans Saints NFC South NFL Roddy White Ryan Kalil Smitty Steve Smith Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Pewter Plank Tony Gonzalez Travelle Wharton Who Dat Dish