On Tuesday, you read about the NFC South’s All-Star team on offense. Today, we’ll take a look at the All-Star team’s defense and special teams unit.
It’s time to unveil the NFC South’s All-Star defense.
You gotta love this stuff, because there will always be disagreements at every turn. What some people — by their own choosing — fail to realize, is there really is no favoritism played in the process of selecting individuals to the roster. The majority rules, and the same goes for the polls which the fans voted on. In that scenario however, there may have been some favoritism being played for punter, center, and running back…Maybe just running back. I can’t honestly say that I have a “favorite” punter, and center is more of a “utility” position.
You, the readers, voted on three positions which we, the lead bloggers of Cat Crave, Blogging Dirty, Who Dat Dish, and The Pewter Plank were unable to come to agreement on. They were for Running Back Two, Middle Linebacker, and Punter.
It’s time to unveil the NFC South’s All-Star defense.
Left Defensive End: John Abraham, Atlanta Falcons
Abraham is definitely one of the top DE’s in the division. Especially now, with the departure of that guy who used to play for the Carolina Panthers.
Abraham has made three appearances at the Pro Bowl, and has received All-Pro honors, as well.
Left Defensive Tackle: Sedrick Ellis, New Orleans Saints
Ellis has combined 64 tackles and six sacks in his first two years with the Saints. On top of that, the guy’s just a bruiser.
Right Defensive Tackle: Anthony Hargrove, New Orleans Saints
A 2008 suspension kept Hargrove sidelined. However, in 2009 he bounced back and had a good showing for the season, contributing 42 tackles, five sacks, and three passes defensed.
Right Defensive End: Will Smith, New Orleans Saints
If Will Smith the actor/performing artist is a Saints fan, he can get a personalized jersey for cheap. Then again, he can do the same if he’s a Panthers fan, too. I know what you’re thinking: FAIL. Dually noted.
Interestingly, the NFL doesn’t recognize it’s own, as I cannot locate Smith’s stats on the league’s official website.
Under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, Smith had a very productive 2009 season, which culminated in a Super Bowl Championship for the Saints.
Smith registered 13 sacks, 49 tackles, three forced fumbles, and an interception. He also received honorable mention All-Pro recognition by the Associated Press, and Sporting News.
Weakside Linebacker: Mike Peterson, Atlanta Falcons
Interestingly, this was a unanimous vote. However, his 2009 numbers speak volumes of this guy’s intensity.
109 tackles, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles, an interception, and a sack.
The man’s a beast.
Middle Linebacker: Jonathan Vilma, New Orleans Saints
While I didn’t vote for him, the majority did — and that’s the way it goes.
Vilma, who had 110 tackles, two sacks, and three interceptions, will be the defense’s “quarterback.”
51 does occur before 52, and Vilma does have a few years’ experience on a certain other middle linebacker.
Strongside Linebacker: Stephen Nicholas, Atlanta Falcons
I didn’t know who to pick for this position. Carolina isn’t sure what it’s doing yet with the linebackers, so I just went with a familiar name.
Nicholas contributed 80 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble for the Falcons in 2009.
Right Cornerback: Tracy Porter, New Orleans Saints
This guy should be named “He who steals Super Bowl victory from Peyton Manning.”
I like Porter. He’s definitely one of the top corners in the division.
Free Safety: Darren Sharper, New Orleans Saints
Once again, Carolina’s doing some shifting of personnel between safety and free safety, so I went with a trusted and reliable standard: Darren Sharper.
Sharper contributed 71 tackles and nine interceptions for the Saints in ’09.
Strong Safety: Roman Harper, New Orleans Saints
Basically the same as Sharper, just drop the “S.”
In all seriousness though, Harper’s production in ’09 was solid. 102 tackles, one-and-a-half sacks, and two forced fumbles.
Left Cornerback: Chris Gamble, Carolina Panthers
Not really the model of consistency, but Gamble has produced during his six years in Carolina. His latest work included 58 tackles, 12 passes defensed, and four interceptions.
Nickel Cornerback: Dunta Robinson, Atlanta Falcons
Probably the biggest free agency move by the Atlanta Falcons in ’09, Robinson could not be denied from the roster. And he should prove to be a fierce five cent piece.
Placekicker: John Kasay, Carolina Panthers
When it comes to kickers and punters, I really have no favorites. Just get it between the uprights or put it inside the 20. At least Kasay can do half of that consistently.
Punter: Michael Koenen, Atlanta Falcons
Same as the placekicker position, with the addition of long kicks and big hang-times. Koenen’s got a young and strong leg, so he received my vote, and the readers’ vote.
Return Specialist: Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints
Thus-far, Bush is not an every down back. But he excels in the return game.
So there you have it. The NFC South’s Defensive All-Star Team. The Saints led the way with eight players on the defensive side of the ball. The Falcons had five players and the Panthers landed two of their own. The Buccaneers were left out in the cold with zero.
Offense and Defense Recap
The Saints put 12 players on the team, accounting for 44% of the roster. The Falcons came in at second with eight players. The Panthers brought seven players to the party and in a surprising result, the Buccaneers went 0 for 27 (no surprise, there).
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.
Topics: Anthony Hargrove, Atlanta Falcons, Blogging Dirty, Carolina Panthers, Cat Crave, Chris Gamble, Darren Sharper, Dunta Robinson, FanSided, John Abraham, John Kasay, Jonathan Vilma, Michael Koenen, Mike Peterson, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Reggie Bush, Roman Harper, Sedrick Ellis, Stephen Nicolas, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, The Pewter Plank, Tracy Porter, Who Dat Dish, Will Smith