Redskins' Samuels Earns Pro Bowl Honors Again
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Washington Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels earned his fourth Pro Bowl selection, the NFL announced yesterday.
Samuels, 29, also earned berths in 2001, 2002 and 2005. He is nicknamed "Gilligan" by offensive line coach Joe Bugel, a reference to the 1960s television show "Gilligan's Island" and Samuels's status as the player on the offensive line who is on an island, meaning he does not receive double-team help.
Samuels is also one of the highest-paid Redskins. His $8.6 million salary cap figure for next season is the highest on the team.
Safety Sean Taylor earned a first alternate selection, and tight end Chris Cooley, punt returner Antwaan Randle El and linebacker Marcus Washington were named third alternates.
Ravens' R. Lewis Left Out
Five Baltimore Ravens were named to the Pro Bowl, but three of the biggest contributors to the NFL's top-ranked defense were left out.
Linebackers Ray Lewis and Bart Scott and lineman Trevor Pryce will not join tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebackers Adalius Thomas and Terrell Suggs, safety Ed Reed and cornerback Chris McAlister in Hawaii.
The Ravens could argue all four of their starting linebackers deserved to be selected. Scott's 93 tackles lead the team, and he has more sacks (9 1/2 ) than Miami's Zach Thomas or Denver's Al Wilson, the two inside linebackers selected. Lewis, a seven-time Pro Bowl pick, is second on the team with 91 tackles.
"We didn't have [Lewis] last year, and we went 6-10," Suggs said. "He's played in every game this year but two, and we're 11-3. You have to ask yourself, 'What are they really watching?'
"He's still the best, in my book. It doesn't take a Pro Bowl selection to decide that, either."
Pryce's case may have suffered because he rotates between defensive end and tackle in the Ravens' 3-4 alignment. He leads the team and ranks fourth in the AFC with 12 sacks.
All five of the Ravens' representatives have been to the Pro Bowl before. Ogden will make his 10th appearance.
"They call it the 'Jonathan Ogden Invitational' here," Suggs said. "We all knew J.O. was going."
Lions' Cullen Suspended
The NFL suspended Detroit Lions defensive line coach Joe Cullen for one game and fined him $20,000 for conduct detrimental to the league. Cullen was arrested twice during the preseason, once for drunken driving and once for driving nude. He admitted he had a drinking problem and has sought treatment, according to the Lions.
Cullen will not participate in the Lions' practices this week or in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears. The Lions had suspended Cullen for their opening game of the regular season. . . .
The Minnesota Vikings are going with rookie Tarvaris Jackson as their starting quarterback. Coach Brad Childress announced Jackson would start the final two games of the regular season, beginning tomorrow night at Green Bay.
Jackson, a second-round draft choice out of Alabama State, replaced Brad Johnson in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the New York Jets and threw for 177 yards and a touchdown.
It was the third time this season that Childress had benched Johnson.
Staff writer Mark Maske and special correspondent Rich Campbell contributed to this report.