Nine Players Are No. 1 on Fans' Ballots
The Redskins' publicity drive to get out fan votes for the Pro Bowl paid off with nine players as the top vote-getters at their positions, including the worst-rated place kicker in the NFL, according to figures released yesterday.
Saints QB Drew Brees received the most votes overall, followed by Jets QB Brett Favre and Giants QB Eli Manning. RB Clinton Portis (fourth) and TE Chris Cooley (10th, though second among tight ends behind the Cowboys' Jason Witten) were in the top 10.
Other Redskins who led in voting at their positions are LB London Fletcher, FB Mike Sellers, T Chris Samuels, DT Cornelius Griffin, SS Chris Horton, FS LaRon Landry, special teams player Khary Campbell and PK Shaun Suisham, who leads the league in missed field goals.
Pro Bowl teams will be announced Dec. 16, with fan votes counting for one-third of the total, along with voting by coaches and players.
· ZORN'S STATE OF THE TEAM: Coach Jim Zorn touched on several topics yesterday, including the state of his team.
"They take care of the locker room," he said of his captains and added the effort of players in meeting rooms and on the field continues to be superb. "I'm not begging for effort or anything like that," Zorn said. . . .
A day after declining to answer questions about the dispute between Zorn and Portis, Executive Vice President of Football Operations Vinny Cerrato said yesterday on WTEM-980 radio that the two men "get along fine," and suggested too much was made of Portis's comments.
"I think it was frustration," Cerrato said. "I think we all get frustrated, and I told [Portis], 'Don't frustrate to everybody.' . . . I said you've just got to grin and bear it, that's part of the deal" with having a weekly radio appearance.
-- Dan Steinberg and Jason La Canfora