The Baltimore Ravens had five players selected to the Pro Bowl, including free safety Rod Woodson, who was honored for the first time since 1996 and the eighth time in his 13-year career.
Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebackers Peter Boulware and Ray Lewis and defensive end Michael McCrary were also selected. Ogden, Boulware and Lewis were named starters for the AFC squad. In addition, special teams player Bennie Thompson is a first alternate.
"We're proud of all of them," Ravens Coach Brian Billick said. "In particular, it's rewarding to see Rod Woodson go through this stage in his career to make the change to safety [from cornerback] and all the things that entails."
Meanwhile, the NFL's top teams were rewarded with the most Pro Bowl berths. Jacksonville, whose 13-1 record is the best in the NFL, led the league with seven Pro Bowl selections on the AFC squad. Five of the Jaguars are starters, headed by left tackle Tony Boselli, a perennial selection. The St. Louis Rams, who at 12-2 have the best record in the NFC, will have six starters, including quarterback Kurt Warner, the former NFL Europe star who got a chance to play only after starter Trent Green was injured in a preseason game.
Woodson, 34, made the Pro Bowl seven times as a cornerback, but was switched to free safety last summer. He leads the Ravens with six interceptions. While he seemed pleased with the honor, he seemed uncertain of making the trip to Honolulu for the Feb. 6 game because his wife is scheduled to give birth to the couple's fifth child on Feb. 10.
"It's a long trip. I don't even know if I'm going to go over, just for the fact my wife's having a baby then," Woodson said. "Having the respect of your peers, that's the most important thing."
As for Ogden, a former St. Albans School star, he'll be starting at left tackle for the third straight year.
"It doesn't get old," he said. "I'm still looking forward to it. The only thing is I just know the routine. I'm looking forward to going out there, relaxing poolside, just having a good time."
Boulware, selected for the second time, might also skip the game. He's been bothered by a sore right shoulder throughout the season, and almost certainly will undergo surgery during the offseason.
"There are very few of us who thought he would get through the season," Billick said. "We kind of thought if we can get six, eight games out of Peter, that would be a big plus. For him to fight through it the way he did, that was particularly courageous."
Boulware, however, said this one is more special than last year.
"It's better just because of the things I had to fight through this year," he said. "I'm truly blessed. I'm just thankful I made it this year with this one arm."
As for the rest of the voting, both rosters included some unexpected success stories. Warner had played in just one NFL game before this season and was left unprotected last spring on the expansion list from which the Cleveland Browns chose their players.
When he got a chance to play, he responded by leading the Rams to the NFC West crown, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and leading the NFL in passing.
"I dreamed about this when I was in the third grade," he said. "The biggest thing is we have six representatives and some alternates. It really shows what this team has done this year and gives us a lot of respect."
Another unexpected star is Carolina quarterback Steve Beuerlein, who has played for seven teams in 13 seasons, mostly as a backup. This season, as a starter, he has thrown 29 touchdowns.
"I guess the second half of life is the greater half," Beuerlein said.