Bears leaders in pro bowl voting
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, middle linebacker Brian Urlacher and return specialist Devin Hester are all leading their positions in Pro Bowl voting on NFL.com, the league announced Wednesday.
Peppers (244,439 votes) is ahead of the Giants’ Osi Umenyiora (181,537), Urlacher (173,960) leads the 49ers' Patrick Willis (165,485) and Hester (155,855) is ahead of the Cowboys' Dez Bryant (114,006).
Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher has been voted to six Pro Bowls since he joined the Bears in 2000. Four other Bears are in the top five at their positions. Olin Kreutz (107,323) is third at center behind the Giants’ Shaun O’Hara (149,394) and the Packers’ Scott Wells (127,184). Lance Briggs is third at outside linebacker, trailing the Packers’ Clay Matthews (285,063) and the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware (174,641).
Brad Maynard (54,073) is fourth among punters behind the Cardinals' Ben Graham (96,561), the Vikings' Chris Kluwe (75,080) and the Cowboys' Mat McBriar (63,556).
Robbie Gould (61,144) is fifth among kickers, trailing the Eagles' David Akers (131,631), the Packers' Mason Crosby (99,075), the Falcons' Matt Bryant (80,504) and the Vikings' Ryan Longwell (80,504).
One Bears player who probably isn’t receiving the recognition he deserves is Corey Graham. The fourth-year pro is not among the top five vote-getters on special teams even though he leads the NFL with 16 special-teams tackles, according to press box statistics.
Fans can register their Pro Bowl votes at NFL.com through Dec. 20. Fans, coaches and players each account for one-third of the vote in determining the 43-man squads. NFL players and coaches will cast their votes Dec. 22-23, and the teams will be announced Dec. 28. The Pro Bowl will then be played Jan. 30, 2011 in Hawaii.