Of the 42 AFC Pro Bowlers, 30 of them – 71 percent – came from the six teams headed to the playoffs.
“I think it’s great,” Head Coach John Fox said. “It’s something that, in my opinion, comes with team success and obviously we’ve had some great performances to create that team success. I think it’s a great honor to be voted on, in particular by your peers in the league.”
The selected players echoed Fox’s sentiments and credited their teammates for setting up their personal accolades.
Bailey and Manning each made their 12th Pro Bowl roster, which represents the most by any player in league history at their respective positions.
“It’s just a prime result of what happens when you play on a good team and you’re surrounded by good players,” Bailey said. “If you play well within that system, you have a good chance to go.”
Clady and Dumervil are each headed to their third All-Star Game, and second in as many years.
Dumervil missed the entire 2010 season with a pectoral injury, then returned to become just the second player since 2000 to make the Pro Bowl in consecutive seasons after missing a year to due injury or illness.
“You have to work through adversity,” he said. “I have been through a lot and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s not what happens, it’s how you respond to things. Anybody out there, I’m a true testament to that.”
Clady credited his summer practices against Dumervil and his pass-rush counterpart in Miller for helping hone his skills.
“No question,” Clady said when asked if practicing against a pair of Pro Bowl pass rushers helped his game. “Training camp, going against Elvis and Von, they’re great players, Pro Bowl players, and they definitely elevate my game.”
For Miller, the fact that he was recognized as one of the best at his position by his fellow players meant the most.
“I think the best thing about it is just getting the nod from the guys you play against week in and week out, other players from around the league,” he said. “The fans voting is great, the coaches voting is great too, but the guys that you go against week in and week out, who you know that you can have an impact on them and they have an impact on you too, I think that’s the best thing about the Pro Bowl.”
Manning accepted the award while thanking his teammates that helped him along the way.“It’s a tremendous honor and I am very humbled to receive this recognition,” Manning said. “This recognition shows that our offensive line did a great job with protection. It shows that our wide receivers and tight ends made a lot of plays. My goal has always been to go out and help the team win and play at a high level. Anything that comes along with that, like being honored as a Pro Bowl selection, is very humbling.”