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Pro Bowl Honor 'A Team Thing'

Posted Dec 26, 2012

The five Broncos that made the Pro Bowl immediately credited their teammates for the honor, and focused on bigger team goals.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Right now, the Broncos aren't focused on individual honors. There are still team goals to accomplish -- starting with getting a win on Sunday to lock up a first-round playoff bye.

But with Wednesday's Pro Bowl announcement, quarterback Peyton Manning didn't hesitate to speak up for his teammates.

"There’s a lot of guys on our team that deserve to make it -- I know that much," Manning said before the Pro Bowl rosters were released. "I’m pulling for a lot of guys. I know there’s great players out there in the NFL but there’s some great players on this team this year that deserve to go. I’m hoping that all of them get to do it.”

When the five players that did receive Pro Bowl honors -- Manning, cornerback Champ Bailey, linebacker Von Miller, defensive end Elvis Dumervil and tackle Ryan Clady -- found out, they immediately credited their teammates.

Dumervil said he will be representing "everybody in the building" on the trip to Hawaii. Manning called it a credit to his offensive line, wide receivers and tight ends. Clady said the team's high-powered offense has helped the offensive linemen stand out. Bailey went so far as to say that the team is the reason he earned his 12th Pro Bowl berth.

"When you’re on a team like this and you play well, people are going to notice," said Bailey, who has allowed just 37 receptions on 76 passes thrown his way. "It’s really just part of my team and what we’ve done. That’s pretty much why I’m in there. It’s definitely a team thing.”

While the team as a whole has been successful, the evidence is clear why the five individual Broncos were voted to the Pro Bowl by their peers, coaches and fans.

Manning has completed 377-of-354 passes for 4,355 yards with 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, good for a quarterback rating of 103.7. Meanwhile, he has notched his ninth career 12-win season with a chance to make it 13 on Sunday.

Bailey becomes the third player in team history with at least eight Pro Bowl selections, as quarterbacks are completing just 48.7 percent off passes thrown toward him this season. That ranks sixth among NFL players targeted 75 or more times.

Miller is one of just two NFL players since at least 1994 to post at least 15 sacks, 25 tackles for loss and 5 forced fumbles in a season, joining Dallas' DeMarcus Ware, who did so in 2008.

Dumervil, who has 11 quarterback takedowns this season, has the fourth-most sacks per game (.71) in the league since his rookie season in 2006. His 20 multiple-sack games rank third in the NFL during that span.

Clady has allowed the fewest sacks -- just one -- of any tackle in the NFL this year that has started every game for his team.

"As a player, Pro Bowl recognition is a great honor," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway tweeted. "Congrats to Champ, Peyton, Von, Ryan & Elvis, as well as our alternates! Well deserved!"

But all five of those players -- and the six Broncos named Pro Bowl alternates -- said there's more to their postseason plans than a trip to Hawaii.

"It’s all good, but our eyes are on something a little bit bigger than a Pro Bowl," Miller said.

Bailey said he hopes he's got other engagements when the league's all-star game is being played.

"At some point I want to be able to tell the people at the Pro Bowl that I’m not coming because I’m playing in the Big Game," he said. "That’s really what my eyes are on, just making sure we keep winning and get to that Big Game."

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