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Late For Work 12/29: Pro Bowlers Would Rather Be Super Bowlers

Plus long snapper tryouts, a shirtless BA and updated power rankings.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 9:37 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

The five Ravens players who were selected for this year’s Pro Bowl – Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and first-timer Billy Cundiff – are honored by the selection from fans, coaches and players.

Even the person who is going for the 12th time in his 15-year NFL career knows the Pro Bowl is a special achievement and won’t take it lightly.

"Wow, No. 12 feels like No. 1," said Lewis. "This never gets old. This is the greatest honor ever, because this is from the fans, the coaches and your peers. You can never take anything for granted, and I never take this for granted. I am blessed with great teammates, and I wouldn’t be here without them. I feel this is a team award."

Suggs is grateful for his fourth invite too, but he knows there is one achievement that trumps the NFL All-Star game.

"This is awesome," Suggs stated. "The only thing that would be better than this is a Super Bowl."

Yes, that would be better. And if the Ravens do make it to the biggest sports spectacle in the world, they will be forced to miss the honor of playing with fellow NFL stars. 

Now that the Pro Bowl is played the weekend prior to the Super Bowl – the 2010 Pro Bowl marked the NFL’s first date change – rosters are not allowed to include any players from teams that will be playing in Super Bowl XLV to avoid injuries and because they’re prepping for the big game.

Thus, as MASN’s Dan Kolko pointed out, "All the Ravens who made the Pro Bowl hope they won’t participate in the game itself."

The team will hold open locker room with the media today. It will be interesting to hear what this season’s Pro Bowlers have to say on the matter.

Ravens Try Out Four Long Snappers; Two Getting Physicals

Ravens Insider Aaron Wilson and NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora are reporting that the Ravens tried out four long snappers yesterday, but have narrowed the decision down to two.

Kevin Houser, Bryan Pittman, Jake Ingram and Ethan Albright auditioned to replace Morgan Cox, the Ravens’ long snapper for all 15 games this season. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament and sprained his medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sunday.

The job is coming down to Houser and Pittman. Wilson reported that both stayed in town last night and will take physicals. He expects one to be signed today.

Jake Houser, 33, was originally drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh-round. He spent eight years with the Saints before being released. He played for the Seattle Seahawks last season, but landed on Injured Reserve.

Pittman, also 33, was signed as a rookie free agent by the Texans in 2003 and played there for five years. He then saw action for the Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons and Houston last year.

La Canfora noted this is probably the end for Albright, who is a former Pro Bowler, but no longer has zip on his snaps.

Harbaugh: Put on a Shirt, BA

After the Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns Sunday, shirtless linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo asked for the floor for a postgame locker room speech.

He awarded John Harbaugh a game ball for being the fourth NFL head coach since 1990 to lead his team to the playoffs in his first three years.

After receiving the honor, Harbaugh and Ayanbadejo hugged.

Harbaugh said he was honored, but would have changed one thing.

"I just wish he’d put a shirt on before he did it," Harbaugh said with a laugh during his Monday press conference.

"If you’ve got a build like Brendon Ayanbadejo, you don’t put a shirt on, right? Can we all agree with that? None of us in here can make that claim. But, it was really pretty special."

I think I’ve said this before, but if I hadn’t seen Ayanbadejo in real life with his shirt off, I would think his body was photoshopped. He is by far the most ripped player in the locker room.

Check out the video of the exchange.

Week 16 Power Rankings

The Ravens had little movement in the power rankings this week, except in those lists that waited for the conclusion of the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings game last night. The Eagles dropped in those rankings, helping the Ravens move up to No. 3 in several instances.

ESPN
: Ravens are No. 4, same as last week. The Patriots, Falcons and Eagles make up the Top 3, but the list was compiled before Philadelphia lost to Minnesota last night.
USA Today: Ravens are No. 3, same as last week. Two teams the Ravens have lost to – the Pats and Falcons – remain the board leaders for the second week in a row.
FOXSports.com: Ravens are No. 3, same as last week. FOXsports.com has the same Top 3 as USA Today. Adam Caplan notes the offense is still evolving with running back Ray Rice becoming its foundation.
NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora: Ravens are No. 3, up from No. 4 last week. The Patriots and Steelers lead La Canfora’s list, but he notes that Baltimore is finishing strong and is playoff tested.
ProFootballTalk.com: Mike Florio ranked the Ravens No. 3, up from No. 4 last week. Florio waited for the Eagles-Vikes game to conclude, which opened up the No. 3 spot for the Ravens. Florio says the Pats hope the Ravens draw the Colts in the first round.
SI.com’s Peter King: Ravens are No. 4, up from No. 5 last week.  King’s Top 3 are the Pats, Falcons and Eagles.

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