Polamalu elected to sixth Pro Bowl; Matthews second
Since leaving USC, the Steelers safety has only failed to be selected for the postseason honor in his rookie season of 2003 and injury plagued season of ’09. Often referred to as the “heart and soul” of the Pittsburgh defense, Polamalu was chosen to start at strong safety for the AFC.
On Christmas eve, the former Trojan was also named one of the “Top-10 Pittsburgh Steelers of all time”, as chosen by the NFL Network. Slotted at No. 7, Polamalu was just one of two active players making the cut, with the other being teammate Hines Ward.
Also named as a Pro Bowl starter is Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. It will be his second appearance in as many years, after being added as a replacement for Lance Briggs in 2009. Matthews currently has 12.5 sacks on the season, tying him for third best in the NFL.
Matt Cassel was snubbed in the selection, despite having the third best passer rating in the AFC (98.8). In what is often a popularity contest, Peyton Manning (91.4) gets the nod.
Along with Polamalu and Matthews, nine others from the Pac 10 were selected overall to participate in the NFL All-Star game:
WR, DeSean Jackson- Cal
TE, Tony Gonzalez- Cal
CB, Nnamdi Asomugha- Cal
RB, Maurice Joness-Drew- UCLA
TE, Marcedes Lewis- UCLA
DT, Haloti Ngata- Oregon
RB, Steven Jackson- Oregon State
LB, Lance Briggs- Arizona
LB, Terrell Suggs- Arizona State