Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs players shut out of Pro Bowl
TAMPA - For the first time since Tony Dungy arrived in 1996 and turned a moribund franchise into a consistent winner, the Bucs failed to place a player on the NFC Pro Bowl squad. The Bucs were shut out when the voting results were announced Tuesday, ending a 13-year run that began when linebacker Hardy Nickerson was selected to represent a franchise that was just beginning its ascent. A two-game winning streak has improved Tampa Bay's record to 3-12 heading into Sunday's season finale against Atlanta, but most of the Pro Bowl votes were cast before the Bucs won at Seattle, then shocked New Orleans at the Superdome. Tight end Kellen Winslow, who leads the Bucs with 72 catches, was bypassed in favor of Vernon Davis (49ers) and Jason Witten (Cowboys).Second-year pro Aqib Talib has five interceptions for Tampa Bay and Ronde Barber earned his fifth Pro Bowl trip last season, but both failed to garner enough support at the cornerback position. Guard Davin Joseph, who made last year's Pro Bowl as an alternate, was named Tampa Bay's lone alternate on Tuesday. Any chance return specialist Clifton Smith had of repeating as a Pro Bowler ended three weeks ago, when the Bucs placed him on injured reserve (two concussions). NOTES: The Bucs claimed safety De'von Hall off waivers from Indianapolis and added fullback Jehuu Caulcrick to the practice squad. Hall, who played in four games with the Colts this season, was added to the active roster, filling one of the spots created when running back Earnest Graham and defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson went on injured reserve. Caulcrick, an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State, signed with the Jets in 2008 and spent some time on their practice squads the past two years.
Alejandro Villanueva, Steelers player and Army vet who stood alone, now has the NFL's top-selling jersey