Four teams did not have a single player selected to the Pro Bowl — Buffalo, Cincinnati, Seattle, and Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers (9-6) were the only team with a winning record — and still alive for the playoffs — left without a player in the Pro Bowl.
Buccaneers LT Donald Penn feels the voters have lack of respect and a misconception about the club, while a team like the Cowboys sends five players to the Pro Bowl despite being eliminated from the playoffs a long time ago.
“We’re one of those aspiring teams, but I think this league is kind of stuck in the past,” Penn told the St. Petersburg Times. “There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s real funny when (teams) with losing records have so many guys in the Pro Bowl. That’s crazy.”
“I was so shocked,” Penn added. “I’m still shocked. Especially looking at my (position). I’m super shocked.”
Penn, who was selected as an alternate, believes one of the problems is a lack of exposure. The Bucs did not play on prime time the past two seasons, and every game was blacked out locally in Tampa in 2010.
“(Exposure) has a tremendous (amount) to do with it,” Penn said. “We haven’t been on prime time in the past two years. I don’t think people in the league respect us. I think that’s one of the big things, and it shows with the Pro Bowl ballots. People around the league don’t respect us. Analysts and commentators don’t respect us. It shows. You take it for what it’s worth. I guess I have to work a lot harder. I guess what I did this year wasn’t good enough.”
Bucs coach Raheem Morris let his feelings be known while speaking with reporters Wednesday.
“It’s a little bit of a slap in the face,” Morris said. “You got to say that’s part of the challenge. You know, once you get some national games, you get some prime time games out there and you make big-time plays in those games, everybody sees them. For our fans to be able to see them, and it all plays a part, a couple of blackouts. We need everything to help us out with that stuff.”