Steelers Harrison, Hampton picked for Pro Bowl


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It has been a tough season for the Super Bowl champs in many respects this season and that was reflected in the Pro Bowl berths announced last night.

Only two Steelers, both on defense, made the Pro Bowl. Linebacker James Harrison made it for the third consecutive year and nose tackle Casey Hampton made it for the fifth time.

Despite all the records set this season, no Steelers offense player made the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year.

Harrison, the NFL's defensive player of the year in 2008, was named a starter for the AFC in the Pro Bowl. Hampton is a reserve. The game will be played Jan. 31 in Miami, the week before the Super Bowl is played there.

Harrison, who set the team record with 16 sacks last season, is second on the team and fourth in the AFC with 10 sacks to go with a team-high five forced fumbles.

Hampton, who could become an unrestricted free agent in March if he is not signed before then or is not named the team's franchise player, has a career-high 2.5 sacks. He also has 13 quarterback pressures/hurries and his 40 tackles are four short of his career high in 2003.

Among those having their best seasons on offense who did not make the Pro Bowl were wide receiver Santonio Holmes, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and tight end Heath Miller. Holmes is tied for third in the AFC with 1,243 yards receiving and his 15.9-yard average is tops among the five leaders. Roethlisberger ranks fourth in the conference with a 98.9 passer rating and fifth with 4,108 yards passing, a Steelers record. Miller set a team record for tight ends with 71 receptions, third among tight ends in the AFC.


For more on the Steelers, read the new blog, Ed Bouchette On the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus . Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com .


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