Wide receiver Antonio Brown and safety Troy Polamalu were named to the Pro Bowl roster. Eighty -six players from the league’s 32 teams were selected Friday and they were the only two from the Steelers.
Polamalu is going to the Pro Bowl for the eighth time in his 11-year career. Brown is going for the second time in his four seasons. He was selected as a receiver and punt returner. In 2011, he was selected as a punt returner.
Pro Bowl voting was done by players, coaches and fans.
This year, for the first time, there will not be AFC and NFC teams. Instead, several players at each position were selected and the teams will be drafted next month by Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice, Pro Football Hall of Famers who will serve as honorary team captains, the top two vote getters and two NFL.com fantasy football champions. The Pro Bowl is Jan. 26 in Honolulu.
Kansas City and San Francisco will have plenty in Hawaii if they can’t make it to New Jersey for the Super Bowl.
The Chiefs and 49ers each had eight players voted into the Pro Bowl, including running backs Jamaal Charles of Kansas City and Frank Gore of San Francisco.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning was selected to his 13th Pro Bowl after garnering the most votes among fans, 1,430,000 million. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was second among fans with 1.2 million votes.
Two other two players — long-snappers — will be selected by Pro Bowl coaches. Voting ended Thursday.
Under a new format this year, Rice and Sanders will divvy up the players in a two-day draft. Offensive and defensive players with the most votes who don’t make it past the divisional playoff round will serve as active player captains.
Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman received 552,600 votes by fans, the most for any defensive player. Houston defensive end J.J. Watt had just less than 410,000 fan votes.
San Francisco is planning to send eight players to the all-star game for the second year in a row, though its players missed the game after the 2012 season because they made the Super Bowl, losing to Baltimore.
Kansas City’s eight selections are up from six a year ago. The Chiefs are 11-4 this year — up from 2-14 in 2012 — and the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs heading into a largely meaningless game for them Sunday against San Diego.
Manning was one of five players selected from Denver, which has a shot at putting up the most points of any team in NFL history.
Ray Fittipaldo: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @rayfitt1. First Published December 27, 2013 9:21 PM