Rodgers Tops Brees For All-Pro QB

QB Aaron Rodgers (Brace Hemmelgarn/USP)

The Packers have two players named to the official All-Pro team: Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson.

NEW YORK — In what could be a harbinger of the MVP vote that will be released the night before the Super Bowl, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers easily outdistanced Drew Brees to be the quarterback on The Associated Press 2011 NFL All-Pro Team.

Rodgers and cornerback Charles Woodson were the Packers' only representatives on the team.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen were the leading vote-getters, each falling one vote short of being unanimous choices.

Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback for the first time, easily beating New Orleans' Drew Brees, 47.5 to 2.5. Rodgers led Green Bay to a league-best 15-1 record, maintaining the brilliance he showed in taking the Packers to the Super Bowl title last February.

Johnson and Allen each received 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. It's the fourth All-Pro team for Allen, who led the league with 22 sacks, one-half short of the record. Johnson makes it for the first time after hauling in 96 catches for a 17.5-yard average and scoring 16 touchdowns.

"That's sweet," Johnson said. "That's one of the best honors you can have other than being a Super Bowl champion. To be an All-Pro is a tremendous honor."

Allen liked how adding to his All-Pro spots in 2007 through 2009 reflects on his career.


Offense

Position

Player, Team

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

Running back

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia

Fullback

Vonta Leach, Baltimore

Wide receiver

Calvin Johnson, Detoit

Wes Welker, New England

Tight end

Rob Gronkowski, New England

Tackles

Jason Peters, Philadelphia

Joe Thomas, Cleveland

Guards

Carl Nicks, New Orleans

Jahri Evans, New Orleans

Center

Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh

Kick returner

Patrick Peterson, Arizona

Placekicker

David Akers, San Francisco

Defense

Position

Player, Team

Defensive ends

Jared Allen, Minnesota

Jason Pierre-Paul, N.Y. Giants

Defensive tackles

Haloti Ngata, Baltimore

Justin Smith, San Francisco

Outside linebacker

Terrell Suggs, Baltimore

DeMarcus Ware, Dallas

Inside linebacker

Patrick Willis, San Francisco

NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco

Derrick Johnson, Kansas City

Cornerback

Charles Woodson, Green Bay

Darrelle Revis, N.Y. Jets

Free safety

Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh

Eric Weddle, San Diego

Punter

Andy Lee, San Francisco

"The All-Pro Team to me is one of the all-time accomplishments," Allen said. "Pro Bowls are nice, but guys get voted in longer than they should and guys who deserve to go don't always get to. It's the whole league. It's not just an AFC and NFC thing. So to me this is the honor I hold the highest. It's something to put on the resume and tell the grandkids about."

One rookie made the squad: Arizona's Patrick Peterson was selected as the kick returner. Peterson tied an NFL mark when he ran back four punts for touchdowns, including a 99-yarder in overtime to beat the Rams.

"It's special to be the only rookie on the list and a nice way to end my first NFL season," said Peterson, a cornerback.

Another cornerback, Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets, was behind Johnson and Allen with 48 selections. Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs got 47.

One oddity: Both first-team guards, Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans, were from the Saints. That has not occurred since 1953, with Detroit's Lou Creekmur and Dick Stanfel.

In the All-Pro backfield joining Rodgers, whose quarterback rating of 122.5 broke Peyton Manning's single-season mark, were Maurice Jones-Drew of Jacksonville, LeSean McCoy of Philadelphia, and fullback Vonta Leach of Baltimore.

It's the first All-Pro selections for Jones-Drew, the league's rushing leader with 1,606 yards, and McCoy. Leach made it last year with Houston.

McCoy scored 20 touchdowns, 17 rushing, and was the brightest spot in a down year for the hyped Eagles.

Record-setter Rob Gronkowski was the tight end. The New England Patriot set the single-season mark at his position with 1,327 yards receiving. Teammate Wes Welker (league-high 122 catches) was the other receiver.

Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey was the center, with Philadelphia's Jason Peters and Cleveland's Joe Thomas at tackle.

Joining Allen on the defensive line were ends Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants, and tackles Haloti Ngata of the Ravens and Justin Smith of the San Francisco 49ers — who also placed third at DE; the 49ers used him at both spots.

The linebackers were Suggs and DeMarcus Ware of Dallas on the outside, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman of the 49ers and Derrick Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs on the inside. Bowman and Johnson tied with 16 votes, half of Willis' total.

Revis and Charles Woodson of the Packers were the cornerbacks, with Troy Polamalu of the Steelers and Eric Weddle of the San Diego Chargers at safety.

Both kickers were 49ers: placekicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee.

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