Monday was the final day of fan voting for the Pro Bowl, and we asked Broncos fans for one final push to have Denver represented.
Well, your voices were heard.
At the close of voting, eight Broncos were among the top five at their respective positions in the AFC.
Tim Tebow is No. 3 among quarterbacks, Willis McGahee is No. 5 among running backs, Elvis Dumervil is No. 3 among defensive ends, Von Miller is No. 2 among outside linebackers, Champ Bailey is No. 4 among cornerbacks, Brian Dawkins is No. 3 among strong safeties, Matt Prater is No. 4 among kickers and Britton Colquitt is the No. 2 AFC punter.
Bailey said he can think of a few more Broncos that he hopes make the final list, including Ryan Clady, Chris Kuper and D.J. Williams.
“There’s a lot,” he said of deserving candidates.
Players and coaches account for the other two thirds of the Pro Bowl voting equation, and Bailey said the players take that responsibility seriously.
“You want to make sure the people that deserve it get in, not just somebody we know,” he said. “You look at the whole body of work people do and go from there.”
The final teams will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 5 p.m. MST on a special NFL Total Access 2012 Pro Bowl Selection Show on NFL Network.
The game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012.
VERSATILE BILLS PROVIDE CHALLENGE
When Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen was asked about the problems the Bills present on offense, he was quick to point out the unit’s versatility.
“I think when they’re really good and clicking, they’ve got a good combination of run and pass,” he said. “I think they try to spread you out, get into a lot of opened-up sets, and obviously — lately it’s been [RB] C.J. Spiller; previously it was [RB] Fred Jackson — they spread you out, and they make you execute in the running game. [QB Ryan] Fitzpatrick does a nice job of getting the ball in the right spots and getting the ball out of his hands and not letting you get to him.”
Champ Bailey said he plans to treat Spiller like a wide receiver if he goes out wide, as he has the kind of speed that makes him “special.”
But he’s also focused on an actual Bills receiver, Stevie Johnson, who has 68 receptions for 872 yards and six touchdowns this season.
“He’s tough, and watching him on tape – I watched the Jets game and Chargers game – their corners had a hard time with him,” Bailey said. “One thing he’s good at is getting off the ball and making people kind of look stupid. If we can just limit those plays, especially down the field, we can do a good job against him.”
Fortunately for the Broncos, Allen said, they have the “luxury” of a Pro Bowl cornerback in Bailey to help neutralize some of those threats.
“Any time you’ve got a guy that can kind of say, ‘You go take care of that guy, and we’ll worry about all the rest of them,’ it makes your job easier as a coordinator, and it makes our job easier as a defense,” Allen said. “We’ve been fortunate to have a guy like that, and he still plays at an elite level, and we’re going to continue to try to use him the best way we can.”
After missing last Sunday’s game, Brian Dawkins was limited in the first practice this week. But he said he’s feeling better.
“Going in the right direction,” he said. “Things are feeling better and better so we’ll see.”
Here is the full Broncos injury report:
LIMITED: David Bruton (Achilles), Brian Dawkins (neck)
FULL: Brodrick Bunkley (knee), Willis McGahee (hamstring), Daniel Fells (thumb), Von Miller (thumb)
For the Buffalo Bills:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: TE Lee Smith (fibula), RB Johnny White (concussion)
LIMITED: TE Scott Chandler (ankle), WR Stevie Johnson (groin), WR Martin Ruvell (hamstring)
Below are photos from Wednesday’s practice.