RG3 on Pro Bowl selection: "I don't play for awards"
Quarterback Robert Griffin III, left tackle Trent Williams and special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander will represent the Redskins in next month's Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Wednesday evening.
Linebacker London Fletcher and running back Alfred Morris, meantime, were tapped as alternates on the NFC team, which will face the AFC's top players Sunday, Jan. 27 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
For Griffin, this latest accolade is the crowning individual achievement in a rookie season full of them. With 3,100 yards passing and 752 yards rushing, Griffin is one of only two quarterbacks to surpass 3,000 yards in the air and 750 on the ground. He joins Randall Cunningham, who achieved the feat in 1990 with the Eagles.
“I’ve always said my whole football career that you don’t play for awards,” Griffin, 22, said hours before the announcement. “Those just come. You don’t say you’re going to win the Heisman. You don’t say you’re going to win MVP. You go out and prove it on the field, and if everyone feels that way, then they’ll give you that award.”
Griffin’s selection is the 21st for a quarterback in Redskins’ history but the first such honor for a rookie signal caller. RG3 will join Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh as the only rookies named to the team.
Williams, meanwhile, protects Griffin’s blindside and anchors an overachieving offensive line that has paved the way for the NFL’s leading rushing offense. With 2,435 yards, the Redskins have nine more yards on the ground than Seattle and 821 more than the team gained in 2011.
Drafted fourth overall in 2010, Williams had his sophomore season cut short when he was suspended the final four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Williams, however, rededicated himself to his craft this past offseason and the hard work has been apparent. In addition to being significantly more consistent this season, the offensive captain has also played through a number of nagging injuries, most recently a deep thigh bruise.
“It’s a goal I set out for myself since I got drafted,” said Williams, the first Redskins offensive lineman selected since Chris Samuels in 2008. “For that to come true in my third, it’s truly exciting.”
He added: “I couldn’t stop smiling. It was surreal for a second.”
Alexander, who has made countless big hits on kick coverage, is also a first-time selection. The veteran linebacker leads the NFL with 19 special teams tackles, according to teamrankings.com.
“I’m very humbled from everybody voting me in, from the fans, coaches and players,” Alexander said.
Having three Pro Bowler and two alternates represents quite a turnaround for the Redskins. A year ago, Fletcher was the franchise’s only player in Honolulu – and he wasn’t picked until Chicago’s Brian Urlacher suffered a knee injury.
“It’s huge,” Alexander said. “It shows our growth as a team. Obviously, Pro Bowl nominations come down to the team winning games. And that’s something we’ve been able to do this year with the last six in a row. People tend to vote for winners. Hopefully this trend continues to move forward for us.”