WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Aside from London Fletcher, the Washington Redskins were shut out from the Pro Bowl this season.
Lorenzo Alexander, Brian Orakpo and Sav Rocca were the Skins alternates for NFL’s annual all-star event. Nowhere on the list was Adam Carriker, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying from the team.
Carriker led the team in sacks among defensive lineman for the bulk of the season until Stephen Bowen edged him out toward the end of the year.
His 5.5 sacks were a career high and a strong showing for an end in a 3-4 defense who didn’t play in the nickel page.
“I just figured I was listed as an end, I’d be and end and I’d never have a chance at the Pro Bowl because we aren’t going to get those high sack numbers,” he told Football News Now.
But it didn’t play out that way. The Redskins had cooled from their 3-1 start when Carriker was approached with an idea to try to still earn him a trip to Hawaii. It is a reality that teams with the better records have more representatives in the Pro Bowl.
“Our media guy came to me and said ‘I think you have a chance for the Pro Bowl, but I think you’re going to have to get about five more sacks,’ “ Carriker explained. “You have Jared Allen out there with whatever he had . . . You’ve got all these guys with sacks in the teens. That just doesn’t happen for 3-4 defensive ends.
“ ‘I’m thinking about moving you to defensive tackle on the Pro Bowl ballot with guys who get five or six sacks. That’s more what you play if you’re realistic about it. You’re not on the edge, you’re not rushing the passer. You’re more like a d-tackle in a 4-3 than you are an end in a 4-3 in this 3-4 defense. ‘ “
With Carriker’s blessing the switch was made, but when the game kicked off he was watching from home.
It’s not an altogether uncommon practice in the league. The Oakland Raiders used the same strategy with Richard Seymour as the San Francisco 49ers did with Justin Smith.