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Johnson, Allen near unanimous choices for AP All-Pro Team

  • By Associated Press
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NEW YORK -- Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen were the leading vote-getters for The Associated Press 2011 NFL All-Pro Team, each falling one vote short of being unanimous choices.

Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback for the first time, easily beating New Orleans' Drew Brees, 47½ to 2½. 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 Friday 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.

2011 AP All-Pro Team 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
2011 AP All-Pro Team 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.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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