NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A changing of the guard — and tackles and running backs and receivers — saw 15 first-timers make The Associated Press 2008 NFL All-Pro team announced Friday.
While such standbys as three-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning and six-time All-Pro Ray Lewis made the squad, there was plenty of room for newcomers. Ten of the 14 offensive players and five of the 13 on defense had never been All-Pros.
There was room for one unanimous selection by a nationwide panel of 50 sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the NFL: safety Ed Reed, who made his third All-Pro squad.
Reed finished the regular season with nine interceptions, and he had two, including one returned for a TD, in a playoff win over Miami last weekend.
Reed was joined in the secondary by Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu, making his second All-Pro squad, and two of the newcomers: cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan of Tennessee and Nnamdi Asomugha of Oakland. Other first-timers on defense were Pittsburgh outside linebacker James Harrison, the AP Defensive Player of the Year; end Justin Tuck of the New York Giants; and inside linebacker Jon Beason of Carolina.
The slew of new All-Pros on offense included running backs Michael Turner of Atlanta and Adrian Peterson of Minnesota; fullback Le’Ron McClain of Baltimore; wideouts Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona and Andre Johnson of Houston; tackles Michael Roos of Tennessee and Jordan Gross of Carolina; guard Chris Snee of the Giants; kicker Stephen Gostkowski of New England; and kick returner Leon Washington of the New York Jets.