Following up on Mike Preston's previous post, I recently received early voting results for the Pro Bowl in February, and Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is not one of the top five vote-getters at his position in the AFC.
The top five are Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth (206,925 votes), Pittsburgh's Casey Hampton (86,352), Buffalo's Marcus Stroud (80,981), New York's Kris Jenkins (74,343) and Cleveland's Shaun Rogers (72,950).
Ngata has more tackles than Hampton, Stroud and Jenkins. He has one sack compared to Hampton's zero, and leads the entire group in interceptions with two.
I asked Ngata about the lack of respect, and befitting his humble nature, Ngata downplayed the early results.
"That doesn't even matter to me," he said today. "We've got a lot of things we need to worry about, and that's just way back in terms of my priorities. I'm just trying to help the team win a game and get better and better every week."
Fan votes make up one-third of final Pro Bowl results. Players' votes count for one-third, and coaches' votes count for the final one-third. While players and coaches will vote Dec. 11-12, polls for fans are open until Tuesday, Dec. 9. Fans can go to NFL.com/probowl to vote.
In other Pro Bowl news, inside linebacker Ray Lewis, free safety Ed Reed and fullback Le'Ron McClain lead in voting at their respective positions in the AFC. Lewis has collected 168,566 votes, which is 66,041 more than Pittsburgh's James Farrior. Reed's 133,666 votes more than double the 58,803 votes Tennessee's Michael Griffin has garnered. And McClain has almost 16,000 more votes than Tennessee's Ahmard Hall.
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has earned 112,110 votes, which ranks fourth behind Miami's Joey Porter (151,463), Tennessee's Keith Bulluck (117,856) and Pittsburgh's James Harrison (117,728).
Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo is fourth among special teams players with 38,982 votes. Pittsburgh's Anthony Madison (47,147), New England's Larry Izzo (43,462) and Miami's Patrick Cobbs (41,895) are ahead of Ayanbadejo.
Cornerback Chris McAlister – who is on injured reserve after undergoing surgery on his right knee – is fifth with 63,378 votes. He trails Denver's Champ Bailey (153,765), Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan (105,251), San Diego's Antonio Cromartie (104,958) and Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha (79,408).