Ravens special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg didn't hold back Wednesday, making an impassioned argument that punter Sam Koch should have been named to the Pro Bowl.
Koch is one of five who were named Pro Bowl alternates. He's tied for second in the NFL with a 47.4-yard average per punt and ranks first with a 43.5 net average. Although Koch ranked first in fan balloting, which counts for a third of the voting to determine Pro Bowl selections, Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee and Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber were named to the Pro Bowl ahead of him.
"I think the fans got it right," Rosburg said. "The fans prove to be more informed than the experts in this particular regard, in my opinion. What more does a guy have to do? And this is meant as no disrespect for the two outstanding players that made it. The reason we do what we do is because Sam can do it. The season he's had has been phenomenal.
"He went through an offseason where he got some undeserved criticism that was thrown out there and some people swallowed it and then spit it back up. This is a model for pro athletes. He's changing the game right now. The things that he's doing are because he's so skilled nobody else is doing them. My support for Sam is unwavering. I feel for Sam because this is one time where I wanted him to get that recognition."
Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil and right guard Marshal Yanda were the only Ravens included on the Pro Bowl rosters, which were announced Tuesday night.
Along with Koch, running back Justin Forsett, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and kick returner Jacoby Jones were named first alternates for the Jan. 25 game in Glendale, Ariz.
Koch has been a Pro Bowl alternate once previously.
"Jerry is a passionate guy, and rightfully so," Koch said of Rosburg's comments. "Collectively as a unit, we put one of the best seasons together we've had as a group. The numbers kind of speak for themselves. It was unfortunate. Honestly, I was pretty [angry], to say it lightly. The fans did speak for me, but we're going to move forward."
A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Suggs also spoke Wednesday about not making the Pro Bowl roster despite having 11 sacks.
"I think the guy that made it is deserving," Suggs said of his teammate Dumervil, who has 17 sacks. "Every year, somebody is going to get left out. I'm pretty sure last year or a couple years ago, I probably edged somebody out. I could still play because guys could opt out or go to the Super Bowl. If we get in the playoffs, it will all be better, though. You care, but it doesn't affect you as much. I don't think it validates my season."
One of the top candidates for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Mosley was somewhat surprised to be named to the Pro Bowl after being drafted in the first round in May.
"I didn't think rookies could even get in the Pro Bowl," Mosley said Wednesday. "My main thing was to make sure I was doing my job and helping the team win. I'm just a rookie, so I've got a lot more stuff I can work on."
A former consensus All-American from Alabama. Mosley leads the Ravens with 122 tackles and has three sacks, two inteceptions, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
"I think C.J. is a special linebacker," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "For a rookie to be able to make it, that's really a special thing. It's always hard for me as a coach, though, because I feel like there are so many guys that go unnoticed that also should be a Pro Bowler. I think Daryl Smith is a Pro Bowl player. Terrell Suggs is a Pro Bowl player. Daryl Smith helps C.J. Mosley become who C.J. Mosley has become."
Mosley is the first Ravens rookie to be named to the Pro Bowl, an accomplishment unmatched by retired Ravens legends like middle linebacker Ray Lewis, free safety Ed Reed and Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.
"That's humbling and surprising," Mosley said. "You would have thought they would have made the Pro Bowl, but there's always a first for everything. I just set the standard for the next rookie to come in after me."