The NFL announced its 2010-2011 Pro Bowl team Tuesday and the NFC roster was notably absent of any Tampa Bay Buccaneers players. Last season marked the first time since 1995 that no Buccaneer players made the roster and it initially appears as if that trend may continue despite the quick turnaround this Bucs team has made. The fact that the Buccaneers have a winning record and are in the playoff hunt doesn't appear to have influenced the voters.
Tampa Bay joins Buffalo, Cincinnati and Seattle as the only teams with no Pro Bowl selections. Tampa Bay is the only club with a winning record that does not have a Pro Bowler.
Despite the initial snub, three Buccaneers players were selected as alternates and may be called upon if players picked ahead of them bow out due to injury, or playing in the super bowl.
Quarterback Josh Freeman, tight end Kellen Winslow and tackle Donald Penn were all named alternates for the NFC. Penn was a favorite to make the initial roster and his exemption from the team is quite a surprise as he has been arguably one of the best left tackles in all of football, consistently matching up against a defense's best pass rusher and keeping Josh Freeman protected. Should Penn make the team eventually it would be his first Pro Bowl selection.
Josh Freeman has improved mightily in his second season and has led the team to a 9-6 record while throwing for 3,196 yards with 26 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. He has a 60.3% completion percentage and has seven fourth quarter come from behind victories in just 24 career starts. This would be Freeman's first Pro Bowl selection and only the second for a Buccaneer drafted quarterback (Trent Dilfer).
Kellen Winslow was a former Pro Bowler for the Cleveland Browns and making the team would mark his second appearance. Winslow started the season slowly but has been lights out in the second half, catching 63 passes for 702 yards and five touchdowns.