Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was named a starter to the 2009 Pro Bowl on Feb. 8 in Honolulu, the NFL announced Dec. 16. Oakland punter Shane Lechler also made the American Football Conference team, his fourth such honor.
Asomugha, right, is having an outstanding season despite the Raiders’ 3-11 record. The six-year veteran from Cal reportedly has allowed only eight completions for 133 yards and no touchdowns in 14 games.
"It's really refreshing when you get these types of moments when people can say, 'Yeah, you're one of the best,' " Asomugha, 27, told reporters at a news conference in Alameda, Calif. on Dec. 16.
The New York Jets lead all teams with seven Pro Bowl selections, including quarterback Brett Favre. The Giants, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans each have six selections.
The Pro Bowl rosters are selected by a vote of fans, players and coaches. Each counts one-third toward determining the 42-player rosters. A 43rd need player is chosen by the coaches.
“It is great to see our opponents and fans recognize both their talents and reward them with the highest individual honor,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said in a news release. “The Raider organization is very proud of both Nnamdi and Shane.”
Lechler, right, is headed to Hawaii for the second straight season. He was the Raiders’ lone representative in the 2008 Pro Bowl. The nine-year veteran is second in the league among regular punters in gross average (48.8) and net average (41.3), third in punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line (28) and tied for first in punts downed (17).
"Anytime you get voted in by your peers, and they respect what you do, and they truly congratulate you, it’s not a grudge deal, and it feels good," Lechler, 32, said. "I was ecstatic. … I’ve had numerous calls today, been on the phone all morning with people. And it still feels like the first time."
Oakland special teams player Isaiah Ekejiuba reportedly was selected as a third alternate. Asomugha received a similar honor in the 2006 season. He reportedly was unable to make it to Honolulu in time once he learned he had been named a replacement.
Click here for the 2009 Pro Bowl rosters