Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 1/6/12
By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer NEW YORK (AP) -- Calvin Johnson took one look at the voting and smiled broadly. "That's sweet," he said, as he studied The Associated Press 2011 NFL All-Pro Team. "That's one of the best honors you can have other than being a Super Bowl champion. To be an All-Pro is a tremendous honor." Johnson and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen were the leading vote getters, each just one vote shy of being a unanimous pick. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers made the team for the first time, easily beating Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, 47 to 2. Rodgers led Green Bay to a league-best 15-1 record this season, after taking the Packers to the Super Bowl title last February. "I am a competitor," Rodgers said. "I care desperately about winning and doing everything I can to contribute. But personally, speaking for my own self, you learn exactly what you need to do to be able to balance the pressure from the outside with the pressure from within, that you put on yourself to be successful. Last year's run is really going to help all of us and our preparation through the week." Johnson and Allen received 49 votes Friday from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. It was the fourth All-Pro Team for Allen, who led the league with 22 sacks, one-half short of the record. Johnson made it for the first time after hauling in 96 catches for a 17.5-yard average and scoring 16 touchdowns. "The All-Pro Team to me is one of the all-time accomplishments," said Allen, who also was selected in 2007 through 2009. "Pro Bowls are nice, but guys get voted in longer than they should and guys who deserve to go don't always get to. It's the whole league. It's not just an AFC and NFC thing. So to me this is the honor I hold the highest. It's something to put on the resume and tell the grandkids about." One rookie made the squad: Arizona's Patrick Peterson was selected as the kick returner. Peterson tied an NFL mark when he ran back four punts for touchdowns, including a 99-yarder in overtime to beat the Rams. "It's special to be the only rookie on the list and a nice way to end my first NFL season," said Peterson, a cornerback. Another cornerback, Darrelle Revis of the Jets, was behind Johnson and Allen with 48 selections. Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs got 47. One oddity: Both first-team guards, Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans, were from the Saints. That hasn't happened since 1953, with Detroit's Lou Creekmur and Dick Stanfel. "That's a great honor and that's a long time since it happened," Nicks said. "I think this shows it's recognized that we are strong and physical and not just big guys. We are athletic enough to pass protect 45 to 50 times a game and keep Drew clean." In the All-Pro backfield joining Rodgers, whose quarterback rating of 122.5 broke Peyton Manning's single-season mark, were Maurice Jones-Drew of Jacksonville, LeSean McCoy of Philadelphia, and fullback Vonta Leach of Baltimore. It's the first All-Pro selections for Jones-Drew, the league's rushing leader with 1,606 yards, and McCoy. Leach made it last year with Houston. "It is a we' thing, not a me' thing," Jones-Drew said, praising his teammates on offense and his coaches. "The guys who don't get the glory and keep blocking all day, and the coaches who don't get enough credit, it's for them." McCoy scored 20 touchdowns, 17 rushing, and was the brightest spot in a down year for the hyped Eagles. Yet ... "There are so many things I can do better," he said. "I look at the numbers and see so many plays I left on the field, so many yards. I can perfect my game a lot more." Record-setter Rob Gronkowski was the tight end. The Patriot set the single-season mark at his position with 1,327 yards receiving. Teammate Wes Welker (league-high 122 catches) was the other receiver. Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey was the center, with Philadelphia's Jason Peters and Cleveland's Joe Thomas at tackle. Joining Allen on the defensive line were ends Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants, and tackles Haloti Ngata of the Ravens and Justin Smith of the 49ers -- who also placed third at DE; the 49ers used him at both spots. "Actually, I knew that I was going to have a great year this year," said Pierre-Paul, in his second season with the Giants. "I came in and last year I had an all right season and I wanted to do better than what I did last year. Next season in 2012, I should be better than this year." The linebackers were Suggs and DeMarcus Ware of Dallas on the outside, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman of the 49ers and Derrick Johnson of the Chiefs on the inside. Bowman and Johnson tied with 16 votes, half of Willis' total. The 49ers led the All-Pro Team with five players, a testament to the turnaround in San Francisco under new coach Jim Harbaugh.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Troy Brouwer has thought about signing with the Canucks

Jose Bautista says Rougned Odor was looking for fight before May 16 brawl

Lionel Messi accused of $4.5 million fraud scheme

Iguodala on Durant: ‘It must be fun playing with a guy like that’

Clayton Kershaw to Jake Arrieta: Choose happiness over money

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock announces retirement tour

Las Vegas mayor all-in on Raiders relocation

Darrelle Revis reportedly once ripped Geno Smith: 'I own him'

Report: Walter Thurmond retiring from NFL at age of 28

Report: Fitzpatrick could sign for less elsewhere out of spite

Report: David Blatt to return to Europe, coach team in Turkey

San Francisco Giants ask for tax breaks on AT&T Park due to dropping stadium value

Is Anderson Varejao already guaranteed a championship ring?

Why this NBA Finals rematch is different than last year

Floyd Mayweather stokes fire with mock poster for Conor McGregor fight

English Football Association commits to funding brain trauma research

Joel Embiid declares himself to be healthy in Instagram post

Klay Thompson’s dad too nervous to watch Game 7 so he watched Monday Night Raw

Justin Timberlake gives Gronk a shoutout for his dancing

What the USA Copa America 2016 warm-up games taught us

WWE's new era: fact or fiction?

Report: Pro Bowl moving from Honolulu to Orlando in 2017

2016 NBA Playoffs illustrate the value of a short memory

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why this NBA Finals rematch is different than last year

Defense could play a huge role in who wins the Stanley Cup

Speedy pace of the Penguins-Sharks Stanley Cup Final

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker