Calvin Johnson, Jared Allen lead All-Pro voting
NEW YORK — Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen were the leading vote getters for The Associated Press 2011 NFL All-Pro Team, each falling one vote short of being unanimous choices.
Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback for the first time, easily beating New Orleans’ Drew Brees, 47½ to 2½. Rodgers led Green Bay to a league-best 15-1 record, maintaining the brilliance he showed in taking the Packers to the Super Bowl title last February.
Johnson and Allen each received 49 votes Friday from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. It’s the fourth All-Pro team for Allen, who led the league with 22 sacks, one-half short of the record. Johnson makes it for the first time after hauling in 96 catches for a 17.5-yard average and scoring 16 touchdowns.
Allen liked how adding to his All-Pro spots in 2007 through 2009 reflects on his career.
“The All-Pro Team to me is one of the all-time accomplishments,” Allen said. “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.
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 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.”