Six Atlanta Falcons – LB Keith Brooking, DT Rod Coleman, TE Alge Crumpler, RB Warrick Dunn, CB DeAngelo Hall, and QB Michael Vick – were selected to the NFC’s Pro Bowl squad based on their outstanding individual performances during the 2005 regular season.
Atlanta’s six Pro Bowl selections represented the highest number of Falcons chosen to play in the NFL’s annual all-star game since 1998 when the Falcons also sent six players to Honolulu, Hawaii. The Falcons have had more players selected to the Pro Bowl just two other times in franchise history (seven in 1969 and 1981).
Brooking will make his fifth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl – tying the franchise record held by defensive end Claude Humphrey (1970-74) and offensive tackle Mike Kenn (1980-1984) – after recording 115 tackles through the first 14 games of the season. An eight-year veteran, Brooking also tallied 2.5 sacks, three interceptions and a career-high nine passes defensed.
Coleman, in his seventh NFL season and second with the Falcons, will make his first trip to the Pro Bowl. Coleman leads the Falcons with 9.5 sacks and has recorded 38 tackles and five passes defensed. Coleman registered 12 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles in four games en route to earning NFC Defensive Player for the Month of September honors. Additionally, Coleman was Atlanta’s most sought-after free agent acquisition during the free agency period in the 2004 offseason and the first major free agent signing by President & General Manager Rich McKay and Head Coach Jim Mora.
After being named to the past two Pro Bowls, Crumpler returns to Honolulu for the third straight year after a season in which he broke his own single-season franchise record for the most receptions by a tight end and leads the Falcons in receiving with 58 receptions for 793 yards and five touchdowns.
Dunn was selected to his third Pro Bowl after having a career season. The nine-year veteran from Florida State has rushed 259 times for a career-high 1,328 yards (5.1 avg.) and three touchdowns. The reigning Walter Payton Man of the Year Award honoree, Dunn has also caught 26 passes for 205 yards (7.9 avg.) and scored one touchdown. Of running backs who have carried the ball more than 150 times this season, Dunn ranks tied for first in the NFL in yards per attempt (5.1). Dunn was initially drafted by McKay in Tampa Bay in 1997.
Hall, in just his second NFL season, makes his first trip across the pond to the Pro Bowl after a stellar 2005 season that has seen him tally 64 tackles, five interceptions, and four passes defensed through 14 games. The youngest player on Atlanta’s roster (11-19-83), Hall was McKay and Mora’s first draft selection. He continues to establish himself as one the NFL’s most dominate shutdown cover cornerbacks.
Vick, in his fifth NFL season and third as a full-time starter, will be making his third trip to Honolulu. One of the NFL’s most dynamic players, Vick has won 31-of-49 games he has started in his career, and has been the catalyst behind Atlanta’s move from the worst offense in the NFL two years ago to the League’s 11th best so far this season. Vick has completed 183-of-337 passes for 2,136 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing 90 times for 534 yards (5.9 avg.) and six scores in 14 games in 2005.
With five selections last year and two new selections this year (Coleman, Hall), there have been a total seven different Falcons who have earned Pro Bowl trips under McKay and Mora.