The AP NFL All-Pro Roster has been announced with six Carolina Panthers on board.
The Carolina Panthers received more honors as six of their members were named All-Pro as part of the Associated Press All-Pro Team. They put more players on the team than any other.
All-Pro Teams are something of a hoot. They are fantasy teams without being what today are fantasy teams. In that way they are much like the Pro Bowl for a young NFL fan. You spend all year rooting for your team against the opposition. Sometimes the opposition would beat you, so you had to grudgingly admit that they had talent.
Then at the end of the year in Hawaii, your best players would be put on a team with the other best players including those teams that beat over the course of the year. Jerry Rice could now be your teammate instead of your hated rival. The Pro Bowl was really mind blowing for nine year old football fans. Unfortunately that seems to be its only demographic these days.
All-Pro teams are a step from even that. While the Pro Bowlers pit NFC vs AFC, an All-Pro team is the best NFL guys and who are they going to play? Some NFL video games included vintage NFL teams and All Madden teams, but they were really clones of each other.
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No an All-Pro team looked out at an empty universe and declared ‘this is the year 2015 and you could not beat us.’ This is why people love 1992 Dream Team in basketball.
So this year the Panthers contributed six players to the All-Pro squad. That includes linebacker Luke Kuechly, linebacker Thomas Davis, center Ryan Kalil, cornerback Josh Norman, fullback Mike Tolbert, and quarterback Cam Newton.
None of those guys looks questionable at first glance. It is nice to see Kalil get some recognition for the offensive line performance. Newton may well win the NFL MVP this year. Kuechly and Davis have been tremendous as always. Norman has cut off his part of the field. Only Tolbert plays a position where the judgment is subjective. Each year it seems there are fewer and fewer real fullbacks in the league.
Hopefully this glut of recognition will not derail the Panthers as they move toward the ultimate team prize: The Super Bowl.