January 24, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; NFC strong safety William Moore of the Atlanta Falcons (25) runs on a punt drill during practice for the 2013 Pro Bowl at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Falcons will not be without representation in the 2013 Pro Bowl. In the initial selection process, quarterback Matt Ryan, tight end Tony Gonzalez, and wide receiver Julio Jones were selected to represent Atlanta in the Pro Bowl. All were named to the team, and very deserving to be there.
Well, unfortunately, Matt Ryan suffered an injury in the NFC Championship game, and won’t participate int he Pro Bowl. Tony Gonzalez also will not participate, and another tight end will replace him.
The only initial selection remaining is Julio Jones. If you ever had a doubt this guy can be an elite player, his performance in the first half against the San Francisco 49ers eliminated all of those doubts. He was simply sparkling.
But that doesn’t mean he’s the only Falcons going to Hawaii. With several pro-bowlers of the 49ers participating in the Super Bowl, they won’t be able to participate. Notably, safeties Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner will not be in Hawaii, so someone needs to replace them.
Enter Atlanta free safety Thomas DeCoud and strong safety William Moore. They were absolutely outstanding in the regular season, and showed a lot of play-making ability. They became a strength of the Atlanta defense, and will be for years to come. They are, quite simply, one of the best safety tandems in the NFL.
Congrats to both DeCoud and Moore on being in the Pro-Bowl. I would look for them late in the game as replacements, but let’s root them on. And don’t forget about Julio, who will be starting the game at wide receiver. He will likely be making huge plays from the very start of the game.