How flawed is Pro Bowl? ‘The best tackle in football’ — a Dolphins player — was left out

by / 0 Comments / 12 View / December 19, 2018

Around the world, it’s the holiday season.

But inside Dolphins headquarters Wednesday, it was snub season.

As in, how in the world did tackle Laremy Tunsil get snubbed when the NFL announced the Pro Bowl roster Tuesday?

Tunsil was left out of the NFL’s all-star game in favor of Tennessee’s Taylor Lewan, Pittsburgh’s Alejandro Villanueva and Kansas City’s Eric Fisher.

Fine players, all. But in Adam Gase’s estimation, not as good as Tunsil.

“I think he’s the best tackle in football,” Gase said. “I was shocked. Because without him, we can’t do anything. He’s on an island every play, every game. And he knows it. You tell him, ‘This is what we’re doing protection-wise. You’re on your own.’”

Tunsil has allowed just 19 pressures in 425 pass-blocking snaps this year, according to Pro Football Focus, which ranks him ninth.

So what more could he have done?

“Y’all tell me,” Tunsil said. “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I guess I’m not that popular.”

Tunsil knows he was hurt by the Dolphins’ appearing on national television just once this year. Plus, often don’t get invited until the year after they do enough to deserve an invite.

“It’s doesn’t matter,” Tunsil said. “It does, but s— happens. It happens. They’re all great players. I wish them the best and continue to go from there.”

Tunsil is an alternate for the Pro Bowl and has a chance to go if players invited get hurt or back out.

Philbin flashback

Joe Philbin is who he is — no matter the quarterback.

The former Dolphins/interim Packers coach took a page from his Miami playbook Sunday, refusing to name a starting quarterback for Green Bay’s Week 16 game against the Jets during a conference call with New York media.

If this sounds familiar, it should.

He did it in 2014 to Ryan Tannehill.

But this is Aaron Rodgers we’re talking about now.

The two-time league MVP.

The guy named to his seventh Pro Bowl on Wednesday.

Now, the circumstances are of course different.

Philbin was noncommittal about Tannehill days after a poor game early in the season — prompting Tannehill to criticize his coach from the podium, saying he caused a “distraction.”

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The Packers, meanwhile, are out of playoff contention, and there’s no question Rodgers will be the Packers’ starter in 2019. Rodgers later told reporters that he plans to start Sunday.

But the similarities are too rich to ignore — particularly since Philbin admitted to his players he messed up four years ago.

A day after Tannehill sounded off, Philbin told his players that as the coach, he should have handled the matter differently and was remorseful about creating a distraction, we reported at the time.

One player said Philbin indicated he would not put them in that position again. Philbin and Tannehill met in the wake of Tannehill’s comments Wednesday, and Philbin struck a similar contrite tone with his quarterback.

“It sounds very familiar,” Tannehill said, when told Wednesday what Philbin had said about Rodgers. “But it doesn’t mean a whole lot. I can relate.”

Receiver Danny Amendola (knee), defensive tackle Ziggy Hood (hamstring) and safety T.J. McDonald (ankle) all sat out Dolphins practice Wednesday. Tunsil (knee) linebacker Kiko Alonso (knee/hamstring), cornerback Cornell Armstrong (ankle), long snapper John Denney (finger/hamstring), cornerback Xavien Howard (knee), quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder/ankle) were all limited in their participation.

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