GREEN BAY – While Jeff Saturday clearly received his sixth Pro Bowl selection based on name recognition and the reputation he’s built during his 14-year NFL career, the Green Bay Packers center was gracious in accepting the honor Wednesday, five days after losing his starting job.
The Pro Bowl selections were announced by the NFL after the Packers’ locker-room media access period, but in quotes distributed by the team, Saturday said the lineman who truly deserved the honor was right guard Josh Sitton.
“Obviously, it’s always an honor. Anytime you get to go to the Pro Bowl, it is an honor and you appreciate everyone – the players, coaches and fans – that voted for you. As an offensive lineman, it is nice to get the award,” said Saturday, who was named to five Pro Bowl rosters as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
“I am disappointed for Josh Sitton; I think he should be there. It is disappointing for me, for him. I would love to be able to pass it to him. He is a tough player and has played very well all season. I respect the heck out of the way he has played and it has been fun to play next to him.”
Saturday also praised left guard T.J. Lang and Evan Dietrich-Smith, who’s replace dhim as the Packers’ starting center.
“I’ve had fun playing with T.J. and Evan. (All) these guys have been a lot of fun to play with and obviously you depend on those guys,” Saturday said. “They make you look a lot better on game film, so I am very appreciative to those guys as well.”
Sitton was named as a first-alternate, so if one of the NFC’s three guards – New Orleans’ Jahri Evans, San Francisco’s Mike Iupati or the New York Giants’ Chris Snee – can’t play in the game, Sitton would be added to his first Pro Bowl roster.
“That sure is nice of Jeff (to say),” Sitton wrote on his Twitter page. And while Sitton pointed out that Saturday’s kindness doesn’t get him to the Pro Bowl, he added, “Jeff really is a class guy!”
Saturday, who was active but was the only Packers player not to see action in last Sunday’s game against Tennessee, is the No. 2 center on the NFC roster behind starter Max Unger of Seattle. He’s likely to retire after the season.
“It has been fun,” Saturday said. “I have enjoyed the young guys and playing next to new guys for me.”
Return to: Jason Wilde Blog