Adrian Wilson is going to his fourth Pro Bowl. Most people say he shouldn’t be going to Hawaii this year. They say he didn’t earn it. They say he had a bad year. And let the record show that Mr. Wilson agrees with them.
But he won’t apologize.
A player that is Pro Bowl worthy typically suffers from a Pro Bowl lag that seems to be law, an axiom for those receiving Pro Bowl consideration: you typically go a year later than you should and hang on a year longer than you should.
No need for apologies here, AW.
The Gasman had a great 2005 season and should have gone to his first Pro Bowl then. He played all 16-games, had 109-tackles, 8-sacks, 8-passes defended and a pick. He was the most dominant force from the secondary I had seen in that young decade, destroying players on a weekly basis.
He got nothing and didn’t like it. He was a lock to go to Oahu and got jacked. AW brooded and the league ultimately paid the price for their insolence. 2006 was the year he got his due. It was a year late.
But the league recognized a menace when they saw one and 2005 was the year that reputation was established.
Coming into this season, no safety in the game has been more feared or respected than The Gasman. AW has “blowed-up” quarterbacks and receivers with a passion and proficiency that cannot be questioned or doubted. He has made plays on the ball and has made high-profile picks from the safety position. He became one of ten-players in league history to amass 20-interceptions and 20-sacks – one of ten! He may be the only other player in NFL history outside of Rodney Harrison to join the 30/30 club. He is worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.
Now, he goes to the Pro Bowl in a year which he did not play consistently well and people are up in arms – everybody but the players, of course. Players don’t forget another player’s wrath quickly. Players don’t forget the fear they felt in their gut when 24 was, and is, looming, circling the area for whom he may destroy. Players don’t forget the collisions, pain and ferocity easily. The fear has a tendency to linger.
Yeah, that’s what I said: fear.
And that’s why AW is going to his fourth Pro Bowl. He grew into a monster, a predator, a guy that no player wanted to see opposing him. That didn’t happen in a year; that didn’t happen in two or three-years. That happened over the course of ten-years. Adrian Wilson earned his reputation the old-fashioned way: by driving people into the ground and doing it with malice.
Adrian Wilson didn’t have a Pro Bowl year but he has had a Pro Bowl career. No apologies needed, Adrian.