Soon after learning he and six Arizona teammates had been named to the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl, Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson went to Twitter — not to talk about himself or those teammates, but to point out whom he believed was a clear omission.
Peterson tweeted that he didn’t know what more safety Rashad Johnson needed to do to earn a Pro Bowl invitation.
— Patrick Peterson /P2 (@RealPeterson21) December 23, 2015
It’s a fair point, one shared by Deone Bucannon, a former safety who has been used as a linebacker.
— Deone Bucannon (@deonebucannon20) December 23, 2015
Johnson has been a rock at strong safety, picking off five passes, which ties fellow defensive back Tyrann Mathieu for the team lead.
Johnson, in his seventh year with the Cardinals after they drafted him in 2009, is fifth on the team with 58 total tackles this year and also has seven passes defended.
He has been with Arizona beyond the entirety of Peterson’s professional career, so no wonder the team’s best defensive player is standing up for a teammate who probably hasn’t gotten his due playing alongside and acting as a leader for the younger players, some of whom have grown into stars.
Of the seven Cardinals that have been invited to the Pro Bowl this year are three members of the No Fly Zone, the nickname for Arizona’s secondary. Peterson, Mathieu and backup cornerback/special teams guru Justin Bethel were all named Pro Bowlers on Tuesday.
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