Dec. 29, 2009
The University of Tennessee keeps its streak alive of former Vols chosen to play in the annual NFC/AFC Pro Bowl game as Peyton Manning and Jason Witten were named to the Sunday, January 31, 2010 contest (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET) from Dolphin Stadium in South Florida, also the site of Super Bowl XLIV a week later on Sunday, February 7.
A Volunteer has appeared in every Pro Bowl since 1987, a span of 24 years. This marks the eighth consecutive year in which at least two Vols have made the team. An all-time high of five made it in 1996 when defensive back Dale Carter (Kansas City), defensive back Terry McDaniel (Oakland), wide receiver Anthony Miller (Denver), wide receiver Carl Pickens (Cincinnati) and defensive lineman Reggie White (Green Bay) were named Pro Bowlers.
Four former Vols earned MVP honors including Bert Rechichar in 1957, Doug Atkins in 1959, Reggie White in 1987 and Manning in 2005.
Manning, the starter for the AFC at quarterback, is making his ninth consecutive appearance and 10th overall as a member of the Indianapolis Colts (14-1). He ranks second to Reggie White's 13 appearances in Tennessee history. The MVP of the 2005 Pro Bowl is the second leading passer in the NFL with 4405 yards through 15 games with 33 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The 12-year veteran has thrown for 50,033 yards and 366 touchdown passes in his career, which rank fourth and third, respectively, in the NFL annals.
Witten, a reserve for the NFC at tight end, is making his sixth consecutive appearance. The leading receiver for the Dallas Cowboys (10-5) has 88 catches for 954 yards and one touchdown. He ranks second in the NFL in receptions and third in receiving yards among tight ends. He is in his seventh season with the Cowboys and has career totals of 5889 yards on 517 receptions with 26 touchdowns.