UPDATE: The Eagles have hired Bobby April as special-teams coordinator. Niners coach Mike Singletary interviewed April for the team’s vacant position on Tuesday. Singletary also interviewed Larry Mac Duff last week, after Singletary informed Al Everest he would not be retained for the 2010 season.
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Niners linebacker Patrick Willis was a nearly unanimous pick for The Associated Press All-Pro team, which was announced this morning. Willis received 49 of a possible 50 votes from a nationwide panel of sportswriters, which is a pretty incredible accomplishment.
Willis was a first-team All-Pro pick as a rookie in 2007. Last year, he was a second-team selection. This season, he was also selected as a starter on the NFC Pro Bowl team.
(I was on the voting panel this season. And, yes, Willis most certainly received my vote.)
Niners tight end Vernon Davis also got my All-Pro vote. But he did not make the first or second team.
Gates: 79 receptions (4th) for 1,157 yards (1st) and eight TDs (tied for 3rd)
So, as you can see, reasonable and rational arguments can be made for each of those players. But what pushed it over the top for me in
Punter Andy Lee, a Pro Bowl selection, was named second-team All-Pro, along with the Rams’ Donnie Jones. The Raiders’ Shane Lechler was a pretty clear-cut selection for the first team. He led the NFL in gross punting average 51.1 yards, as well as net 43.9.
Lee was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2007.
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The Associated Press All-Pro Team
Quarterback: Peyton Manning,
Running Backs: Chris
Fullback: Leonard Weaver,
Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson,
Tackles: Ryan Clady,
Placekicker: Nate Kaeding,
Kick Returner: Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland.
Tackles: Jay Ratliff, Dallas; Kevin Williams,
Outside Linebackers: Elvis Dumervil,
Inside Linebacker: Patrick Willis, 49ers; Ray Lewis,
Cornerbacks: Charles Woodson,
Safeties: Darren Sharper,
Punter: Shane Lechler,
Quarterback: Drew Brees,
Running Backs: Ray Rice,
Fullback: Le’Ron McClain, Baltimore.
Tight End: Antonio Gates,
Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne,
Center: Andre Gurode, Dallas.
Placekicker: David Akers,
Kick Returner: DeSean Jackson,
Ends: Trent Cole,
Outside Linebackers: Brian Cushing,
Inside Linebackers: David
Cornerbacks: Nnamdi Asomugha,
Safeties: Brian Dawkins,
Punter: Andy Lee, 49ers, and Donnie Jones,
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