De­fense pro­vides line­backer Miller, cor­ner­back Talib as starters and re­serve Har­ris

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Nicki Jhab­vala

Bron­cos out­side line­backer Von Miller and cor­ner­backs Aqib Talib and Chris Har­ris were se­lected to the 2017 Pro Bowl, while six oth­ers — cen­ter Matt Par­adis, wide re­ceivers De­mary­ius Thomas and Em­manuel San­ders, safeties Dar­ian Ste­wart and T.J. Ward and de­fen­sive end Derek Wolfe — were cho­sen as al­ter­nates.

Both Miller and Talib were voted in as starters and, ac­cord­ing to an NFL source, Ste­wart was se­lected as a Pro Bowl first al­ter­nate.

The Bron­cos’ Pro Bowl trio, all drafted or signed by gen­eral man­ager John El­way, has a com­bined 11 Pro Bowl se­lec­tions since join­ing the team.

Miller, se­lected to his fifth Pro Bowl, joins for­mer de­fen­sive backs Champ Bai­ley and Steve At­wa­ter as the only play­ers in Bron­cos his­tory to make five Pro Bowls in their first six sea­sons. Su­per Bowl 50 MVP Miller ranks sec­ond in the league in sacks (13½) and to­tal pres­sures (73) this sea­son. He is also tied with Ru­lon Jones (73½) for fourth on the Bron­cos’ all-time sack list.

Har­ris (third ca­reer se­lec­tion) and Talib (fourth) are only the cor­ner­back duo in the NFL to make the Pro Bowl in each of the last three sea­sons. Har­ris is one of only five un­drafted cor­ner­backs in his­tory to make three or more Pro Bowls with his orig­i­nal team. Talib, who signed with Den­ver as a free agent in 2014, joins Ari­zona’s Pa­trick Peter­son and Seat­tle’s Richard Sher­man as the only cor­ner­backs in the league to be se­lected to the Pro Bowl in each of the last four sea­sons.

Last year four Bron­cos de­fend­ers — Miller, Har­ris, Talib and out­side line­backer DeMar­cus Ware — were se­lected to the Pro Bowl, mark­ing the first time in eight years that not a sin­gle of­fen­sive player was cho­sen from Den­ver.

Play­ers, coaches and fans all vote on Pro Bowlers, with each group’s bal­lots count­ing onethird to­ward the se­lec­tions. The game will be played Jan. 29 at Camp­ing World Sta­dium in Or­lando and will re­vert back to the AFC vs. NFC for­mat af­ter three years in an un­con­fer­enced struc­ture.

This sea­son, play­ers are put in sep­a­rate draft pools and se­lected by cap­tains. Hall of Fame run­ning back Jerome Bet­tis and Su­per Bowl XXXV MVP Ray Lewis will lead the AFC, and 14-time Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez and for­mer all-pro de­fen­sive back Charles Wood­son will lead the NFC.

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