The NFL announced the 2017 Pro Bowl rosters on Tuesday, including the naming of Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and defensive end Cameron Wake as starters for the game. After the announcements, both players talked about being selected to represent the South Florida franchise this season.
“It’s always an honor to be selected to the Pro Bowl,” Suh said. “I will always take great pride of the respect and acknowledgement from the coaches and peers, but nothing beats knowing that you have the fan’s support.“
“In my opinion, being selected to the Pro Bowl is the highest honor, specifically because it is selected by people you play against and people you play for,” Wake added of the selection. “It shows they respect the way you play, how you play the game, and I’m truly honored to represent the Miami Dolphins in this year’s Pro Bowl.”
The 2017 Pro Bowl is the fifth time Suh has been selected to the game. He previously made the 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of the Pro Bowl, but was disappointed last year when he was not selected in his first year in Miami.
“Again, it’s the fans,” Suh stated, explaining what makes this year’s selection different than his past trips to the all-star event. Knowing that they support your efforts day-in and day-out and showing up like they do on game day means everything. Having them vote to represent the team is something special.“
This will be Wake’s fifth trip to the game, and coincidentally, he has also made it previously in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014. He is currently tied for eighth in the league in sacks with 10.5, his fourth season with double-digit quarterback take-downs. He is tied for second in the league with five forced fumbles. Wake missed the second-half of the 2015 season after tearing his Achilles tendon, an injury that could have been career threatening, especially for a player who relies on an explosive first step to generate his pass rush.
“It’s always great to enjoy the Pro Bowl festivities with your teammates on offense or defense; but it’s even more special to have a fellow defensive lineman on the team that you play with, especially a guy of Cam’s caliber,” Suh said of seeing Wake return to the Pro Bowl after last year’s injury. “He overcame what most consider to be a career-ending injury. That’s the biggest comeback I’ve ever seen.“
“Aside from the first one, this one is probably the most meaningful, especially because of the situation that happened last year being cut short and having to work tremendously hard all the way from last December until now,” Wake said of his comeback to being a Pro Bowl caliber player. “To be able to be back on the field and help my team win, it means a lot to me. It shows all the hard work, the late nights, all the pain and suffering makes it all worthwhile. I know my family and support system – the people who got me through all the hard times – really appreciate this honor.”
Wake also discussed what it means to him for the Dolphins to have two defensive linemen on the Pro Bowl roster, “From Day 1, we knew that this defense was going to rely heavily on the guys up front, the guys getting after it. The reality is we wouldn’t be able to do our job without the guys in the back end and the guys covering, the linebackers making plays. I think this truly is an honor that everybody takes part in, not just myself and Suh, but all the guys who make it possible to make plays on Sundays, from the coaching staff, to the guys on offense playing hard and practicing to make it difficult for us so that Sundays we all can succeed. This is not just on a couple guys; this is everybody putting in energy and effort. I just happen to be one of the guys that made the plays.”
The Pro Bowl will be played January 29 in Camping World Stadium, Orlando.