The NFL announced the 2012 All Pro teams, and once again the San Francisco 49ers put up a strong contingent of players. The 49ers had six players named to the first team, and three more to the second team (with a certain "Cowboy" listed twice). The first team players included LG Mike Iupati, OLB Aldon Smith, ILBs Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, safety Dashon Goldson and punter Andy Lee. The second team included LT Joe Staley, OLB Ahmad Brooks, DE Justin Smith AND DT Justin Smith.
There are so many things that are incredibly impressive about this list. First would have to be that all four 49ers linebackers made the first or second team. The 49ers strength has been their front seven, and a big part of that is the play of the four linebackers. There are arguments for Daryl Washington at inside linebacker, but he and Bowman are both very solid candidates inside.
The other cool storyline would be Justin Smith getting the nod at two separate positions. Last season he was named first team All-Pro at defensive tackle, and second team All-Pro at defensive end. This season he earned second team nods at both positions, even while missing the last two games of the season. Of course, missing those two game might have been enough to convince any doubters just how awesome he is when healthy.
The 49ers dominated Pro Bowl balloting this season, earning seven starters and two reserves. While that is very cool, All Pro takes things to another level. It is still a subjective vote, but it is not divided up by league. Popularity and reputation might play some role, but this entire roster of 49ers put together strong 2012 seasons, and are deserving of recognition for their work. Big congrats as the 49ers earn more and more honors.
Now it's time to back up those honors with a strong performance against the Packers!