Patriots punter Jake Bailey , Corner Back Stephen Gilmore and Special Teams Captain Matthew Slater Were all selected last month to represent the Patriots in the 2021 Pro bowl. Unfortunately we wont be able to watch them play due to COVID-19 Concerns. Instead there will be a week long virtual event, consisting of the selections playing Madden NFL 21.
Bailey and Olszewski earned First Team All-Pro honors, while Slater earned Second Team All-Pro Honors.
Bailey, who earns his first Pro Bowl selection placed 5th in the NFL this year for average punt yards. Bailey had an average of 48.7 yards per punt through his 55 punts in 2020. He only allowed 12 returns and only gave up 71 return yards. As a result, that reset the Patriots franchise record for fewest punt yards allowed, breaking the previous mark of 75. He joins Rich Camarillo as the only Patriots punters selected to the Pro bowl.
Bailey earned First Team All-Pro honors for Special Teams.
Gilmore earns his 4th Pro Bowl selection and 3rd as a Patriot. Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the year who started all 11 games he played at Corner back this year totaled 37 tackles, one interception, 3 passes defended and one forced fumble. His season ended in week 15 after suffering a knee injury against the Dolphins.
Gilmore did not earn All-Pro honors.
Slater earns his 9th selection as a special teams player which extends his NFL record for most pro bowl selections from a special teams player. With his 9th selection, Matthew is now tied with John Hannah for the 2nd most in Patriots history. Only behind Tom Brady who leads with 14 selections. Slater recorded 7 Special teams tackles this year.
Slater earned Second Team All-Pro honors for Special Teams.
Olszewski, although did not earn a Pro Bowl Selection, earned First Team All-Pro for Special Teams. Olszewski had 346 return yards this season, and even had a Punt Return TD. He should have had 2, if it wasn’t for a horrible unnecessary roughness call on Anfernee Jennings.
Michael Onwenu, arguably the best Offensive Tackle of the year, and for sure the best rookie on the O-Line was robbed of a Pro Bowl Selection. JC Jackson, who was one interception behind Xavien Howard for the league lead, was also robbed of a Selection.
Goes to show how much of a popularity contest the Pro Bowl is, it is quite frustrating.
Good job Riley.