NFL

League award-winners lead All-Pro Team


Published: Tuesday, January 6, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 6, 2004 at 12:01 a.m.
Co-MVP Peyton Manning kept the quarterback spot on The Associated Press All-Pro Team all to himself, easily beating out the league's other Most Valuable Player, Steve McNair, to make the squad for the first time.
Joining the Indianapolis Colts' star on the team announced Monday were Baltimore's postseason award winners, linebacker Ray Lewis and running back Jamal Lewis.
Ray Lewis, the AP Defensive Player of the Year, led the way overall with 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters. Jamal Lewis, the AP Offensive Player of the Year, received the second-most votes, 46.
Kansas City had the most All-Pros with five: running back Priest Holmes, tight end Tony Gonzalez, guard Will Shields, tackle William Roaf and kick returner Dante Hall.
The Ravens, who lost to McNair's Titans in the first round of the playoffs Saturday, had four All-Pros. Along with the Lewises, Baltimore tackle Jonathan Ogden and cornerback Chris McAlister made it. Ray Lewis and Ogden earned their fourth selections, while McAlister and Jamal Lewis are first-timers.
"Ray is the best player in the league," McAlister said. "It's great to have all of us on the team with him."
Jamal Lewis had the second-best rushing total in NFL history: 2,066 yards. He also set a single-game rushing mark with 295 yards against Cleveland.
Manning received 28 All-Pro votes to 16 for McNair. They tied with 16 votes apiece in the NFL MVP voting announced last week.
The Colts' QB was a second-team All-Pro in 1999.
"It would be tough to find a player who has played better," Colts center Jeff Saturday said. "He's stepped up and made big plays for us every week."
Kicker Mike Vanderjagt was the other All-Pro from Indianapolis, which beat Denver 41-10 Sunday in an AFC playoff opener. Vanderjagt had a perfect regular season (37-for-37 on field goals) and set the NFL record with 41 consecutive FGs, dating to last season. Like Manning, he also made it for the first time after being a second-teamer in '99.
The Chiefs' Holmes made the first team for the third straight year, while Shields was chosen for the second time. Roaf made it twice while with New Orleans. For Gonzalez, it was a fourth All-Pro selection, while teammate Hall is a newcomer.
Holmes broke two NFL records. He scored 27 touchdowns, all rushing, bettering the overall TD mark of 26 by Marshall Faulk and the 25 TDs rushing by Emmitt Smith. Holmes had his big year coming off hip surgery.
"I love stories like that," Gonzalez said. "It's so inspirational."
Also making it for the fourth time were Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who led the league in sacks, and Dolphins inside linebacker Zach Thomas.
New England and St. Louis each had three players chosen. Ten teams had one All-Pro: Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Minnesota, the New York Giants, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle and Tennessee.
In all, the AFC had 18 players and the NFC had nine. Fifteen teams were represented.
One of the teams that was shut out: The Philadelphia Eagles, who went 12-4 and earned the top seeding for the NFC playoffs.
The other first-time All-Pros: Dallas safety Roy Williams; both outside linebackers, Tennessee's Keith Bulluck and San Francisco's Julian Peterson; New England defensive tackle Richard Seymour; St. Louis defensive end Leonard Little; Seattle guard Steve Hutchinson; and St. Louis wide receiver Torry Holt.

2003 AP All-Pro Team

OFFENSE
  • QUARTERBACK: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis.
  • RUNNING BACKS: Jamal Lewis, Baltimore; Priest Holmes, Kansas City.
  • TIGHT END: Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City.
  • WIDE RECEIVERS: Torry Holt, St. Louis; Randy Moss, Minnesota.
  • TACKLES: Jon Ogden, Baltimore; (tie) William Roaf, Kansas City, and Orlando Pace, St. Louis.
  • GUARDS: Steve Hutchinson, Seattle; Will Shields, Kansas City.
  • CENTER: Tom Nalen, Denver.
  • PLACEKICKER: Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis.
  • KICK RETURNER: Dante Hall, Kansas City.

    DEFENSE

  • ENDS: Michael Strahan, N.Y. Giants; Leonard Little, St. Louis.
  • TACKLES: Kris Jenkins, Carolina; Richard Seymour, New England.
  • OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: Keith Bulluck, Tennessee; Julian Peterson, San Francisco.
  • INSIDE LINEBACKER: Zach Thomas, Miami; Ray Lewis, Baltimore.
  • CORNERBACKS: Ty Law, New England; Chris McAlister, Baltimore.
  • SAFETIES: Roy Williams, Dallas; Rodney Harrison, New England.
  • PUNTER: Shane Lechler, Oakland.
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