NASHVILLE, TN, Jan. 28, 2009 — Michael Griffin became the eighth Titan to make the Pro Bowl when the second-year pro was named to replace Baltimore's Ed Reed (shoulder injury) at free safety in the NFL's annual all-star game Sunday, Feb. 8 in Honolulu.
Griffin will join two of his defensive teammates in the secondary, including safety Chris Hope and cornerback Cortland Finnegan. They are among a Titans list that includes defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, center Kevin Mawae, running back Chris Johnson, offensive tackle Michael Roos and quarterback Kerry Collins, who replaced Brett Favre (shoulder injury) on the AFC roster last week.
Michael Griffin will replace Ed Reed at free safety in the Pro Bowl to be played Sunday, Feb. 8 in Honolulu.
"It was a blessing to be an alternate with all of the great safeties in our conference, but to actually get the chance to go is a huge blessing. All I can do is thank God for this opportunity," Griffin said. "It's going to be great being out there with some of my Titans teammates, friends and family."
Mawae is still rehabbing from an elbow injury and will not make the trip. Johnson, meanwhile, had been rehabbing an ankle injury suffered in Tennessee's AFC divisional playoff game vs. Baltimore, but wasn't far enough along and decided to withdraw himself from the Pro Bowl.
Griffin tied for second in the NFL with a team-leading seven interceptions, 81 tackles and one sack, playing a key role on the NFL's second-ranked pass defense (161 yards allowed per game) in 2008. In addition, he finished second on the team with 17 special teams tackles and third in passes defensed with 12. Griffin tied his career-high with two interceptions against Pittsburgh, returning a Ben Roethlisberger pass 83 yards for a touchdown to seal Tennessee's 31-14 victory. His 115 interception return yards that day rank second in franchise history in a single game.
Haynesworth, Mawae and Finnegan were originally named as starters; Johnson, Roos and Hope as reserves. However, with Reed's injury, the NFL has announced that Hope will start at free safety, joining former Steelers teammate Troy Polamalu as the AFC's two starting safeties.
Tennessee's eight players represent the team's most Pro Bowlers since 2000 when the franchise sent a record nine players to Honolulu. The eight Titans currently represent the most players from one team on the AFC roster. The New York Jets have the second-most with seven.
Haynesworth, Johnson and Mawae captured the fan voting, which counted one third towards the overall ballot. Voting from coaches and players made up the remainder of the ballot.
Haynesworth, Rob Bironas and Kyle Vanden Bosch represented Tennessee at last year's Pro Bowl. This year's group marks the eighth time since 1970 that the franchise has had six or more Pro Bowl players. Since moving the franchise to Tennessee in 1997, the Titans organization has been represented by 41 Pro Bowl selections.
Three other Titans were voted as Pro Bowl alternates, including linebacker Keith Bulluck, kicker Rob Bironas and fullback Ahmard Hall. They could end up going to the Pro Bowl if a player in front of them at their respective position is injured or decides not to play.