Represented by three members of the team, the Green Bay Packers learned Wednesday that linebacker Clay Matthews, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and center Jeff Saturday were named to the Pro Bowl by the National Football League. Additionally, Rodgers was named a starter for the NFC squad.
Kick returner Randall Cobb and guard Josh Sitton were named first alternates.
Matthews earns his fourth career selection as he becomes the first Packer to earn Pro Bowl recognition in each of his first four seasons in the league. He becomes just the second linebacker in team history to be named to the Pro Bowl four times, joining Bill Forester (1959-62). Matthews leads the team with 12 sacks (No. 6 in the NFL), despite missing four games due to injury, along with 50 tackles (40 solo), a forced fumble and four passes defensed.
For Rodgers, it marks the third Pro Bowl selection of his career (2009, 2011) and the second consecutive season he has been named the starter for the NFC squad. The eighth-year pro leads the league this season in passer rating (106.2) and touchdown/interception ratio (4.38, 35/8), and ranks No. 2 in touchdown passes (35) and No. 4 in completion percentage (67.0).
Saturday has earned his sixth career Pro Bowl bid and first as a member of the Packers. He was selected to the Pro Bowl five times with the Indianapolis Colts (2005-07, 2009-10). Saturday has been part of a Green Bay offense that ranks No. 7 in the league in scoring at 26.6 points per game this season.
Other alternates include fullback John Kuhn, defensive tackle B.J. Raji, cornerback Tramon Williams and safety Charles Woodson.
QUOTES FROM GREEN BAY PACKERS 2013 PRO BOWLERS
LINEBACKER CLAY MATTHEWS
(his reaction to being selected)
"It means a great deal to me to continue to maintain the success on a personal level year-in and year-out, but ultimately this is a testament to the team that we have. The players around me, the coaching staff, the personnel department, and everybody who is involved with allowing me to do the things I can do on the field and helping to put me in a position to excel."
(on being the first Packer to be selected to the Pro Bowl each of his first four seasons in the NFL)
"It's pretty special to hear something like that. Obviously, there have been so many great players to have come through here, so it is very meaningful. But to me, making the Pro Bowl again really speaks a great deal to the team we have and what we've been able to accomplish over these past four years in my short tenure here. Hopefully it's an early foreshadowing of things to come as far as the success not only for myself, but for this team."
QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS
(what the recognition means to him)
"It's an honor to be voted in, knowing that it's a combination of the fans, my fellow players and the coaches. To be recognized by all of those people, it's pretty special."
(on dealing with some changes this season as far as injuries, roster moves, etc.)
"I've always put a lot of pressure on myself to play well every week. I have high expectations, I know this organization and my teammates do as well, they expect me to play well. We've had some personnel changes and injuries this year, but guys have stepped up and we've been fortunate to keep it rolling. I know I personally prepare to be successful, Monday through Saturday, and I think that's why you see some of the success on the field on Sundays. I put a lot of time into it, I care about it, it means a lot to me, and I know my teammates are counting on me to play well every week."
CENTER JEFF SATURDAY
(what the recognition means to him)
"Obviously, it's always an honor. Anytime you get to go to the Pro Bowl, it is an honor and you appreciate everyone, the players, coaches and fans that voted for you. As an offensive lineman, it is nice to get the award."
(what it has been like for him to be with a new organization and new teammates)
"It has been fun. I have enjoyed the young guys and playing next to new guys for me. I am disappointed for Josh Sitton; I think he should be there. It is disappointing for me, for him. I would love to be able to pass it to him. He is a tough player and has played very well all season. I respect the heck out of the way he has played and it has been fun to play next to him. I've had fun playing with T.J. (Lang) and Evan (Dietrich-Smith). These guys have been a lot of fun to play with and obviously you depend on those guys. They make you look a lot better on game film, so I am very appreciative to those guys as well."
- Courtesy Green Bay Packers