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October 27, 2013

Former Tiger Dontari Poe on Ballot for NFL Pro Bowl


Former Wooddale Cardinal and University of Memphis star defensive lineman Dontari Poe is having a fabulous season for the streaking Kansas City Chiefs, who are 8-0 for only the second time in team history. As a reward for his stellar efforts, Poe has been named to the ballot for the NFL Pro Bowl.

Poe, drafted as the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft following his junior season at Memphis, started all season long last year as a rookie for the Chiefs. He trimmed down over the offseason and reported that he felt quicker than ever while not sacrificing any of the strength that made him such a hot topic at the 2012 NFL Draft Combine.

Poe has responded with a strong sophomore campaign for a rejuvenated Kansas City defense which has racked up 32 sacks in 8 games. Justin Houston is among league leaders with 11.5 sacks, and Tamba Hali isn't far behind with 9.5.

As for Poe, he's registered 4.5 sacks with 27 total tackles and 3 passes batted down. The sacks were the first of his NFL career. But the numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story.

Poe typically plays the nose in Kansas City's 3-4 defense and is very rarely blocked one-on-one, at times even facing triple teams. This allows his teammates to exploit favorable matchups and get sacks. Yet Poe still gets pressure up the middle for the Chiefs.

With the NFL's increased emphasis on fan involvement, Memphis Tiger fans have the opportunity to show their former defensive standout some love by casting votes for Poe to be included in the Pro Bowl. And this year, the Pro Bowl will be like none ever before it.

Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will serve as alumni captains, choosing two rosters with the help of two NFL.com fantasy users. Players will be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft, which will air on Wednesday, Jan. 22, on NFL Network. There will be no more AFC vs. NFC.

The 2014 Pro Bowl will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

NFL fans are given a ballot at www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot and vote to decide who will be in the Pro Bowl draft pool. There will be 86 players who are separated into two (2) rosters of 43 players each. Rice and Sanders will pick their rosters from the 86 highest vote getters.

NFL players are divided into Offense, Defense and Special Teams. Each category is then sub-divided into respective positions.

So Memphis fans can go to www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot and cast their votes for Dontari Poe. Poe is listed under "Defense" and "DT" for defensive tackles. Fans may vote for as many players as they choose and can stuff the ballots as many times as they like. Once your ballot is complete, simply scroll down to the bottom of the form and click the gray button labeled "Submit Ballot".

Also on the ballot are former Tigers Steve Gostowski (kicker), Ronald Leary (guard) and DeAngelo Williams (running back).

Theoretically, a fan could vote for one player (like Poe, for instance) and then submit their ballot, saving the time of going through 19 categories casting votes.

So vote early and often and remember all the former Memphis Tigers on the ballot this year.


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