Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saints Nation: Jonathan Goodwin to Pro Bowl

Cowboys Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode has withdrawn from the Pro Bowl for unspecified reasons, therefore first alternate Jonathan Goodwin has been called up in his stead. Hopefully Goodwin won't play in the game, because players on the SuperBowl teams are excused from the game, but it's still a major accomplishment for a player who started his career in New Orleans playing second fiddle to Jeff Faine. Goodwin has filled Faine's shoes since the star center's departure, and that was no easy task. This now means three of the five starting lineman for the Saints will represent the NFC, as Jahri Evans and Jon Stinchcomb had already received Pro Bowl invites. 3 out of 5 is a fantastic number, and it's giving the Saints national recognition that their offensive line really is that good.

Right on cue with Goodwin being moved up to the Pro Bowl to make it the third Saint offensive lineman invited, the Saints' line will face it's toughest challenge to date. The Minnesota Vikings defensive line features two Pro Bowlers themselves, and they're arguably the best defensive line in the game. Of particular interest will be the matchup between young inexperienced left tackle Jermon Bushrod, and the defensive league MVP candidate Jared Allen. That matchup in particular is an area where the Vikings may have a significant advantage, and the Saints will have their hands full trying to even the playing field. If anyone can handle this defensive line, though, it's the Saints, and it's finally getting noticed across the country.