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Five Patriots named to AP NFL All-Pro team

The Associated Press named their 2007 NFL All-Pro team today. Five Patriots made the squad including quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Randy Moss, offensive tackle Matt Light, cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Mike Vrabel.

NEW YORK -- LaDainian Tomlinson and Randy Moss were unanimous selections to The Associated Press 2007 NFL All-Pro team on Wednesday. So was Tom Brady -- sort of.

The league's Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year was chosen on each of the ballots from 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. One voter, however, split the vote at quarterback between Brady and Green Bay's Brett Favre.

Still, Brady was a runaway choice at the position, and was joined by four other unbeaten Patriots on the squad: Moss, offensive tackle Matt Light, cornerback Asante Samuel and outside linebacker Mike Vrabel.

All but Moss made the All-Pro team for the first time; Moss was chosen as a Minnesota Viking in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

"Every week, we come in here on Monday and you win and everybody's excited, the plane flights home are great," Brady said, referring to what has been a historic season so far for the 16-0 Patriots. "It's been a lot of fun. To see what we've accomplished thus far is great. At the same time we realize that, as coach put it, there's another mountain to climb."

Easily scaling the All-Pro mountain were Tomlinson, for the third time, and Moss. Joining Tomlinson, the league's leading rusher, were fellow Chargers Lorenzo Neal, who clears many of L.T.'s paths from his fullback spot, and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Cromartie's breakthrough season saw him lead the NFL with 10 interceptions.

"I should have had 13," he said. "This year, I think I proved a lot of people wrong, with everybody saying how my knee injury was going to affect me. I mean, I'm two years off of it. My biggest thing was proving everybody wrong."

Dallas and Seattle also with three players on the team. The Cowboys had linebacker DeMarcus Ware, tight end Jason Witten and wide receiver Terrell Owens; Ware and Witten were first-timers, Owens also was selected in 2000, '01 and '02 with San Francisco, and 2004 with Philadelphia.

"Any time you can be the best in the entire league, that's always a special moment," said Witten, who had 96 receptions and seven touchdowns this season. "There's a lot of great tight ends out there, so to be on the top of that list is nice."

The Seahawks had tackle Walter Jones, defensive end Patrick Kerney and linebacker Lofa Tatupu. Jones previously made All-Pro in 2001, '04 and '05; the others Seahawks were first-timers.

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren called Tatupu's three-interception day in a win at Philadelphia on Dec. 2 "one of the great games I've ever seen a linebacker have."

"Everybody has been instrumental in everything that I've been able to do," Tatupu said. "The D-line has been enabling me to get sacks, DBs staying on their guys so we can get back there and get sacks, or getting interceptions."

Joining Brady, Tomlinson and Neal in the backfield was Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook, who led the league in total yards from scrimmage with 2,104.

The rest of the offense included Minnesota guard Steve Hutchinson, Pittsburgh guard Alan Faneca, and Indianapolis center Jeff Saturday.

The other All-Pros on defense were Kansas City end Jared Allen, the league sacks leader with 15.5; Minnesota tackle Kevin Williams and Tennessee tackle Albert Haynesworth; San Francisco rookie inside linebacker Patrick Willis, the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and only first-year player on the squad; Indianapolis safety Bob Sanders, the Defensive Player of the Year ; and Baltimore safety Ed Reed, making it for the third time.

The special teams players were Titans kicker Rob Bironas and 49ers punter Andy Lee, both newcomers to the squad, and record-setting kick returner Devin Hester of Chicago, who also made it as a rookie in 2006.

"It's been an incredible journey," said Bironas, who also played in the Arena Football League and arenafootball2 before making good with the Titans. "I didn't have any doubt in myself when I got started on this journey in high school. That was my dream to play in the pros, and I just kept pursuing it. I wanted to be one of the better kickers in the NFL, and this year I was able to do that."

In all, 15 AFC players and 12 from the NFC were chosen as All-Pros.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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