GREEN BAY — The Packers have felt for several years now that they had a Pro Bowl-caliber guard in T.J. Lang.
Now, the eighth-year veteran finally has the title to go along with the admiration of his teammates and coaches.
Lang and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix were voted to the Pro Bowl for the first time, the NFL announced on Tuesday night. They’re joined on the NFC team by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who was selected for the sixth time in his nine seasons as Green Bay’s starting quarterback.
The Packers also had two players – WR Jordy Nelson and T David Bakhtiari – named first alternates. DT Mike Daniels, WR Davante Adams and FB Aaron Ripkowski also were selected as alternates.
“About time,” said Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy of Lang’s selection. “I think we all felt that way for T.J. The general excitement for TJ and Ha Ha says a lot about those two men and our locker room. Aaron’s excitement for those two men. You like to see guys be rewarded and recognized for their seasons, but also the guys who were also alternates in Jordy, Bakhtiari and Mike Daniels. Bryan Bulaga is having a great year. There’s a lot of guys that we feel were worthy of the recognition.”
Clinton-Dix has enjoyed a breakthrough season in his third NFL campaign, currently tied for the league lead in interceptions by a safety this season with five. He was named NFC defensive player of the week on Wednesday following his two-interception performance in Sunday’s 30-27 win over the Chicago Bears.
The former first-round pick has played all but one defensive snap this season.
“If you watch Ha Ha work every day, you have a greater appreciation for him because he does all the little things,” McCarthy said. “He’s a fun guy to work with. I would think his teammates would definitely echo that he’s a lot more fun to compete with on Sundays. Ha, I was very happy for him.”
McCarthy added that linebacker Nick Perry is making progress with the hand injury that’s sidelined him for the Packers’ last two games. Perry, who leads the defense with eight sacks, has been working with the training staff to get comfortable with wearing a cast over his hand.
“We’re going to try to do some things today,” McCarthy said. “It’s a process. We’re working through it.”
The Packers will conduct their first practice of the week on Wednesday afternoon.
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