Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and David DeCastro all made the Pro Bowl. This marks the fourth selection for Roethlisberger and Brown and the first selection for DeCastro.
It is no surprise that the best quarterback-receiver duo in the NFL was selected for the Pro Bowl. With DeCastro anchoring the offensive line to provide protection for Ben and pave the way for DeAngelo Williams and the running game, his selection is well-deserved.
However, despite how deserving this trio is, there are a few players on the Steelers' roster who weren't given the credit they possibly deserve, and could be considered snubs.
Offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert, safety Mike Mitchell and defensive end Cameron Heyward did not make the cut this season. Of these players, the biggest snub was Cameron Heyward, the backbone of the Steelers defense and the most valuable defensive player on the squad.
Heyward had seven sacks and has been extremely effective on the line of scrimmage. 3-4 defensive ends aren't as flashy as the 4-3 defensive ends. However, despite the schematic difference, Heyward does get after the passer, but his job description is not as flashy as others at his position. This "snub" is less a function of his talent and productivity than the role he plays on the team. Heyward has 47 tackles through 14 weeks in 2015, 7 sacks (team leader), 2 passes defended, one forced fumble and has blocked 2 extra points or field goals. For a 3-4 defensive end, those statistic scream "snub".
If Heyward is the team's top snub, Marcus Gilbert is a close second. Drafted to be the next left tackle for the organization, Gilbert has turned into one of the best right tackles in the NFL. When he was signed to a new contract extension before the 2014 season, many fans had their reservations about the decision. Gilbert has lost weight and thrived under the tutelage of Mike Munchak. Gilbert has only allowed one official sack, against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14, and has been a solid piece of the offensive line when so many parts are missing.
Mike Mitchell presents a truly difficult case to make the Pro Bowl. With reputation being a large part of the voting process, Mitchell being a safety makes it difficult to have him make the All Star roster, but it doesn't mean his statistics don't make you think twice about it. Mitchell is third on the team in tackles with 70, has 8 pass defenses, 3 interception (team leader), has forced 2 fumbles and recovered two fumbles as well.
The Pro Bowl is a meaningless contest, but for players it means being recognized by fans, coaches and peers. The three players who made it were more than deserving of the honor, but it doesn't mean other members of the black and gold weren't overlooked. Most fans would agree, the overall hope is that no Steelers play in the Pro Bowl -- as they would be preparing for Super Bowl 50.