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Pontbriand added to Pro Bowl roster

Zac Jackson, Staff Writer

01.28.2009

Ryan Pontbriand could get used to this.

Pontbriand was named to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year on Wednesday. He's going again as the AFC's "need" player, a distinction that comes from the Ravens' coaching staff that's guiding this year's AFC team.

Pontbriand will join teammates Shaun Rogers and Joe Thomas in Hawaii next week. The Pro Bowl is Feb. 8.

Joshua Cribbs remains the first alternate as both the AFC's return specialist and special teams utility player. Pontbriand's nomination is another nod to the Browns' outstanding special teams units and further affirmation that he's regarded as one of the best long snappers in the game, and maybe the best.

"I'm honored to be selected for the AFC Pro Bowl roster for the second year in a row," Pontbriand said."This is the ultimate recognition of performance during the season for a position that receives so few accolades. I'm extremely excited to spend some time in Hawaii with my teammates, my wife Nicole, and my brand new daughter Avery."

In 2008, Pontbriand's pinpoint passes helped Phil Dawson achieve a pair of milestones: With a 27-yard field goal in Philadelphia on December 15, Dawson pushed his season total to 30 successful kicks, surpassing Matt Stover's previous franchise mark of 29 set in 1995. Pontbriand also snapped the ball for Dawson's longest career field goal, a 56-yard game-winner in a 29-27 win over Buffalo on Monday Night Football.

He was also instrumental in helping Dave Zastudil to his most prolific season in the pros, notching a career-best 45.5 average and 39.4 net average.

Pontbriand was originally a fifth-round draft choice in the 2003 NFL Draft out of Rice University and has been the Browns' long snapper when healthy ever since.