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NFL All-Pro team led by near-unanimous picks

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Wire Reports
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012

NEW YORK -- Calvin Johnson took one look at the voting and smiled broadly.

"That's sweet," he said, as he studied The Associated Press 2011 NFL All-Pro Team. "That's one of the best honors you can have other than being a Super Bowl champion. To be an All-Pro is a tremendous honor."

Johnson and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen were the leading vote getters, each just one vote shy of being a unanimous pick.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers made the team for the first time, easily beating Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Rodgers led Green Bay to a league-best 15-1 record this season.

Another cornerback, Pitt product Darrelle Revis of the Jets, was behind Johnson and Allen with 48 selections. Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs got 47.

One oddity: Both first-team guards, Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans, were from the Saints. That hasn't happened since 1953, with Detroit's Lou Creekmur and Dick Stanfel.

The Steelers' Maurkice Pouncey was the center, and Troy Polamalu took one of the safety spots.

Revis and Charles Woodson of the Packers were the cornerbacks.

The 49ers led the All-Pro Team with five players, and Baltimore was next with three players.

Raiders hire GM

The Raiders reached an agreement with Green Bay Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie to become their new general manager. They scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to introduce McKenzie, who will fulfill many of the duties handled by iconic owner Al Davis until his Oct. 8 death at age 82.

League to use replay for injury treatment

The NFL will begin using video monitors on each team's sideline this weekend to help treat injuries. In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, the league said the monitors would be used to "allow the medical staff to review the network video of any play during which a player was injured."

Only video of a play during which a player was injured or appears to be hurt can be viewed. A league official must be notified when the monitor is used.

To ensure the equipment is used for checking video of injuries and not for competitive reasons, only a team physician or head athletic trainer can view it.

Around the league

The Chicago Bears promoted offensive line coach Mike Tice to offensive coordinator, replacing the departed Mike Martz. ... New York Giants rookie linebacker Mark Herzlich has been ruled out of Sunday's NFC wild-card game against the Atlanta Falcons with an ankle injury. ... Baltimore Ravens director of player personnel Eric DeCosta decided to stay with the team and not pursue general manager jobs elsewhere. ... Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden was fined $15,000 by the NFL for roughing the passer, and San Diego Chargers linebacker Antwan Barnes was docked $25,000 for unnecessary physical contact with an official. ... Green Bay Packers vice president Jason Wied resigned, citing his addiction to an herbal remedy he was using to treat sleep-related health issues.

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