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The Carolina Panthers placed receiver Steve Smith and center Ryan Kalil on the NFC Pro Bowl team the National Football League. It will be Smith’s fifth Pro Bowl appearance and the third consecutive for Kalil and his first as a starter.

Rookie quarterback Cam Newton was named as an alternate. Newton is the first alternate for the NFC and will likely play in the game, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Smith leads the Panthers in catches and yardage with 73 for 1,308 yards and six touchdowns. Kalil has been a mainstay in the Carolina third ranked ground attack as well as the signal-caller along the offensive line.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected because it shows the respect of your peers,” says Smith. “Next to the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl is the biggest honor in our profession.”

“You are only as good as the guys you play next to and I have been fortunate to play next to some really good offensive linemen and have two good backs and a heck of a quarterback,” says Kalil.

Newton has thrown for 3,893 passing yards with 20 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions. Newton also added 673 rushing yards with 14 rushing touchdowns, for a total of 34 touchdowns on the season.

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera and others were disappointed Newtown wasn’t one of the three quarterbacks named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad, but Newton wasn’t fazed.

“I’m honored. Who am I to be disrespected or be mad about the fact I’m first alternate?” he told the Observer.

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