Lions’ Ragnow thrilled about Pro Bowl selection, miffed linemates not honored

Detroit News

Allen ParkBeing selected to the Pro Bowl on Wednesday was a bittersweet moment within a bittersweet season for Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow.

It’s an honor, of course, to be recognized by the league’s fans, coaches and players as one of the best at your position, particularly with the injuries Ragnow has been dealing with this season. But, there’s also a sense of disappointment he was the only Lions offensive lineman recognized.

Offensive tackles Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell, as well as guard Jonah Jackson, were all named alternates for the Pro Bowl, but that felt like a collection of snubs to Ragnow, who spent plenty of time giving his teammates credit during a Thursday media session to talk about his selection.

“I look around the league and I don’t know all these tackles, and I’m not trying to take away from all these tackles, (but) Penei Sewell is a tackle that we literally create game plans for,” Ragnow said. “He’s part of the game plan. He’s a weapon for us.

“Taylor Decker has been what you want as a left tackle to a tee,” Ragnow continued. “He went on a streak there, where he didn’t (allow) not even a pressure. That’s not a touch, not even a pressure, not even someone near Jared (Goff) for four straight games, I think it was, or whatever it was. And he’s been mauling dudes in the run game.

“(Guard) Jonah Jackson has got some of the sweetest feet in the league,” Ragnow said. “One of the best punchers, one of the best run blockers in the league.”

Ragnow, who has missed significant practice time all season, including two more days this week, credited those teammates for covering for him during the week and picking him up during game days. Furthermore, Ragnow believes being passed over for the Pro Bowl will only further fuel Detroit’s offensive linemen.

“Taylor finding out he’s a fifth alternate, it’s an honor, but it’s almost disrespectful, Ragnow said. “I think he’s a way better player than that. It will motivate them. They’re wired the right way. It will be good for us.”

As for his own selection, Ragnow said it carries extra meaning, given the debilitating foot injury he’s been battling all year. He even admitted to getting emotional when informed he made the cut.

“Younger Frank would be going nuts,” Ragnow said. “I try to be cool and mature and all that, but it’s awesome. I was sitting there in the hot tub the other day after I found out and I almost started crying alone in the hot tub, tough look. But, I kept it together. It’s special. There aren’t much ways offensive linemen, or really, individuals get recognized in this league. For that to happen, it’s cool.”

Because of the injury, and the pain associated with it, Ragnow said this has been the most difficult season of his career. On the other hand, experiencing team success and a real opportunity to compete for a playoff spot for the first time has made it the most enjoyable.

“There have been times after wins, where I hate to say it, just relieved I made it through the game,” he said. “Thank God for my wife. She’s been there for me a lot. It’s tough, but winning makes it a lot better because losing is brutal.”

Twitter: @justin_rogers

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