FOXBORO -- There's still plenty to play for, but three Patriots were recognized on Friday for their strong work during the 16-game regular season.
Corner Aqib Talib, safety Devin McCourty and guard Logan Mankins were selected to the All-Pro second team.
The honor may carry extra weight for McCourty, who was deemed by some as a "snub" for the Pro Bowl, but received the more highly-acclaimed honor as an All-Pro.
The Associated Press uses 50 voters to determine its first and second teams. As a point of reference, All-Pro selections are considered more strongly than Pro Bowl selections when it comes time to vote for Hall of Famers.
Both Talib and Mankins made the Pro Bowl, which will be played on Jan. 22.
For Mankins, it is his fifth All-Pro selection and his fourth consecutive. For McCourty, it is his second selection. As a rookie in 2010, he was named to the second team as a cornerback.
“It’s a great honor,” McCourty said. “Something you don’t think about when you’re playing, you just play. It’s definitely a cool honor. Don’t matter much right now. The focus is we’re set about going out there, winning the games we have left. You’d be crazy not to say it’s a great honor and something to be proud of.”
Talib's first All-Pro selection comes at an opportune time -- he'll be up for a new contract at the end of this season. He finished the regular season with four picks, and from week-to-week he drew the duty of trying to smother the opposition's best receiver.
“It’s an honor,” Talib said. “I really didn’t know about it. Just like that Pro Bowl, I’ll find a way to celebrate that after we finish our business. Simple as that.”
After garnering a reputation as one of the most generous secondaries in the league -- especially when it came to big plays -- before Talib's arrival, McCourty explained that he realized the significance of having two Patriots defensive backs named as some of the best at their positions.
“I think when you’ve got two guys, not at the same position, but both in the secondary, that speaks volumes to the work that you’re putting in as a group," McCourty said. "For us two to be named to [the All-Pro team] means we’ve been playing pretty well. Now it’s all about continuing to do it in the postseason.”