49ers' Smith worthy Pro Bowl choice

The 49ers have a fifth player in the Pro Bowl after the NFL named Justin Smith to replace injured Vikings defensive lineman Kevin Williams.

We can argue about Pro Bowl honors being watered down now that the game is scheduled for before the Super Bowl and so many alternates are qualifying. I have no problem with Smith's selection, though, because he's been a very good player for a long time and a big reason for the 49ers' success against Arizona within the NFC West.

This marks Smith's first Pro Bowl selection.

"This is a great opportunity for me to represent my team in Miami," Smith said in a statement released by the team. "It's been a long time coming. To be able to go there and play with four of my teammates makes it even better."

Smith's selection is similar to London Fletcher's selection for the Redskins. Both have played at a high level for a long time. That should count for something.