An NFL-high seven members of the Jacksonville Jaguars were
named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad today, including an AFC-best
five starters. Starting will be OT Tony Boselli, DE Tony Brackens,
LB Kevin Hardy, FS Carnell Lake, and WR Jimmy Smith, with QB
Mark Brunell and OT Leon Searcy also making the 42-man squad.
After four years without a defensive Pro Bowl selection, the
Jaguars have three this season. The defense has improved from
25th overall at the end of the 1998 season to second overall
currently, and has given up the fewest points in the NFL.
Boselli is marking his fourth selection to the Pro Bowl and third
consecutive start. He has started all 14 games this season at left
Brackens is starting in his first Pro Bowl appearance. He leads the
team with 12 sacks, which is tied for second in the AFC. He also
has ten tackles for loss, eight forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries
and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.
Hardy is also starting in his first Pro Bowl appearance. He leads the
Jaguars with 137 tackles and has 9.5 sacks, second on the team. He
also has 18 quarterback pressures and seven tackles for loss.
Lake has earned his fifth trip to the Pro Bowl as a starter, and first
as a free safety, having been selected from 1994-97 as a member of
the Pittsburgh Steelers as the starter at strong safety. He has 3.5
sacks and is fifth on the team in total tackles.
Smith is making his third appearance and second consecutive start.
He currently leads the NFL with 98 receptions and is second in the
league with 1,367 yards, a career-high. With two more receptions
he will become the 18th player in NFL history to catch 100 passes
in a season.
Brunell returns to the Pro Bowl after being named the game's MVP
in 1997 and starting for the AFC in 1998. Brunell has started all 14
games this season and has the fourth-best career winning
percentage of active quarterbacks (65.7%). He has thrown for
2,695 yards on 430 attempts with 255 completions (59.3%), and has
14 passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.
Searcy makes his first Pro Bowl appearance after being selected as
first alternate the past two seasons. He has started all 14 games this
season, and has missed only one game in his three seasons in
The complete AFC and NFC Pro Bowl squads will be announced
tonight at 8:00 p.m. on the ESPN "NFL Pro Bowl Selection Show."
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