Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew was named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster in voting by coaches, players and fans, the NFL announced this evening. The 2010 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 31 and televised live on ESPN at 7:20 p.m. ET from Dolphin Stadium in South Florida, also the site of Super Bowl XLIV a week later on Sunday, February 7.
Jones-Drew is the 16th player in franchise history to make the Pro Bowl and joins Fred Taylor (2007) as only the second offensive player since 2002. In his first season as the lead running back, Jones-Drew ranks second in the NFL with 16 touchdowns and fifth with 1,309 yards on 296 rushes. Jones-Drew set the franchise single-season record for rushing touchdowns with 15 and can tie the club's single-season record for touchdowns with one on Sunday at Cleveland. He is fourth in the NFL with 1,677 yards from scrimmage. He joined Taylor as the only running backs in team history with a 1,000-yard season. In addition, he ranks second on the club with 52 receptions for 368 yards and one touchdown and returned four kicks for a 25.5-yard average.
The 2006 second-round pick has 56 touchdowns in his first 62 games, the seventh-most in NFL history in a player's first four seasons. Jones-Drew has at least one touchdown in 10 of 15 games this season and is one of only four NFL players with two three-touchdown games as he accomplished the feat at Houston (Sept. 27) and against St. Louis (Oct. 18). He is tied for the NFL lead (Frank Gore, San Francisco; Chris Johnson, Tennessee) with three touchdown runs of 60-plus yards through 15 games.
Jones-Drew finished with a career-high 177 yards on only eight carries (22.1 avg.) on Oct. 1 at Tennessee with touchdown runs of 80 and 79 yards, two of the three longest runs in franchise history. His 80-yard touchdown run tied for the longest in franchise history. He became only the third player in NFL history with two rushing touchdowns of 75-plus yards in the same game and his average of 22.1 yards per rush was the best in the NFL in the last 50 seasons (minimum eight rushes).
With 573,243 votes, Jones-Drew finished third among AFC running backs in fan voting and fourth in the NFL. He joined Tennessee's Chris Johnson (starter) and Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens as the AFC's running backs selected to the Pro Bowl.
The AFC and NFC All-Star squads are based on the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group's vote counts one-third towards determining the 43-man rosters that represent the AFC and NFC. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams. It was the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995. Fans can buy tickets to the 2010 Pro Bowl at www.nfl.com/probowl and www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.
MORE ON JONES-DREW
• Ranks third in franchise history with 56 career touchdowns (49 rushing,5 receiving, 2 kickoff returns) in only 62 games. He has 10-plus touchdowns in each of his first four seasons.
• Recorded multiple touchdowns in 12 career games and the Jaguars own an 8-4 record in those games.
• Ranked second in franchise history with 49 career rushing touchdowns including a franchise-record 15 this season. Fred Taylor owns the team record with 62 career rushing scores.
• First player in franchise history to have at least nine rushing touchdowns in four consecutive seasons.
• Ranked first in franchise history among non-kickers with 5.4 average points per game.
• With his two touchdowns on Nov. 1 at Tennessee, Jones-Drew reached 50 for his career in his 54th game. Jones-Drew became the third player and the fastest in franchise history to score 50 career touchdowns. Fred Taylor, the franchise-leader with 70 touchdowns, did it in 65 games. Of the NFL's top 20 running backs for touchdowns scored, only four players reached 50 touchdowns quicker than Jones-Drew (Jim Brown, 45 games; Marcus Allen, 48 games; Eric Dickerson, 51 games; Barry Sanders, 53 games).
• Ranks third in the NFL with 348 offensive touches (296 rushes, 52 receptions) through 15 games and is fifth with 296 rushes. Jones-Drew has the second-most touches in a season in team history (393, Fred Taylor, 2003). Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson, Cedric Benson and Chris Johnson are the only players to have 30-plus touches in three different games this season.
• Had a NFL-high 38 touches against St. Louis on Oct. 18 and finished with 32 touches on Nov. 8 against Kansas City and Dec. 17 against Indianapolis.
• With 52 receptions this season, Jones-Drew joins Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell as the only players in franchise history with 50-plus receptions in multiple seasons. He became the fifth player in team history with 200 career receptions.
• Has a reception in 50 consecutive games, tied for the third-longest streak in team history, and at least four receptions in eight of 15 games this season.
• Was named FedEx Ground Player of the Week and earned his first AFC Offensive Player of the Week Award following his performance at Houston in week three. He rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns against the Texans including a 61-yard run in the second quarter.
• Set a career-high with 33 carries and finished with 133 yards and three touchdowns against St. Louis on Oct. 18. He had five receptions for 45 yards. It marked his second game this season with three rushing touchdowns.
• Has three career games with three touchdowns and is one of only 11 players to have three touchdowns in a game in 2009. Jones-Drew, New England's Randy Moss, Miami's Ricky Williams and Tennessee's Chris Johnson are the only players to do it twice.
• Recorded 20-plus carries in a career-high eight games this season and in 13 of 62 career games. He has produced 90-plus rushing yards in nine of the 13 games with 20-plus carries.
• Had 737 rushing yards in the first eight games, the most in team history.
• Has 296 carries for 1,309 yards through 15 games, joining Fred Taylor as the only players in team history to have 250-plus rushes.
• Established a career-high for yards from scrimmage in a season with 1,677, surpassing his previous high of 1,389 in 2008.
• First among all Jaguars running backs with 4.7 career average per rush.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT MAURICE JONES-DREW
Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio - "Kennedy Pola is the one that really convinced all of us that he could be more than just a third-down back. As he said in his evaluation, this guy ran power in college, that's his favorite run. He's an inside the tackles runner. He's not a scat back that you need to put on the edges and keep him out of the middle. This is a powerfully built guy, and the thing that when he got here, that I don't any of us could really be certain of, was could he take on and block the way you need to to be able to stay in the game all the time? And would he be willing? And this guy's a ferocious blocker, I mean he goes after people. He's a guy that's good with the ball in his hands, but I think he's at his best even when the ball is away from him in his effort, his energy and commitment and willingness to be unselfish, run down and block and push the pile forward. On a sneak he goes up there and hammers into the pile to help the pile move forward. Things like that, unselfish plays like that, those are big. I think that is where the heart of the champion kind of comes with a guy like Maurice."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick - "He's definitely one of the top backs we've seen and we've seen a lot of good ones. I think he can do it all. He's returned kicks. He's good in pass protection. [He] catches the ball very well and has a good feel in the passing game, like the scramble pass he caught against Indianapolis last week on a broken play. And, of course, in the running game, he can run inside, he can run outside, he can run with power, he can run with speed, he can jump cut and has good vision. He can see those lanes inside. He's got good balance. He's hard to knock off his feet, breaks a lot of tackles and pushes the pile forward for extra yards when he's carrying the ball. He's a powerful guy as well as an elusive player, so he's tough. He's a hard player to tackle [with] his strength, his balance, his quickness [and] his speed. You've got to wrap him up. You've got to have a lot of guys around him. If you give him a lot of space, it would be hard for any defender to tackle him."
Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano - "This guy is a very durable player. Has the carried the ball a lot of times. One of the few 'backs that I see in our league right now that is really doing it by himself. Hard guy to tackle, gets it out the back end a bunch, in other words, can put his foot in the ground and one step, be out the back side. Has a lot of big plays on film. Finishes runs, low center of gravity, bounces off of people pretty well, makes good yards after contact."
Bills S Donte Whitner (to Buffalo News) - "He's like a bowling ball, and he will cut you up. He's a physical runner who plays bigger than he is and he likes to deliver a blow instead of taking one. He's a tremendous running back."
Jets head coach Rex Ryan - "He's just a tough guy. He's a bowling ball with football pads on...You've got to get him at the line of scrimmage and you've got to wrap him...Sometimes you'll think you have him and then he'll squirt out of there and bounce out of there. He just has great lower body leg drive and he spins. He's got great vision, great balance. Don't assume one guy's going to get him down because that hardly ever happens to this kid."
Jaguars running backs coach Kennedy Pola -"He's going to do whatever we ask him to do. You can see that just by the way he jumped over there to return punts, or block. He's a team kid. That's the way he was brought up from his Pop Warner to De La Salle days. I've watched this kid play and it just awed me ever since I watched him in high school and college. Heck, he caught more balls here in his first year in Jacksonville than his whole career at UCLA. So you wonder, why didn't they use him that way? He's a kid that keeps competing and keeps playing."