Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (starter), tight end Marcedes Lewis and special teamer Montell Owens were named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster in voting by coaches, players and fans, the NFL announced this evening. The three players are the most for the Jaguars since 1999. Jones-Drew has been recognized for the second straight year, while Lewis and Owens are first-time Pro Bowl selections making them the 19thand 20thPro Bowl Jaguars. The 2011 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 30 and televised live on FOX at 7:00 p.m. ET from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jones-Drew is the 10thplayer in franchise history to be voted in as a starter and the first since 2006 (Rashean Mathis). Jones-Drew is the fifth player in franchise history to be voted to the Pro Bowl in back-to-back seasons, joining Tony Boselli (1996-2000), Mark Brunell (1996-97), Jimmy Smith (1997-2001) and Marcus Stroud (2003-05). Lewis is the first tight end and Owens the first special teamer to be voted to the Pro Bowl in franchise history.
Jones-Drew, who missed one game with an injury, ranks fourth in the NFL with 1,324 rushing yards on 299 carries with five touchdowns. He also produced 34 receptions for 317 yards and two touchdowns and ranks fifth in the NFL with 1,641 yards from scrimmage. He has registered a career-high seven 100-yard rushing games in 2010 including a streak of six straight (135 at Dallas; 100 vs. Houston; 133 vs. Cleveland; 113 at N.Y. Giants; 186 at Tennessee; 101 vs. Oakland). The six straight 100-yard rushing games was the longest streak of his career and the second-longest in franchise history. He joined Fred Taylor as the only players in franchise history with 1,200 rushing yards and 1,500 yards from scrimmage in back-to-back seasons.
Jones-Drew's seven 100-yard rushing games this season are tied for the second for most in the NFL and the second-most in team history for a season. The 2006 second-round pick produced a career-high 186 yards on 31 carries at Tennessee on Dec. 5, the third-most in franchise history and the most by a Jaguar since 2003. He totaled a career-high 220 yards from scrimmage against Cleveland on Nov. 21 with 133 yards on the ground and 87 receiving yards.
Lewis has produced career-best numbers in 2010 as he leads the team with a career-high nine touchdown receptions along with 54 receptions for 674 yards. The nine touchdowns are the second-most in a season in team history, one shy of Reggie Williams' 10 in 2007, and the second-most by an NFL tight end this seaosn. He has two touchdowns in three different games (vs. Denver, at Buffalo, at Dallas) and is the only player on the team with multiple receptions in all 15 games.
A first-round draft pick in 2006, Lewis owns the top marks by a tight end in team history for touchdowns in a season (9, 2010) and a career (16). With 674 receiving yards, he needs 56 yards in the season finale at Houston for the most receiving yards in a season by a tight end in team history.
Owens has played in 77 games since joining the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent from Maine in 2006. He ranks second in franchise history with 93 career special teams tackles, one shy of Brant Boyer's record 94 tackles.
Owens leads the Jaguars with 18 special teams tackles in 2010, with at least one tackle in 12 of 15 games. He set the franchise's single-season record with 30 tackles in 2009 and was named the first alternate to the Pro Bowl.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Jaguars general manager Gene Smith
"I'm so proud of this group of players, as each one sets the example for others to follow. Pro Bowl recognition is a tremendous achievement and speaks volumes for the commitment they have made, as well as their teammates. These are outstanding players and even better people. All of these players are very deserving of this recognition and are exceptional representatives of the entire Jaguars organization and the city of Jacksonville."
Jaguars special teams coordinator Russ Purnell
(on Montell Owens) "Montell is very deserving of this honor. He's a tireless worker, but more importantly he's a great human being. Every day he brings passion, work ethic, a very strong focus and great attention to detail. He has all the tools, speed, strength, explosiveness and great toughness. He is a team leader on and off the field. It has been a privilege to coach this young man."
Jaguars tight ends coach Rob Boras
(on Marcedes Lewis) "I am very excited for Marcedes. His work ethic and commitment to improve in all areas; weight room, classroom and the practice field have been exemplary, and have paid dividends for not only himself, but most importantly the Jaguars. It is great to see that his performance has been recognized by both his peers and the fans. He is not only a special player, but also a special person."
Jaguars running backs coach Earnest Byner
(on Maurice Jones-Drew) "His strongest quality is his mental toughness. He's smart, has a never give up mentality, always fighting, he really pushes himself past limitations that other people have especially when he's dealing with some nicks and injuries that could have thrown him off. He wants to be there every day. When he's not, he feels like he is letting other people down. He carries his emotions and those emotions are what drives him to be one of the best in the league."
(on Jones-Drew being named a starter) "Even when I was in Tennessee that defense knew what they were going up against. The respect has been there and this just verifies how everybody feels about him. When he said 32 teams passed him up, now those teams are showing the respect that he deserved then and he deserves now."
(on Montell Owens) "Montell has the ability to play any position asked at a high level. Sometimes the execution of his assignments on game day seem supernatural. The quality that stands out to me is the mental strength he has to take his abilities to a level that is respected around the league."
PRO BOWL TIDBITS
- With 707,913 votes, Maurice Jones-Drew finished second among AFC running backs in fan voting and ninth in the NFL. Marcedes Lewis compiled 350,039 fan votes, the second-most among AFC tight ends.
- Montell Owens also sees action at fullback and ranks third in the NFL among fullbacks with 64 consecutive games played. The 64 consecutive games played are the most by any current Jaguar.
- Jones-Drew, Lewis and Owens all joined the Jaguars in 2006.
- Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio has coached 11 different players who have earned a total of 17 Pro Bowl selections during his stint as a position coach, coordinator and head coach. Jones-Drew (2009, 2010), Fred Taylor (2009), David Garrard (2009), Marcedes Lewis (2010) and Montell Owens (2010) are the five Jaguars that have made the Pro Bowl while playing for Del Rio.
- Owens is the seventh player to earn Pro Bowl honors under the tutelage of Jaguars special teams coach Russ Purnell (Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis, 2003; Matt Stover, Baltimore, 2000; Jermaine Lewis, 2001; Rick Tuten, Seattle, 1994; John Henry Mills, Houston, 1996; Craig Hentrich, Tennessee, 1998).
- Jaguars running backs coach Earnest Byner has guided a Pro Bowl running back the last three seasons including back-to-back seasons as a starter. Byner served in the same capacity for Tennessee with running back Chris Johnson who earned Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2009 (starter).
- The AFC and NFC 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 for 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.
JAGUARS IN THE PRO BOWL
P Bryan Barker
OT Tony Boselli
DE Tony Brackens
QB Mark Brunell
QB David Garrard
LB Kevin Hardy
P Chris Hanson
DT John Henderson
PK Mike Hollis
RB Maurice Jones-Drew
S Carnell Lake
TE Marcedes Lewis
CB Rashean Mathis
WR Keenan McCardell
ST Montell Owens
OT Leon Searcy
WR Jimmy Smith
DT Marcus Stroud
RB Fred Taylor
DT Gary Walker