Jets Pro Bowlers Respond to Selections
The Jets previously had five players selected to the Pro Bowl in 1982, 1985 and 1998, but the seven players selected to this year’s Pro Bowl set a team record. Quarterback Brett Favre, running back Thomas Jones, center Nick Mangold, and guard Alan Faneca have helped anchor the NFL’s third-leading scoring offense and will make the trip to Hawaii. The only other season the Jets had as many offensive players selected to the Pro Bowl was in 1982, when center Joe Fields, running back Freeman McNeil, tackle Marvin Powell and wide receiver Wesley Walker were all voted.
Faneca is the first Jets guard voted to the Pro Bowl and will be making his eight consecutive appearance as a starter. Faneca has helped anchor a running game that ranks second in the NFL in yards per carry (4.8 yards per rush). The Jets have also allowed just 26 sacks, down from 44 at this point last season.
Faneca on Selection:
“It is always an honor to be named to the Pro Bowl,” Faneca said today. “It is still special. Every year I have been fortunate to make it and be honored. It is great and fun time to be playing in that game and honored with those guys you are out there playing with.”
Jones is the first Jets running back to be selected to the Pro Bowl since Curtis Martin was voted in 2004. Jones has already set the team record for touchdowns (15) and the Jets are 8-2 in games he’s scored this season.
Jones on Selection:
“I am just blessed to be selected,” Jones said today. “I have played for nine years in the league and finally to get the opportunity to be picked is a blessing. I give all the credit to the offensive line, the tight ends and Tony Richardson for blocking for me this year and helping me get the yards and touchdowns I have. I could not have done any of it without them. I give them all the credit. If one guy on offense makes the Pro Bowl, all 11 guys on offense makes the Pro Bowl. It is a blessing and I am thankful.”
Favre’s tenth Pro Bowl selection ties Johnny Unitas for most All-Star selections for a quarterback. He is the first Jets quarterback to be selected since Vinny Testaverde in 1998 and is the sixth overall. Testaverde (1998), Boomer Esiason (1993), Ken O’Brien (1985, 1991) and Joe Namath (1972) were the other four to be selected.
Favre on Selection:
“I’m honored to be voted to the Pro Bowl again by my fans and peers but equally excited for my teammates. Considering my late start this summer, I’m proud of what this team has accomplished so far.”
Mangold is the first Jets center to be voted to the Pro Bowl since Kevin Mawae in 2004 and only the second in Jets history. Joe Fields was selected in 1981 and 1982.
Mangold on Selection:
“It’s awfully exciting. I don’t know if there’s a good set of words to put with it. It was a big surprise when I got the call. Now just dealing with with the aftermath, I don’t think it has really sunk in–the amount of excitement that is associated with it,” Mangold explained.
Mangold said that he learned of the selection when he received a phone call from head coach Eric Mangini. Mangold said he was driving to go Christmas shopping and the news “excited” him quite a bit. “[Mangini] hit me with it while I was sitting in the car and I kind of swerved off the road a little bit. It probably wasn’t the smartest idea of answering that call then, but it was definitely exciting,” Mangold said.
Darrelle Revis is tied for the most interceptions (eight) among players that entered the league in 2007 and he is the first Jet cornerback selected to the Pro Bowl since Ty Law was voted in 2005. Revis explained that he was “excited” about the selection but his focus for this season was not centered on the Pro Bowl.
“A lot of people were saying during the season that I was going to make it [to the Pro Bowl], but I wasn’t trying to focus on that. I was just trying to focus on being the best teammate that I can be to go out there and help my team get wins,” Revis said. “Once it came out, I just knew how hard I have worked. The coaches knew how hard I have worked and and how hard my teammates have worked.”
When asked if having a league-leading seven Pro Bowlers adds pressure to the end of the season, Revis responded, “We’re not going to focus on that. It’s a great accomplishment. We know how hard we’ve worked as a team this year. Our main goal is this week coming up against the Seattle Seahawks.”
Washington leads the NFL in combined yards (2,067) and is the second Jets returner named to the Pro Bowl in team history (Justin Miller, 2006). Washington, who is seventh in the league in kick returns (26.7 yards per return) has six returns of 40 yards or more.
Washington said that he was “anticipating” a possible selection all day and he finally heard about the news from Mangini after his weightlifting session. “I just got through working out and I guess that sheds a light about the preparation when you work hard and the time you get the good news,” Washington said.
Washington did explain that that the credit for his success goes to the entire special teams unit.
“The thing I wanted to emphasize the most is that I wanted to accept this award genuinely [on behalf of special teams]. I really sincerely mean that, because whenever we get a chance to return a kick in a game, all the guys always say to score a touchdown. All year long guys talked about how they wanted to get me to Hawaii. Hats off to them.”
Jenkins has helped anchor a Jets defense that ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (90.9 yards). While they have stumbled of late, the Jets have held an NFL-leading five teams under 50 yards rushing this season. He is the first Jet defensive tackle to be selected to the Pro Bowl since Dan Klecko was voted in 1985.