Who will be the Jets’ newest Pro Bowl participant in January? Linebacker David Harris? Tight end Dustin Keller? Kickoff returner Joe McKnight?
It would be neat to turn some of the Green & White’s top stars into NFL All-Stars this season, to have them add their names to the list of Pro Bowl players that includes current Jets Darrelle Revis, D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold. And Jets fans can help bring this about by casting their ballots for their favorite Jets on newyorkjets.com/probowl
It’s that time of year for the NFL and all its teams to get out the vote for the 2011 season’s Pro Bowl, which will be held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, Jan. 29. Fans, players and coaches each supply a third of the vote that establishes the players who make the initial AFC and NFC rosters.
And the Jets have become one of the league’s top teams at landing players on the AFC roster and sending them to the annual Pro Bowl. From 2008-10 they’ve filled 15 berths on the conference Pro Bowl team.
Three current Jets have sampled the poi and sipped the mango-ritas in Honolulu (and in South Florida in early 2010), and all are off to great starts in ’11.
After seven games, Revis (three-time Pro Bowler) has a team-high four interceptions, one returned for a 100-yard touchdown — the longest home INT-return TD in franchise history — against Miami, and blankets opponents’ No. 1 wideouts on “Revis Island.” Center Nick Mangold (also a three-time Pro Bowler) continues to prevail in the pivot, calling the Jets’ O-line signals and handling the big dogs in the middle of opposing defensive fronts to keep the offense moving. D’Brickashaw Ferguson (two Pro Bowls) has become one of the top left tackles in the game, protecting his quarterback’s blind side from the best pass-rushers in the game.
Will they qualify to return to Hawaii at the end of this season? And who among the Jets will join them?
“Hitman” Harris rules the roost in the middle of the Green & White defense, posting great tackle numbers and supplying timely blitz pressure on enemy QBs.
Keller, who last year became the first TE to lead the Jets in receptions since Mickey Shuler in 1985, is at it again, topping this year’s offense with 25 catches and 372 receiving yards as one of Mark Sanchez’s favorite targets.
McKnight erupted on the scene with the longest play in franchise history, his 108-yard kickoff-return touchdown at Baltimore, and leads all NFL kickoff returners with a mind-numbing 40.0-yard average on each runback.
And in the coming weeks, other Jets are sure to catch the eye of fans and voters in the New York area and across the nation. CB Antonio Cromartie supplies the athletic coverage against other teams’ wideouts on the side of the field opposite Revis. Head coach Rex Ryan has said LB Calvin Pace is having his best season since Ryan arrived as the Jets’ football boss in 2009.
On offense, Sanchez continues with his growth curve, posting the best regular-season completion percentage and passer rating of his three-year career. WRs Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress have the skills to erupt at any time for weeks at a time. Shonn Greene ran with his most authority yet in the comeback win over the Chargers. And Ryan has always felt that the indestructible Brandon Moore “is the best right guard in the game.”
Not to forget the specialists, Nick Folk has yet to miss a field goal or placekick, and he and his coverage team have combined to lead the league with 14 inside-the-20 kickoffs. And Eric Smith not only is a regular starting safety for the first time in his career and the Jets’ leading tackler on defense, but he is still a monster in all phases of the Jets’ special teams.
Fans can vote for any of the above Jets, all of them, or any Jets not mentioned on the NFL’s official Pro Bowl fan ballot on their PCs or via their iPads or mobile devices. Once on the ballot, fans can elect to fill out the entire ballot or just vote for one or a few of the players of their choice.
Voting will conclude on Monday, Dec. 19, following the conclusion of the Monday Night Football game between the Steelers and 49ers. The Pro Bowl teams will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 7 p.m. ET on the special “NFL Total Access 2012 Pro Bowl Selection Show” on NFL Network.
Tags: Aloha Stadium, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Dustin Keller, joe McKnight, Nick Mangold, Pro Bowl
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