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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Jackson crashes party for first trip to Hawaii, joining Holt and Bulger

    By Jim Thomas

    Steven Jackson was out holiday shopping with his mother Tuesday afternoon when his two sisters called. The Jackson sisters weren't putting in their gift suggestions; they phoned to tell Jackson he had been named to his first Pro Bowl.

    "We were out in the car, holiday shopping," Jackson said. "That's how I found out. I was in the car in traffic on I-170."

    Jackson was one of three Rams named to the Pro Bowl, joining quarterback Marc Bulger and wide receiver Torry Holt on the NFC squad. The Pro Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 10 in Honolulu. It's the sixth Pro Bowl for Holt, who will start for the NFC. Bulger and Jackson were named as reserves.

    Defensive end Leonard Little was a first alternate, with place-kicker Jeff Wilkins a second alternate, and defensive tackle La'Roi Glover a third alternate.

    "I'm always happy for players to be able to be recognized for a job well done," coach Scott Linehan said. "This time of year we're concerned more about how the team's doing. You reflect back on individual things when it's all over. But guys work very hard to get to this point, and when they play consistently enough, or well enough, they should be recognized for it."

    Holt's numbers are down a bit from recent years, and his NFL-record string of six straight seasons with 1,300 or more reception yards may end. But it's not as if he has fallen off a cliff in terms of production. Holt is tied for first in receptions among NFC wide receivers, with 80. He's tied for second in the NFC in touchdown catches (10), and he's fourth in the NFC in reception yards (1,044).

    "The season's not over as far as how he compares in the stats," Linehan said. "I really haven't looked at them that much, to be honest with you. ... But he's still a very productive player, scoring a lot of touchdowns."

    It's the second Pro Bowl for Bulger, who ranks among the NFC leaders in most passing categories this season. But this marks the first time Bulger has been voted in. In 2003, he was an alternate and made the trip to Hawaii because of a rib injury to Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb. Bulger ended up earning Pro Bowl MVP laurels after throwing four TD passes for the NFC.

    "I think people see Marc developing as a veteran quarterback, a guy who really has had to earn his way into this position here every year," Linehan said. "It's never easy to be the guy that replaced Kurt (Warner). He's had some pretty good statistical years, but I think he's starting to come into his own when it comes to being even a more complete quarterback."

    As for Jackson, being voted into the Pro Bowl signifies that he has stepped out of Marshall Faulk's shadow.

    "I think it's the start of many more (Pro Bowls), to be honest with you," Linehan said. "I think he's really made a statement all year with his play."

    Jackson leads the NFC in yards from scrimmage (1,916), is second in receptions (82) and third in rushing yards (1,236). Nonetheless, he was uncertain about his Pro Bowl chances.

    "It was a lot of pressure," Jackson said. "A lot of my teammates and family and friends kept telling me I was a sure bet. But I really wasn't quite sure. ... Sometimes Pro Bowlers get in because of (name recognition). And I didn't know if my body of work would get me in. But I'm glad to know that my peers, and coaches, and the fans as well, voted me in."

    Jackson recently noted to reporters that Jacksonville's Fred Taylor, despite a consistent track record of accomplishment (five 1,000-yard seasons), had never made a Pro Bowl. As of Tuesday afternoon, Jackson no longer had to worry about that in his own career.

    "That's one thing I can check off my list," Jackson said. "I'll forever be called 'Pro Bowler' now. You can't say my name without adding Pro Bowler to it. But like I've said, I'm going to continue to work hard. I'm not going to get content with where I'm at in my career. I feel like there's so much more I want to achieve. But this is something that's a huge accomplishment."

    Jackson plans to bring his family with him to Hawaii. And he's already planning some Pro Bowl recreational activities.

    "First, I'm going to grab a drink with an umbrella in it, so I know I'm in Hawaii," he said. "Then I'll get my feet wet in the water."

  2. #2
    BlueTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Jackson crashes party for first trip to Hawaii, joining Holt and Bulger

    Congrats on Jackson being named to the ProBowl! He earned it. He has had a good season, and he looked good (unfortunately!) against us. I think he earned it, and I'm glad to see him going.

  3. #3
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Jackson crashes party for first trip to Hawaii, joining Holt and Bulger

    Steven Jackson has proven a lot since the pre-season when he was looked at by many Rams fans as a loud mouthed dancing fool who had done nothing to warrant any praise. Hopefully now he can be appreciated for the special player he is.


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