How long has this been going on? Pretty much for four years now.
We're referring to the Jets' terrific threesome of CB Darrelle Revis, C Nick Mangold and T D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who were announced this evening as the team's three representatives on the AFC roster in this year's Pro Bowl.
Revis, the Green & White's first-round draft choice in 2007 and their only starter as announced on tonight's Pro Bowl special on NFL Network, is slated to make his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance and his third as an AFC starting corner.
Mangold has been named a Pro Bowl player every year that Revis has. The Jets' second first-round draft choice in 2006, Mangold has also been announced as an AFC all-star for the fourth consecutive season. He was a starter for the games after the 2008 and '09 seasons and has been announced as a backup center at this year's game in Honolulu, Hawaii, for the second straight year. Last year, bothered by a shoulder injury much of the season, Mangold sat out the game.
Ferguson, like Mangold, was a first-round selection in 2006, being selected fourth overall. "Brick" didn't attend his first Pro Bowl until he went as a first alternate to the game after the '09 season in Miami. But last year, when the game returned to Hawaii, Ferguson started for the AFC, and this year he'll be going for the third time, as the AFC's backup tackle.
The Jets also learned that Joe McKnight has been named the first alternate as the conference's kick returner and that LB David Harris and G Brandon Moore are second alternates. McKnight, who remains the NFL's kickoff-return leader with a 31.9-yard return average, was the leading AFC vote getter at his position in the fan voting that concluded more than a week ago. Revis was the fan leader among the conference's corners.
Revis is having another stellar season on the Jets' left corner. Through 15 games he has four interceptions, tied for the team leadership with Harris and topped by his two-pick game and 100-yard touchdown return in the 24-6 triumph over the Dolphins on Monday night, Oct. 17.
Additionally, Revis tied his career high with five pass defenses against the Giants on Sunday. The only other time he had five PDs came in the Jets' 2009 trip to Toronto to play the Bills.
Mangold maintains his reputation as one of the game's very best centers. This season he struggled through a high ankle sprain suffered in Game 2 against the Jaguars, missing the first two games of his Jets career after 89 consecutive regular-season and playoff starts, then fighting his way back to again make the team's line calls and serve as the pivot man for the offense.
"I think that injury helped me become a better player," said Mangold. "Having to deal with it gave me a sense of what I could be missing. In trying to find a silver lining in it, this would be it.
Mangold makes it 10 times in the past 13 seasons that a Jets center has been so honored after Kevin Mawae was named a six-time starting center from 1999-2004.
"It's just as exciting as the first one," said Mangold. "I greatly appreciate that I'm well-thought of by the fans, coaches, and players."
Ferguson, who made those first 89 starts along with Mangold on the Jets line, has continued on to register 102 consecutive regular-season and playoff starts and counting and to anchor the left side of the line. Brick was a key contributor as the OL crested with its 162-yard rushing game against the Chargers in Game 7, held the Bills and Redskins sackless in Games 11-12, and sprung Shonn Greene for his season-high 129 rushing yards and the team for 159 rushing yards vs. the Chiefs.
"It's funny because a lot of the people I've played against this year, I'm seeing them on the Pro Bowl rosters," said Ferguson. "(Jason) Pierre-Paul is a tremendous athlete. We played (Elvis) Dumervil, Tamba Hali, Andre Carter. These are some guys I had challenging games with."
Ferguson ended the Pro Bowl drought for Jets offensive tackles that had lasted 25 years. Winston Hill and Marvin Powell represented the Jets in the AFL All-Star Game and the NFL Pro Bowl 13 times in a 20-year span from 1964-1983.
This is the second consecutive season that Darrelle, Nick and Brick were the Jets' only three Pro Bowl selections. And this year marks the fourth consecutive season the Jets have sent at least three players to the NFL's all-star game, which for the third straight year will be played the week before the Super Bowl. This year's game is set for Sunday, Jan. 29, at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium.