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December 20, 2006

Jenkins not only one shocked

Posting a story on Charlotte.com Tuesday afternoon that said defensive tackle Kris Jenkins was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl squad was one of the most nervous hours of my life. The NFL wasn’t announcing the rosters until it kicked off its dog-and-pony show on the NFL Network at 4 p.m.

But I got the tip at about 3 p.m., from a very reliable source. My first reaction was to make him swear that he wasn’t pulling my leg about Jenkins. After all, the big guy hasn’t exactly piled up numbers like he did in his two previous Pro Bowl seasons. The sources said this was no joke, so I went with the story.

My parents arrived for Christmas right about this time, and I spent the first hour of our visit pacing my living room because I still couldn’t quite believe Jenkins had made the Pro Bowl. Finally, NFL Network made it official.

Jenkins had made the Pro Bowl, along with defensive end Julius Peppers and receiver Steve Smith. The last two were expected, but Jenkins was not. He’d come back from two seasons of major injuries and shown a flash here and there, but nothing to make you think he’d be on his way to Hawaii.

So how did Jenkins get there? First, there were some injuries to prominent defensive tackles in the NFC. Second, name recognition can play a role, and the standard joke is that once you’ve been to a Pro Bowl, you’re locked in. That might have worked in Jenkins’ favor.

But you’ve got to believe there is some shock and anger around the league when a player without big production, who looks like his weight may have ballooned above 360 pounds, is chosen.

I ran all that logic by a scout I know well, and he said it was all part of the reason. Then, he threw out another theory:

"What, did he threaten to eat anybody that wouldn’t vote for him?’’ the scout asked. "If the Panthers don’t make the playoffs, he won’t play again until the Pro Bowl (Feb. 10), and he could be like 420 by then.’’

Yeah, make the jokes. There will be gripes from other cities where defensive tackles felt they were slighted.

But the only thing that really matters here is that Jenkins is in the Pro Bowl, like it or not.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 20, 2006 at 03:37 PM | Permalink

Comments

Whew!

That must have been nerve wrecking! Ya pulled it off though. Maybe i should get you to write that i won the lottery, and maybe it will come true one hour later. Anyway, good bit!

Posted by: Rob | Dec 20, 2006 7:02:22 PM

Going to the Pro Bowl must have been a wonderful Christmas presents for Kris Jenkins,Steve Smith and Julius Peppers. They deserved it! Since you had your parents over for the holidays. Are going to take them to the Pro Bowl, too?

Posted by: Adrian DeVore | Dec 24, 2006 7:37:32 PM

Going to the Pro Bowl must have been a wonderful Christmas presents for Kris Jenkins,Steve Smith and Julius Peppers. They deserved it! Since you had your parents over for the holidays. Are going to take them to the Pro Bowl, too?

Posted by: Adrian | Dec 24, 2006 7:39:45 PM

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