Favre, Franks, Green to Pro Bowl

GREEN BAY - Quarterback Brett Favre, tight end Bubba Franks and running back Ahman Green were chosen for the National Football Conference Pro Bowl squad today.<p> For Favre, it is the sixth such honor in his ten Green Bay seasons, his first since 1997.<p> It is the first Pro Bowl selection for both Green, a fourth-year professional, and Franks, who is in his second NFL season.<p> Six other Packers were named as alternates to the Feb. 10 game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.<p>

They were: safety Darren Sharper, fullback William Henderson, guard Marco Rivera, punter Josh Bidwell, center Mike Flanagan and defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.

Favre, the NFL's third-ranking passer with a 93.1 rating going into next weekend's final weekend of the 2001 regular season, previously was named to the NFC's Pro Bowl squad in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1997.

Green, a 1,000-yard rusher for the second consecutive season, leads the NFC in rushing with 1,286 yards, ranks second in the conference in total yards from scrimmage with 1,861 and is tied for fifth in scoring among NFC non-kickers with 54 points.

The 6-6, 260-pound Franks leads all NFL tight ends in touchdown receptions with 9 - at the moment leaving him just 2 short of the team's single-season record of 11 by Paul Coffman in 1983 - and is tied for fifth in NFC scoring among non-kickers.

Sharper, the Packers' starter at free safety for the fourth straight year, has continued to play at a Pro Bowl level while taking on additional responsibility in the latter stage of the season, making defensive calls following the injury loss of veteran fellow safety LeRoy Butler in the Atlanta game November 18.

Henderson, an all-purpose fullback, has contributed to the Packers' cause in a variety of ways - primarily as the primary blocker for Green in number 30's drive to a second 1,000-yard rushing season. He also has made several key receptions while catching 21 passes for 193 yards and rushed 6 times for 11 yards.

Rivera, a sixth-year professional and a fourth-year starter, has been the most consistent member of the Packers' offensive line despite having to play with a broken left hand - an injury suffered on the practice field - since early December.

Flanagan, in his first year as a starter, has been consistently effective in the role since taking over from the veteran Frank Winters, beginning with the opening weekend of the season when he helped the Packers rush for an NFL-high 179 yards in a 28-6 victory over Detroit.

Gbaja-Biamila, in only his second NFL season, has become one of the league's premier passrushers, registering 13.5 sacks to rank second to only league-leading Michael Strahan of the New York Giants (21.5).

Bidwell, despite having to kick in unfavorable field and weather conditions in the latter portion of the season, has managed to rank among the NFC's leading punters with a 42.4-yard average for 77 punts.

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