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News » Jones' teammates upset over snub

Jones' teammates upset over snub

Jones' teammates upset over snub
Rams punter Donnie Jones missed practice Wednesday because he was ill. It had nothing to do with any distress he might have suffered over being snubbed by the Pro Bowl voters, coach Jim Haslett assured.

"Donnie has the flu," he said. "He went and saw the doctor, and we sent him home."

According to his teammates, Jones should have been sent to Honolulu for the NFL's all-star gathering in February. But Jeff Feagles of the New York Giants was selected as the NFC's punter.

"It's downright wrong that (Jones) wasn't picked. I think it makes the Pro Bowl that much more of a hoax," Rams kicker Josh Brown said. "His numbers spoke for themselves."

Jones' numbers exceed Feagles' significantly. Jones' average is an NFL-high 50.2 yards; only one punter in league history has topped 50 yards for a season - Washington's Sammy Baugh (51.4 in 1940), who died Wednesday. Feagles is averaging 44.0.

Jones' net average is an NFC-best 40.9 yards; the league record, dating to 1976, is 41.1, set last year by Oakland's Shane Lechler. Feagles' net is 40.1.

The Pro Bowl rosters are determined by an equally weighted vote of the coaches, players and fans. The fan voting almost certainly is where Jones fell short to Feagles, who plays in the league's biggest market.

Jones "deserves to go; in my book, he's a Pro Bowler," long-snapper Chris Massey said. "He's had a great year, and we still have unfinished business left. We want to try to keep his average above 50 and keep it above 40 on his net. So, we've still got something that we're hoping to attain these next two games."

atogwe is mvp

Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is the Rams' most valuable player, according to a vote by his teammates. Receiving the Daniel F. Reeves Memorial Award is "a great honor. I'm definitely thankful," Atogwe said.

Atogwe, a third-round draft choice out of Stanford in 2005, is in his third season as a full-time starter. He leads the team in interceptions (four) and forced fumbles (seven), and is No. 2 in tackles (99) and fumble recoveries (two).

"O.J.'s had a great year again," Haslett said. "It's a shame he didn't have a couple of more interceptions, because I do think O.J.'s a Pro Bowl-type player ... has been the last couple of years."

Wide receiver Donnie Avery was given the Carroll Rosenbloom Memorial Award as the team's top rookie, and safety Corey Chavous received the Carl Ekern Spirit of the Game Award for the third season in a row. In franchise history, only linebacker Mike Jones (1997-99) had earned the Ekern award in three successive seasons.

draft gets nod

Linebacker Chris Draft is the Rams' nominee for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which annually honors a player for community service in addition to on-the-field performance. Each of the league's 32 teams nominates a player; the winner will be announced during Super Bowl week.

another blackout

With about 7,000 tickets remaining as of Wednesday afternoon, Rams officials conceded that Sunday's home game against the San Francisco 49ers won't sell out and, thus, won't be televised locally. The league-mandated deadline for a sellout is noon today - 72 hours before kickoff.

Last Sunday's contest against Seattle also was not aired here. Since moving here in 1995, the Rams have been blacked out only six times. All six have occurred in the last 17 games.


Former Rams wideout Isaac Bruce was voted by his 49ers teammates as winner of the Len Eshmont Award for inspirational and courageous play. Also, former Mizzou defensive end Justin Smith won the Bill Walsh Award as the team's MVP in a vote of the coaches. ... Rams special-teams stalwart Gary Stills (knee) won't practice this week but could play Sunday, Haslett said. ... As he did last week after suffering a minor groin injury, Brown won't kick until Friday.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 18, 2008

Mark LeVoir Name: Mark LeVoir
Position: OT
Age: 25
Experience: 2 years
College: Notre Dame
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