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49ers Pro Bowl players - Notes and Quotes

Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis and Andy Lee all took part in a conference call to discuss their selections to the 2010 NFC Pro Bowl team.  After the jump I've posted some quotes from those calls.  Before the jump we've got a few notes about past 49ers Pro Bowl achievements.

  • The 2010 Pro Bowl marks the first time that the 49ers will send three players to the annual all-star game since the 2007 Pro Bowl - RB Frank Gore, G Larry Allen and CB Walt Harris.
  • The last time the 49ers had three starters in the game was the 1997 Pro Bowl - FS Merton Hanks, WR Jerry Rice and DT Bryant Young.
  • TE Vernon Davis is the first 49ers tight end to be named to the Pro Bowl since TEBrent Jonesplayed in the 1996 Pro Bowl. The last time a 49ers tight end started in the Pro Bowl was Jones in the 1994 Pro Bowl.
  • LB Patrick Willis has been named to his 3rd consecutive Pro Bowl. The last 49er to go to at least 3 straight Pro Bowls was WR Terrell Owens, who went to 4 straight from 2001-04. The last 49ers linebacker to go to at least 3 consecutive Pro Bowls was LB Dave Wilcox, who went to 6 straight from 1969-74. Willis becomes the first 49ers player to make it to the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons since Ronnie Lott kicked off his career with four straight appearances starting in 1981.
  • P Andy Lee is just one of two punters in 49ers history to be named to the Pro Bowl. Tom Wittum is the other (1974, 1975)

TE Vernon Davis
Pro Bowl Best of Quotes - December 29, 2009

San Francisco 49ers

On what it means to be named to the Pro Bowl for the first time:

"It means a lot to be. It's quite an accomplishment. I'm happy. I'm excited. It's just a blessing to be in this situation."

On what it means to get respect from defensive players and coaches around the league:

"It means a lot to me because that shows that a lot of these defensive players, they respect me and they acknowledge my ability. They know the type of things that I can do to a defense."

On whether he has come a long way from being sent into the locker room by head coach Mike Singletary last season:

"Coach Singletary has really helped me out. I think him sending me to the locker room really woke me up and made me realize how important this game is for not just me, but my teammates. It's not just about me. It's about my team."

P Andy Lee
Pro Bowl Best of Quotes - December 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers

On making the Pro Bowl this time compared to his first:

"I'll be honest, I was a little more nervous about this one. I think it was a little bit of a closer race. I'd say the last time that I made it, it wasn't. I had a little bit of a better feeling last time and this time I was a little more nervous. It was great. It was exciting. It was just as exciting as the first one. It was just a great honor."

On punting in different conditions and how he's still able to stay consistent:

"First, it comes down to having [LS] Brian Jennings, our long snapper. It definitely helps out in those conditions when there's wind, when there's any type of condition that I have to face going out there that he's going to snap straight to me and he's going to play the wind just like I have to play the wind, once I drop it and kick it. He actually plays the wind on his stance, which a lot of people may not know. He can always play the wind just right; the way the ball stays within my body and just having that helps me in staying focused and calm and sticking to everything."

On how he's been able to get better each season:

"I think confidence and working in the offseason. One of my biggest problems is I'll over stride and try to hit the ball too hard. [Special Teams Coordinator] Al Everest continually tries to keep my step short, trying to keep me more compact and keep my form intact. I would say just working the craft during the offseason and just the confidence. I guess being a veteran player, I do understand what it is about now. It gets easier every year to get ready for the season. It gets easier to go out there and not be nervous, just going out there and being able to do what I love to do. Not going out there thinking, ‘What if I mess up this one, what if I do this. I've got to hit this good.' You just go out there and you do your job and let the cards fall where they fall. It just really helps out when you are confident."

LB Patrick Willis
Pro Bowl Best of Quotes - December 29, 2009
San Francisco 49ers

On whether it's becoming routine to get chosen to the Pro Bowl:

"It doesn't get old at all. It's still a special honor because there are so many other guys that deserve that honor to make it to the Pro Bowl, and for me to make is always an honor. It's always a blessing."

On whether it was head coach Mike Singletary that informed him that he made it:

"Yes, it was coach Sing that called me today and told me about it."

On whether he would b e dissapointed if he were not to make a Pro Bowl in the future:

"I wouldn't think about it like that. I just have to worry about it when it comes. But I know, on my behalf, that I'm going to continue to work and strive to get better each year that I am able to play this game of football, and if I do that, then things should be able to take care of themselves. So, I don't worry about making it or this and that. All I can control is how I play and I'm going to go out there and give it 110% effort and I'll let the coaches and the fans decide when it comes to that kind of stuff."

On whether anyone else will accompany him to the Pro Bowl:

"I don't know, we'll see. I know that I've got to do something good for the guys up front because without them, this wouldn't be possible. Those guys played tremendous all year, have created double teams and have allowed me to go out there and play football the way that I know how. I'm thankful for [NT] Aubrayo [Franklin], I would have loved for him to have made it. Just all of our guys have been [good], so this award is just not mine by itself. I take this on behalf of those guys as well."

On being the first 49ers player to make the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons since DB Ronnie Lott made the Pro Bowl in his first four seasons:

"Just being put in the same sentence with Ronnie Lott - Mr. Ronnie Lott - is an honor. I'm at a loss for words because that's a guy who has played the game, who has been one of the best players to ever play, who is a Hall of Fame guy. I'll do it for as long as I can."