NaVorro Bowman was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2011, but did not make it to the Pro Bowl.
Bowman, however, won’t have that problem this year. The third-year inside linebacker was named to his first Pro Bowl on Wednesday. Soon, All-Pro honors are likely to follow.
“It just means a lot,” Bowman said of his selection as an NFC reserve linebacker. “When I didn’t go last season, for me personally, it was to work harder and not let it affect me.”
Bowman continued his steady, if not dominant, play in 2012. He leads the 49ers with a career-high 180 tackles to go along with 2.0 sacks, five tackles-for-loss, one interception, one forced fumble and five pass breakups.
“I came in with the same mindset that I had last year and it worked out for me,” Bowman said.
Now that he’s a part of the elite players of the NFC, Bowman simply said, “I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Bowman joins two other linebacker teammates, Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith, on this year’s NFC team. Bowman, however, won’t get to play in the game alongside Willis as the NFC utilizes a 4-3 alignment. Furthermore, the playoff-eligible 49ers aim to play in the Super Bowl and not in the Pro Bowl.
Still, if Bowman and the 49ers are to play in the All-Star game, the young linebacker is eager to learn the ropes from Willis and other Pro Bowl veterans.
“I would love to be on the field with him but it’s the way it’s been set up for years, I just have to roll with it,” Bowman said. “It’s my first time. I’m going to be excited to be in the game and really play in it.”
The honor was certainly welcomed by Bowman who ranks fourth in the NFL with 276 tackles since he became a full-time starter in 2011. Bowman has played in 47 games (32 starts) after being selected in the third-round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
The 49ers linebacker certainly doesn’t look at himself like a third-rounder any more. A recent contract extension and a Pro Bowl selection certainly tells a different story.
“That’s what you want,” Bowman said of the respect of his peers who voted him on the team. “You want to create a name for yourself in this league at this level.”
Tags: Aldon Smith, Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis
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