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J.J. Watt among 8 Texans players selected to Pro Bowl


A team-record eight Texans players have been selected to participate in the 2013 Pro Bowl.

Defensive end J.J. Watt, running back Arian Foster, wide receiver Andre Johnson, left tackle Duane Brown and cornerback Johnathan Joseph were selected as starters for the AFC. Quarterback Matt Schaub, center Chris Myers and left guard Wade Smith made it as reserves.

The Texans have more Pro Bowlers than any other team in the AFC and more than any other NFL team besides the San Francisco 49ers, who have nine. The Texans' previous team record for Pro Bowlers in a season was five in 2009.

"It's a huge honor," said Watt, a second-year star who leads the NFL with 20.5 sacks. "I'm very fortunate. I give a lot of credit to my teammates and coaches. I really appreciate the respect from peers, other players in the league and coaches and the fans. I really want to say thank you to all the fans who voted."

Johnson made his sixth-career Pro Bowl, a team record, while Foster made it for the third consecutive season and third time overall. Watt, Brown and Smith are first-time Pro Bowlers. Schaub, Myers and Joseph all made it for the second time.

"I think it's a great accomplishment to be mentioned among the best in the league," Johnson said. "I wouldn't say that it ever gets old."

A 10th-year pro, Johnson leads the AFC with 1,457 receiving yards on 100 catches. Foster ranks second in the AFC with 1,328 rushing yards and leads the NFL with 14 rushing touchdowns and 15 total touchdowns.

Brown has started all 75 games in which he has played for the Texans since being drafted in the first round in 2008. He earned second-team All-Pro recognition from the Associated Press last season.

"I'm just excited, man," Brown said. "Very, very happy and honored. I feel like I've played well all season, but you never know. You never know how it's going to pan out. I'm just excited and happy that fans and my peers and coaches around the league have recognized my progress."

Joseph has 57 tackles, nine passes defensed, two interceptions and a touchdown in 13 games. The seventh-year pro also made the Pro Bowl last season after leading the Texans with four interceptions and 15 passes defensed.

Schaub ranks fourth in the AFC in passer rating (92.4) and second in completion percentage (62.4). He has thrown 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and is 19-6 (.760) as a starter since 2011. Schaub previously made the Pro Bowl as an alternate in 2009 and won game MVP honors.

Myers, an eighth-year veteran and 2011 Pro Bowler, has started all 79 games since joining the Texans via trade in 2008. He has played in 120 consecutive games, the longest active streak of any center in the NFL. Smith, a 10th-year pro, has started 47 consecutive games for the Texans.

Texans linebacker Bryan Braman (special teams), fullback James Casey, tight end Owen Daniels, safety Danieal Manning and defensive end Antonio Smith were named alternates for the AFC Pro Bowl squad.

The Pro Bowl rosters are determined by a vote of fans, coaches and players, each of which count for one-third of the selection process. Watt and Foster were the only Texans players to win the AFC fan vote at their respective positions.

The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 27, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hi.

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