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Ryans earns Pro Bowl start


Linebacker DeMeco Ryans is a first-time Pro Bowler. He led the NFL in solo tackles as a rookie in 2006.

The NFL announced today that Houston Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans was named as a starter in the 2008 AFC/NFC Pro Bowl. He is a first-time starter in the Pro Bowl, becoming the third Texan to start the game, joining wide receiver Andre Johnson (2007) and cornerback Aaron Glenn (2003).

Ryans will make his first appearance in the Pro Bowl. The 2006 Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year was a third alternate last season.

Ryans (6-1, 239) leads the AFC with 94 solo tackles this season and is second with 120 total stops. He also has 2.0 sacks, one interception, six passes defensed, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries on the year. Ryans' three defensive fumble recoveries are tied for the AFC lead, and he is tied for the league lead with one fumble returned for a touchdown.

Ryans has led the team in tackles in seven of the Texans' 14 games this season and 19 times in 30 career games. Ryans has recorded double-digit tackles five times this season and 14 times overall.

The Texans' second-round pick (33rd overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft, Ryans has been the most productive linebacker in the NFL over his first two seasons. Ryans' 276 tackles over the past two years are the most in the NFL, as are his 220 solo tackles. As a rookie last year, Ryans led the league with 126 solo tackles and his 156 total tackles were the most by a rookie in the past 20 years.

Kicker Kris Brown, defensive end Mario Williams and free safety Will Demps were all named as alternates for the AFC squad.

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