Panthers Notebook

Long-snapper Jansen joins Panthers teammates on Pro Bowl roster

jperson@charlotteobserver.comJanuary 15, 2014 

The Panthers have another player going to Hawaii, and the team’s Pro Bowl contingent might get even bigger.

Long-snapper J.J. Jansen was added to the Pro Bowl roster as a coach’s pick Wednesday and becomes the sixth Panthers’ player selected for the Jan. 26 all-star game.

The Panthers could tie their team record of seven, established in 1996, if San Francisco beats Seattle on Sunday in the NFC Championship game: Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross would replace 49ers tackle Joe Staley if San Francisco makes it to the Super Bowl.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera and his staff will coach the Jerry Rice team in Hawaii, while the Colts’ staff is working with Deion Sanders’ team.

The Colts’ Matt Overton was picked as the other long snapper.

In five seasons with the Panthers, Jansen has been successful on 99.9 percent of his snaps. He’s had just one bad snap in 702 chances – an errant punt snap in the 2010 opener against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

Jansen announced his selection Wednesday afternoon on Twitter.

“Blessed and honored to be joining my Panthers teammates and coaches in Hawaii for this year’s Pro Bowl!” he tweeted.

Jansen will join quarterback Cam Newton, center Ryan Kalil, fullback Mike Tolbert, middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and defensive end Greg Hardy.

NFL officials have switched the Pro Bowl format this year to spark fan interest. The teams are not aligned with the two conferences, but will be selected by Rice and Sanders in a televised draft the night of Jan. 22.

Rookie honors: General manager Dave Gettleman this week spoke highly of the play of the first two picks he made with the Panthers. At least one organization agrees with him.

Defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short were named to the Professional Football Writers of America’s all-rookie team that was announced this week.

Lotulelei, the 14th overall pick, started all 17 games and finished with three sacks. Short, the second-round pick from Purdue, had 1.5 sacks and tied for second on the team with 21 quarterback pressures.

“I don’t think it’s any secret, Star and KK (Short’s nickname) played well,” Gettleman said Tuesday.

“Star set the bar. To get him with the 14th pick, you guys saw it. It took us 23 seconds to tell New York who we were taking,” Gettleman said. “And KK really came on, a little slower process. But our last four, five games, he played as well as anybody. And he was a force. So those two guys we’re very pleased with.”

Rivera is among the favorites for the PFWA’s Coach of the Year award, which will be announced Thursday.

Person: 704-358-5123; Twitter: @josephperson

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