Pro Bowl voting has officially opened at NFL.com, and there are six Long Beach products on the ballot, including a few trying to make history. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jayon Brown, both Poly alums, will have a decent shot to get their first Pro Bowl honors while DeSean Jackson and Jurrell Casey are aiming for their fourth, which would put them in a tie with Gene Washington and Gary Garrison for most ever by a Long Beach player.
Joel Bitonio has been playing at a Pro Bowl level when healthy the last few years, but the Browns’ lack of team success has been a hindrance to him. Jamize Olawale, a Poly product who’s a fullback for the Cowboys, is in his seventh year in the league but would be a long shot to make the Pro Bowl.
Visit http://www.nfl.com/probowl/ballot if you’re inclined to vote for the Long Beach products.
Jordan alum John Ross continues to make the most of his opportunity with Bengals top receiver AJ Green sidelined with an injury. After being taken ninth overall, Ross’ career has been a frustrating one as he’s struggled with injuries and playing time.
After having no catches last year and just seven catches for 79 yards and two scores through the first half of this season, the last two weeks have been breakout performances for Ross with Green out. Ross had two catches for 27 yards and a touchdown Sunday, bringing his total the last two weeks to four catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns, almost doubling the production from his first 24 games in the NFL.
Panthers alum John Timu continues to work out with teams, hoping to get back on an NFL roster after being dropped with the Bears shortly before the start of what would have been his fourth season. Timu worked out with the Titans and Chiefs in the last two weeks.
Long Beach Poly
Another week, another set of headlines for JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had two huge fourth-quarter grabs in a stunning Steelers comeback. Pittsburgh is now 7-2-1 on the season thanks to Smith-Schuster’s eight catches for 104 yards in the win, which brings his season totals to 64 catches for 866 yards, top 10 in the league in yardage.
Smith-Schuster holds the NFL record for receiving yards and yards from scrimmage as a 20 year old and a 21 year old, and will turn 22 on Thanksgiving, hoping to keep that streak going.
DeSean Jackson had four catches for 38 yards in a Buccaneers loss that saw him leave early with an injury.
The Titans suffered a setback after last week’s blowout win of the Patriots, as they got hammered by the Colts, 38-10. Jayon Brown and Jurrell Casey, top defenders, combined for five tackles. Jamize Olawale’s Cowboys won 22-19 on a last-second field goal try, and Marcedes Lewis’ Packers lost on Thursday night, 27-24 in Seattle.
JoJo Wicker is still on Washington’s practice squad, and Kaelin Clay is still looking for a home after being released from the Giants.
Joel Bitonio and the Browns had a bye this week.
Lancers alum Matt Pryor remains on the Eagles’ 53-man roster but has been inactive every week so far, including this week against the Saints.