Jan. 12, 2013
BERKELEY - Former Cal football players tight end Tony Gonzalez, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Marshawn Lynch were named to The Associated Press 2012 NFL All-Pro team announced Saturday. Gonzalez and Lynch were first-team selections, while Rodgers was a second-team pick.
Gonzalez was selected for the 10th time in his career, with Rodgers being picked for his second and Lynch his first. Lynch was also a first-team All-Pro selection of the Professional Football Writers Association.
All three are on teams that are in NFL Divisional Playoff Games this weekend. Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers' teammates play at San Francisco on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT. Gonzalez (Atlanta) and Lynch (Seattle) will square off Sunday in Atlanta at 10 a.m. PT. Both games will be televised by FOX.
Gonzalez started all 16 regular-season games in 2012 for a Falcons' team that is the NFC's top seed and has home field throughout the NFC Playoffs. Atlanta won the NFC South title with a 13-3 record that was tied for the best in the NFL and the best in the NFC. The 36-year-old tight end was ninth in the NFL in the regular season with 93 receptions for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. He set the record for most receptions and receiving yards ever in a season by an NFL player over 35 years of age. Gonzalez ranks among the NFL's all-time leaders in regular-season receptions (1242, 2nd), touchdown catches (103, 6th) and receiving yards (14278, 7th) in 254 regular-season games and 236 starts. He leads all active NFL players in regular-season receptions, while ranking second behind Randy Moss of the San Francisco 49ers in both receiving touchdowns and receiving yards.
Lynch started all 16 regular-season games for a Seattle team that was 11-5 and earned a wild-card playoff spot before defeating NFC East champion Washington in its first playoff game behind Lynch's season-high 132 yards rushing. Lynch was third in the NFL's regular season with a career-high 1,590 rushing yards that gave him his fourth 1,000-yard rushing season in his first six NFL campaigns. Lynch also had a career-high 10 100-yard rushing games with at least 85 rushing yards on 14 occasions. In addition, he sported a career-best 5.0 yards per carry that was the fourth-highest among the league's top-10 yardage gainers. He also ranked fifth in the NFL in carries (315) and tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns (11). In his first NFL season with Buffalo (2007-10) and Seattle (2011-12), he has totaled 6,132 rushing yards and 46 touchdowns on the ground over 88 regular-season games and 78 starts, adding 166 catches for 1,216 yards and three touchdowns.
Rodgers started all 16 games for a team that won its second consecutive NFC North title with an 11-5 regular-season record and then defeated Minnesota in the its first playoff game as Rodgers completed 23-of-33 passes for 274 yards with one touchdown pass and no interceptions, while connecting with an NFL playoff record 10 different receivers. He was the NFL's top-rated passer (108.0) during the regular season and also among the league's leaders in touchdown passes (39, 2nd), completion percentage (371-552, 67.2, 4th), completions (371, 7th) and passing yardage (4295). He has played all eight of his NFL seasons with Green Bay (2005-12), posting a 104.9 quarterback rating over 85 regular-season games and 78 starts, adding 303 rushes for 1,442 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground.
A total of 35 former Cal players are currently on NFL rosters, with 11 players on teams that are among the final eight remaining in the playoffs. Visit CalBears.com for the latest information on Golden Bears in the Pros.