Richard Sherman

Pro Bowl: George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk to represent 49ers in Orlando


Pro Bowl: George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk to represent 49ers in Orlando

Tight end George Kittle’s breakout season landed him a spot in the Pro Bowl.

Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszczyk were the only 49ers named to the Pro Bowl team. Juszczyk is a starter, while Kittle is a reserve.

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, kicker Robbie Gould and special teams player Mark Nzeocha were selected as Pro Bowl alternates. Buckner is the 49ers' only first alternate, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Kittle, a fifth-round 2017 draft pick from Iowa, earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl after being the 49ers’ top offensive player through 14 games. With 72 receptions for 1,154 yards and four touchdowns, Kittle has already set the 49ers’ club record for receiving yards from a tight end.

Juszczyk, a sixth-year pro, made the Pro Bowl for the third time. He made the all-star team in his final season with the Baltimore Ravens and his first two with the 49ers. He has caught 29 passes for 309 yards, while carrying six times for 21 yards.

Buckner is putting together his best season of his three-year career, but it was not good enough to be selected to the Pro Bowl when the team was announced on Tuesday. His 11 sacks are a career-high, and the most for a 49ers player since Aldon Smith recorded 19.5 sacks in 2012. Aaron Donald (Rams), Fletcher Cox (Eagles) and Akiem Hicks (Bears) made the NFC team at defensive tackle. If any of those players does not attend, Buckner would be invited to participate in his first Pro Bowl.

[RELATED: Buckner's 11 sacks puts him in elite 49ers company]

Gould, 36, has made the Pro Bowl once in his career. Earlier this season, he set the 49ers’ record for most consecutive made field goals with 33. He has risen to No. 2 all-time in NFL history field goal accuracy at 87.62 percent. Baltimore's Justin Tucker leads at 90.55 percent.

Nzeocha was the top vote-getter among fans, as his native Germany turned out in high numbers to support him. Fan voting counts one-third toward selection into the Pro Bowl, with players and coaches consisting of the remaining two-thirds.

Left tackle Joe Staley -- who made the Pro Bowl six of the past seven seasons -- and four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman were not selected.

The Pro Bowl will be held Jan. 27, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Watch Richard Sherman's epic speech following 49ers win over Seahawks

Watch Richard Sherman's epic speech following 49ers win over Seahawks

There was plenty to celebrate when the 49ers defeated the Seahawks, 26-23 on Sunday. But it was a bit more special for Richard Sherman.

The defensive back spent the majority of his career with Seattle, so to say it was a bittersweet victory is an understatement.

Still, he never let up. He even made sure to paint the Seahawks in a respective light saying he didn't believe Pete Carroll or Russell Wilson overlooked the game against the 49ers at all -- even after a blowout loss to Seattle two weeks prior. 

[RELATED: Richard Sherman's sweet revenge]

Nevertheless, when Kyle Shanahan gave away the game ball in the locker room after the game had concluded, he didn't think twice before handing it off to Sherman.

"We know the obvious game ball today," Shanahan said. "He's done an awesome job for us, and we're so pumped to have him on our side -- and I know this means a lot to him, and that's Richard Sherman."

Sherman's teammates cheered before he spoke. This is what he had to say:

Shanahan then calmed the room down a bit, but not before Sherman let out a yell to get the team pumped up once again.

Don't you feel like you can do anything right now? 

Revenge vs. Seahawks sweet for Richard Sherman, but young 49ers' play sweeter

Revenge vs. Seahawks sweet for Richard Sherman, but young 49ers' play sweeter

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' overtime win over the Seahawks on Sunday meant just a little more to Richard Sherman after the way his departure unfolded in Seattle.

Outwardly, however, the veteran cornerback was like a proud parent after he watched all of San Francisco's younger players who “stepped up to the moment” at Levi's Stadium.

“Honestly, it means a lot beating Seattle for me,” Sherman said after the 26-23 win. “But it’s just the way the guys showed up and kept battling throughout the game. This was a tough game.”

While Sherman was complimentary of the younger 49ers, he appeared to bring a little extra to the game, although he said he does that every week. It especially was noticeable, though, when he laid out Chris Carson on a fourth-quarter hit, and the Seahawks running back was seen very little on the field after that.

“He stayed up and was fighting for extra yards, and I wasn’t going to have it," Sherman said. "I wasn’t going to have it. I locked in full speed, and I’m laying heavy every chance I get.”

Sherman was impressed by the three rookies in the 49ers' secondary also bringing a little extra. Early in the first quarter, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon left the game with a knee injury, and rookie Tarvarius Moore stepped in as the next man up. Rookies D.J. Reed and Marcell Harris rounded out San Francisco's secondary in place of K’Waun Williams and Jaquiski Tartt, both of whom missed the game with injuries.

Moore ended the day with five solo tackles, two assists and two pass break-ups, impressing Sherman.

“I hope he gets a lot of credit for what he did today,” Sherman said of the third-round draft pick from Southern Miss. “He went out there today and stepped up to the moment in a big way. I think he gave up one catch and forced an incompletion on third down. Tackled well, shot his gun.

“A lot of times you get out there and you play hesitant. You’re scared to mess up, scared to make a mistake. He didn’t play like that. He went out there and played exactly how he practiced. We’re proud of him. I’m incredibly proud of him.”

Added Sherman: "You have to understand that we're doing this with guys who have played probably less than 100 snaps in their career. Especially in the back end, and they are playing their balls … they are playing their butts off."

While Sherman defected attention away from himself in his “revenge game” against the Seahawks, with whom he spent seven seasons, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged the additional meaning this win had for his veteran cornerback.

“Yeah, I just saw him in the locker room,” Shanahan said. “Anytime you get to play against your former team, especially a team that he had a career like he did for them, I know he was happy. Talked to him in there, just gave him a hug, didn’t say much, but it’s a big deal for guys, and I was really happy for Sherman to get that.”

[RELATED: Shanahan relieved 49ers' skid vs. Seahawks is history]

Sherman was asked if he believed the Seahawks overlooked the 49ers, given Seattle's 43-16 win over San Francisco two weeks ago. He wasn't buying it.

"I highly doubt it," he said. "Just like I'm pretty inflammatory on the other side, I'm pretty inflammatory on both sides. My truth isn't always everybody's truth. ... I highly doubt Pete [Carroll, the Seahawks' coach] is overlooking a game I'm playing, and Russell [Wilson, the Seahawks' QB] as well."

What wasn't hard to overlook was just how different the 49ers looked. And the role Sherman and his young teammates played in it.