JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -Jaguars running back Fred Taylor got dozens of text messages shortly after the AFC Pro Bowl team was announced.
Most of them said the same thing.
``They said, 'That's some B.S.,''' Taylor said. ``They didn't type the whole word. They charge per character, you know.''
Unlike friends, family members and teammates, Taylor brushed aside his Pro Bowl snub Wednesday, saying the three players chosen ahead of him were equally deserving and insisting it wouldn't affect the Jaguars (10-4) down the stretch.
``I don't try to get my hopes up too high for that,'' said Taylor, who finished fourth in balloting and was made the first alternate. ``I've been through it before.''
Nine other times, in fact. But this may have been Taylor's best shot at finally getting to Hawaii for the league's all-star game.
The 31-year-old back is averaging a career-best 5.1 yards per carry - better than AFC selections LaDainian Tomlinson, Willie Parker and Joseph Addai - and was coming off three consecutive 100-yard games when voting ended.
Taylor was eating lunch with his wife, Andrea, when he heard the news.
``She's more sad than me,'' he said.
A little while later, though, Taylor turned to her in a movie theater and asked whether he should accept a Pro Bowl if Tomlinson, Parker or Addai pulled out for any reason.
``Initially, I didn't want to accept,'' Taylor said. ``But she said prideful people are ugly people, so put it to the side and accept. ... I'm not looking for anybody to feel sorry for me and give me a slot or open the door for me. If that happens, that's just something that happens. But I don't wish anything bad on anybody.''
Taylor said he was more bitter in 2003, when he finished with nearly 1,600 yards rushing and got edged in Pro Bowl balloting by Clinton Portis, who was in his second season with Denver.
Taylor might never make the Pro Bowl, and if so, he said he was starting to embrace the title as ``the best player to never make the Pro Bowl.''
His teammates weren't quite ready to let it go, though.
``Fred Taylor should have made the Pro Bowl, hands down,'' cornerback Rashean Mathis said.
Added left tackle Khalif Barnes: ``Certainly there were some deserving people on this team that should go, but we can't sit back and whine about it and we can't make it that big of a deal.''
Taylor agreed. He even vowed that Jacksonville, which didn't have a Pro Bowler for the first time since the franchise's expansion year in 1995, would avoid a Pro Bowl hangover Sunday against Oakland (4-10). With a victory, the Jags would clinch a playoff spot for the second time in three years.
Taylor probably wouldn't get nearly as many text messages for that accomplishment. Nonetheless, he cherished the support he got after another tough Pro Bowl announcement.
``That's just friends being friends, family members being family members,'' he said. ``People in the media said the same thing. People from around the league, high positions, coaches, different guys I've come across in the past, they said the same thing. But it doesn't change my approach.
``I've been down this road before. It's the same signs on the road. You just don't know which exit to take, but you have to get off eventually.''

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