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Bengals' Atkins recognized as one of NFL's best

Thursday - 12/27/2012, 1:34pm  ET

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) and defensive end Michael Johnson (93) in the first quarter of their NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Geno Atkins gets a lot of attention every time an opponent watches film trying to figure out how to contain the Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle. His first selection as a Pro Bowl starter shows what they think of him.

The undersized lineman is considered one of the NFL's best.

The third-year player was chosen as a Pro Bowl starter on Wednesday, his first such honor. He was an alternate last season. He and receiver A.J. Green were voted as starters, while four other Bengals are alternates.

There wasn't much talk about the 6-foot-1 Atkins when the Bengals took him in the fourth round in 2010. He leads all NFL interior linemen with 19
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