Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 7/31/13
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted today that the NFL is making some changes to the Pro Bowl. The league has been tinkering with the all-star event for a few years trying to revive interest in the contest. This time rather than just changing the date of the game, they are changing the format as well. NFL eliminated traditional AFC-NFC Pro Bowl matchup; will be replaced with Pro-Bowl fantasy-like draft, per ESPN sources. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 31, 2013 Now players will be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft (really). Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will be draft captains. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 31, 2013 No more kickoffs in Pro Bowl. Rosters will consist of 43 players per squad. Game will be played Jan 26 in Honolulu. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 31, 2013 According to these tweets, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will act as captains assisting in the selection of teams instead of having the traditional AFC vs NFC format. Of course, that will mean another televised event. The elimination of kick-offs will likely eliminate the need for special teams Pro Bowlers as well. Former Brown Josh Cribbs can’t be happy to hear about this. Neither will current speedy Browns returner Travis Benjamin. The NFL released more details on the changes. » Game within the Game — A two-minute warning will be added to the first and third quarters and the ball will change hands after each quarter. This will increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct “two-minute drills,” which are especially exciting for fans. » No Kickoffs — The coin toss will determine which team is awarded possession first. The ball will be placed on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after scoring plays. » Rosters — The rosters will continue to consist of 43 players per squad. The kick return specialist will be replaced by an additional defensive back. » Cover Two and Press Coverage — The defense will be permitted to play “cover two” and “press” coverage. In previous years, only “man” coverage was permitted, except for goal line situations. » Stopping of the Game Clock — Beginning at the two-minute mark of every quarter, if the offense does not gain at least one yard, the clock will stop as if the play were an incomplete pass. This rule will make the team with the ball attempt to gain yardage toward the end of each quarter. » Game Timing — The game clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the referee, except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half. » Play Clock — A 35-second/25-second play clock will be adopted instead of the typical 40-second/25-second clock. » Sacks — The game clock will not stop on quarterback sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game. Currently, the game clock stops in these situations outside of two- minutes of the second and fourth quarters. It didn’t take long for Browns linebacker Craig Robertson to voice his opinion on the changes. “@AdamSchefter: Now players will be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft. Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will be draft captains.” Dumb — Craig Robertson (@C__Robertson) July 31, 2013 [Related: Cleveland Browns training camp photos]
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