NFL News: Pro Bowl game will have ‘fantasy syle’ draft

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.

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.

[Related: Cleveland Browns training camp photos]

  • mgbode

    this is almost as dumb as giving the allstar winner homefield advantage in the WS

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Cute changes. But since players still won’t try, it’ll still be boring.

  • JHop

    I do agree that’s a dumb “prize”, but MLB is definitely on to something. If you want players to try (or at least put in some form of effort) you need to incentivize the All-Star games somehow. You can’t just give players exorbitant bonuses because that doesn’t always go over well with the fans.

  • Harv 21

    and this will make players want to hit each other after a long season? The NFL is missing the wrong point. Fans don’t ignore it because they don’t like the match ups. Fans ignore it because it’s completely uninteresting to watch passionless football played by guys feted for free in Hawaii after a long season and trying at all costs to avoid injury.

    These guys don’t want to play more football. Do a skills competition or something: QBs throw a football through a swinging tire, wide receivers do shots and try to pass field sobriety tests, linebackers get progressively insulted in a virtual bar and try to be the last one whose reaction triggers a league suspension. Now that would be TV worth watching.

  • mgbode

    I was good with the days when Randy Johnson would throw over Kruk’s head and Kruk would go to the other side of the plate despite not being a switch hitter. It’s an exhibition game and I don’t mind the players just having fun with it.

  • JHop

    I definitely agree. Do you think players nowadays have the personalities to do stuff like that? What modern day players do you think would do what Randy and Kruk did in an all-star game?

  • MrCleaveland

    This would be a joke, except that the game already is a joke, so whatever.

    Maybe they should also add some pyrotechnics to the player introductions. I understand those really make fans go nuts.

  • mgbode

    perhaps you missed the Masterson interview? the UC baseball team antics? I think we have guys out there that would be very willing to act a fool if granted the license (Logan Morrison would be my first candidate if he were actually good enough to make the allstar game).

  • JHop

    Sorry, my rock’s pretty heavy so I was only able to crawl out from under it a few days ago

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Did someone say the Rock? 😉

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Did someone say the Rock? 😉

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Dachshunds man c’mon…on the field during play!!!! Polka playin’ DJ!!!!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Dachshunds man c’mon…on the field during play!!!! Polka playin’ DJ!!!!

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Players on the losing team have their contracts converted to league minimum for the following year.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Difference goes to charity, or something.

  • Garry_Owen

    Riddle: If the NFL changes the Pro Bowl rules and procedures but there’s nobody watching, did it really happen?

  • Harv 21

    “What’s wrong with you, is it apathy or is it ignorance?”
    “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

  • Lunch

    Perhaps the NFL should use the same rule set from the game NFL Blitz during the all-star game? Although those injuries……

  • nj0

    Draft your 43 then assign your guys to compete in a best of nine:

    three-legged race (2)
    spin-yourself-around-on-a-baseball-bat relay (5)
    lawn jarts (2)
    iron chef style cook-off (5)
    four-man debate (2)
    contract bridge (2)
    float contest (5)
    floor routine (1)
    tug-of-war (10)

    eight reserves if my math is correct

  • Vindictive_Pat

    This times a million. The game isn’t entertaining because there isn’t really any hitting in it. And the NFL responds by eliminating kickoffs… the last bastion of hitting in the Pro Bowl. Hilarious! I would watch skills competitions, but I won’t watch this game.