Photo courtesy of ShermanReport.com
According to a report from Mike Florio off ProFootballTalk.com, the Pro Bowl will be getting a makeover. Gone is the traditional Pro Bowl format of AFC and NFC teams. Now, a fantasy draft will take place. This story was first reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Per Schefter, the change has officially been made and it will be used for the first time on January 26, when the game takes place in Honolulu, HI. NFL legends Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will serve as the draft captains.
Safety measures will be put in place this year as the kickoff will be eliminated, something that the NFL itself has discussed doing. Per a report from ESPN.com news services, the following changes will take place in addition to the fantasy draft.
• Defenses will be allowed to play Cover 2 and press coverage. In the past, only man coverage had been allowed, except for goal-line situations.
• Changes will be made to the game clock during the two-minute warning, with the clock stopping if the offense doesn't gain at least one yard, in order to encourage offenses to try to gain yardage at the end of each quarter.
• In addition, the clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the game referee except during the two-minute warnings and the final five minutes of the game.
• The game will use a 35-second/25-second play clock instead of the traditional 40-second/25-second clock.
• Also, the game clock will not stop on sacks of the quarterback, outside of the game's final two minutes.
These changes will bring a different and potentially exciting element to the Pro Bowl. Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders certainly know their football so it will be interesting to see who they choose in their fantasy draft.
Personally, I think the NFL still needs to make a few changes in order to make the Pro Bowl more viewer-friendly, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. Fans have complained for years that the NFL either needs to change the Pro Bowl or get rid of it, and now the league is finally starting to listen.