NFL to Make Changes to Pro Bowl

Published on 31-Jul-2013 by Stacey Mickles

Football - NFL    NFL Daily Update

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NFL to Make Changes to Pro Bowl

The NFL is finally making changes to the Pro Bowl, and it's about damn time.

The biggest difference is that they will do what the NHL does and choose squads by picking players like fantasy league draft.

So, instead of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady being on the same team, we could see them face each other again in the Pro Bowl.

That's more exciting than seeing the good players skip the game and seeing third- and fourth-string players go up against each other. At least, that's the intent; realistically, the hope is more top-line players won't skip it.

The NFL Pro Bowl needed a face lift like Donald Trump needs hair; it needed a overhaul badly. No one was watching any more. More people watch the MLB All-Star Game than, the the NFL Pro Bowl, and given each league's regular-season ratings, that's saying a lot.

Of course, the MLB season counts. The winning league gets home-field advantage in the World Series. There's some incentive to watch; the perspective is that players aren't just going through the motions.

Now, can they please push the game back until after the Super Bowl so players who are on those teams get a chance to skip ... I mean, play, too? 

Here are the rest of the changes that were made in an attempt to distinguish the Pro Bowl from flag football:

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.

We'll see if any of these changes, which will take place in 2014, will actually make the game more interesting. Otherwise, the NFL may be forced to simulate the game on Madden 14.

Now that, might be more exciting.