pro bowl
Lucas Stevenson/NFL

Orlando, FL — With the NFL Pro Bowl game only a couple of days away, both the NFC and AFC teams took to the field for what would be their final team practices before Sunday’s game.


Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson signs autographs. The Ball Out/RJ Saunders

Friday morning would begin with both squads having light practices so that their players could remain healthy going into Sunday’s big game. Players would enjoy their time joking around with each other in between plays and interacting with fans with signing autographs as well as taking pictures and giving interviews.

Games and events like this are very special for players because for one game they go from being competitors that compete against one another from week to week in their conferences, to being teammates.

Yet, it also is a huge honor for those who are voted to participate in the event. Something that Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle, who is playing in his sixth pro bowl, is always appreciative of when he’s elected in.

Baltimore’s Eric Weddle speaks with the media. The Ball Out/RJ Saunders

“I live it up,” he said. “To be recognized as one of the best players in the league, to spend time with these guys that you compete against, it’s a very special and unique experience. Something you only get at the pro bowl.”

San Francisco 49ers end George Kittle, who is participating in his first pro bowl, was also very happy to be a participant and was also happy that he would be in this game with his teammates Kyle Juszczyk and DeForest Buckner.

“It’s absolutely incredible,” he said. “It’s always fun and the best thing about it is that you get voted in by your peers which is a big honor.”

“The fact that I’m here with two other (49ers) teammates, it’s just really fun for me and we’re going to have a great time,” he continued.

Others while they were enjoying their time at the pro bowl also felt that it was an opportunity to learn from their teammates. Something Cleveland Browns’ receiver Jarvis Landry wanted to take advantage of while taking part in the festivities.

“To see these guys that I watch on TV every Sunday and every Monday, to be in their presence and talk to them I’m still gaining knowledge as much as I can from everybody,” he said. “Younger guys or older guys it doesn’t matter. So for me, this is one of the greatest weeks of my life.”

Cleveland’s Jarvis Landry signs autographs for fans. The Ball Out/RJ Saunders

Even though this is a fun event and a celebration of the NFL at the end of the day, AFC teammates Landry and Brandon Williams (Baltimore Ravens) believe that they have the team that will beat the NFC come Sunday. Williams was confident that the AFC would come out victorious and even give his prediction to the final score of the game.

“We feel like they ain’t got a chance,” said Williams. “Look at our squad, look at our quarterbacks, look at our running backs, look at what we have.”

Williams final score prediction: AFC a lot, NFC a little.

Pro Bowl Friday night concluded with “Team Snoop” going toe-to-toe against Deion Sanders and “Team Prime” in a celebrity flag football game. Both teams had star studded rosters that included NFL legends such as Matt Hasselbeck, Willie McGinest and DeMarcus Ware.  Disney Channel stars as well as FLAG athletes from the Boys and Girl Clubs of America would also compete in the contest to show their skills on the field

Pro Bowl celebrity game. Video by RJ Saunders/The Ball Out

It would be Sanders’ team that would take home the win as well as the celebrity game trophy with a narrow 34-32 victory thanks to a final play interception to keep their lead intact. Both teams took pictures after the game and interact with each other following the contest.

Saturday, NFL players will be taking part in many community activities which will include playing flag football with the military, making meal packages for the less fortunate and building birdhouses with NFL FLAG youth to provide urban wildlife habitat.

Pro Bowl Celebrity Flag football game. Lucas Stevenson/NFL

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