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NFL Pro Bowl 2014: Date, Kickoff Time, Unconferenced Rosters, Format and More

HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 27: A general view of Aloha Stadium during the 2013 Pro Bowl between the American Football Conference and National Football Conference on January 27, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2014

Thanks to a few big changes in format, the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl could prove more exciting than what fans have been treated to in the past. The annual event takes place this year on Sunday, Jan. 26 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, and it will be broadcasted on NBC beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

One huge change to the way the league has done things in the past is seen in the Pro Bowl roster, which is "Unconferenced" for the first time in history. What this means is that players were selected by fans, coaches and players without regard to which conference they played in. 

Essentially, the "best" players at every position got in.

Here's a quick look at when and where you can catch the game, along with the full roster. Afterward, keep reading for a closer look at the new format and more. 

 

Jan 27, 2013, Honolulu, HI, USA; NFL cheerleaders pose after the 2013 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

When: Sunday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

Watch: NBC

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

 

Roster

Offense

Pos.PlayerTeam
QBTom BradyNew England Patriots
QBDrew BreesNew Orleans Saints
QBAndrew Luck*Indianapolis Colts
QBPeyton ManningDenver Broncos
QBCam NewtonCarolina Panthers
QBPhilip RiversSan Diego Chargers
QBRussell WilsonSeattle Seahawks
QBNick Foles*Philadelphia Eagles
WRAntonio BrownPittsburgh Steelers
WRDez BryantDallas Cowboys
WRLarry Fitzgerald*Arizona Cardinals
WRJosh GordonCleveland Browns
WRA.J. GreenCincinnati Bengals
WRAndre JohnsonHouston Texans
WRCalvin JohnsonDetroit Lions
WRBrandon MarshallChicago Bears
WRDemaryius ThomasDenver Broncos
WRDeSean Jackson*Philadelphia Eagles
WRAlshon Jeffery*Chicago Bears
OTBranden AlbertKansas City Chiefs
OTJason PetersPhiladelphia Eagles
OTTyron SmithDallas Cowboys
OTJoe StaleySan Francisco 49ers
OTJoe ThomasCleveland Browns
OTTrent WilliamsWashington Redskins
OTDuane Brown*Houston Texans
OGJahri EvansNew Orleans Saints
OGBen GrubbsNew Orleans Saints
OGMike IupatiSan Francisco 49ers
OGLogan MankinsNew England Patriots
OGLouis VasquezDenver Broncos
OGMarshal YandaBaltimore Ravens
OGEvan Mathis*Philadelphia Eagles
C Ryan KalilCarolina Panthers
CAlex MackCleveland Browns
CNick Mangold*New York Jets
C Mike PounceyMiami Dolphins
C Max UngerSeattle Seahawks
TE Jordan CameronCleveland Browns
TEVernon DavisSan Francisco 49ers
TEJimmy GrahamNew Orleans Saints
TEJulius ThomasDenver Broncos
TEJason Witten*Dallas Cowboys
RBJamaal CharlesKansas City Chiefs
RBMatt ForteChicago Bears
RBFrank GoreSan Francisco 49ers
RBMarshawn LynchSeattle Seahawks
RBLeSean McCoyPhiladelphia Eagles
RBAdrian PetersonMinnesota Vikings
RBEddie Lacy*Green Bay Packers
RBAlfred Morris*Washington
FBMarcel ReeceOakland Raiders
FBMike TolbertCarolina Panthers
*Denotes replacement

 

Defense

Pos.PlayerTeam
DEGreg HardyCarolina Panthers
DECameron JordanNew Orleans Saints
DERobert QuinnSt. Louis Rams
DECameron WakeMiami Dolphins
DEJ.J. WattHouston Texans
DEMario WilliamsBuffalo Bills
DTJason Hatcher*Dallas Cowboys
DTGerald McCoyTampa Bay Buccaneers
DTHaloti NgataBaltimore Ravens
DTDontari PoeKansas City Chiefs
DTJustin SmithSan Francisco 49ers
DT Ndamukong SuhDetroit Lions
DT Kyle WilliamsBuffalo Bills
OLB John AbrahamArizona Cardinals
OLBAhmad BrooksSan Francisco 49ers
OLBTamba HaliKansas City Chiefs
OLBJustin HoustonKansas City Chiefs
OLBRobert MathisIndianapolis Colts
OLBTerrell SuggsBaltimore Ravens
MLBNaVorro BowmanSan Francisco 49ers
MLBVontaze BurfictCincinnati Bengals
MLBLuke KuechlyCarolina Panthers
MLBPatrick WillisSan Francisco 49ers
CBBrandon FlowersKansas City Chiefs
CBBrent GrimesMiami Dolphins
CBJoe HadenCleveland Browns
CBPatrick PetersonArizona Cardinals
CBDarrelle RevisTampa Bay Buccaneers
CBRichard ShermanSeattle Seahawks
CBAqib TalibNew England Patriots
CB Alterraun VernerTennessee Titans
FSJairus ByrdBuffalo Bills
FSEarl ThomasSeattle Seahawks
FSEric WeddleSan Diego Chargers
SSEric BerryKansas City Chiefs
SS Kam ChancellorSeattle Seahawks
SSTroy PolamaluPittsburgh Steelers
*Denotes replacement

 

Special Teams

Pos.PlayerTeam
PBrandon FieldsMiami Dolphins
PJohnny HekkerSt. Louis Rams
KStephen Gostkowski*New England Patriots
KMatt PraterDenver Broncos
KJustin TuckerBaltimore Ravens
PRCordarrelle PattersonMinnesota Vikings
PRDexter McClusterKansas City Chiefs
ST Justin BethelArizona Cardinals
ST Matthew SlaterNew England Patriots
LSJ.J. JansenCarolina Panthers
LSMatt OvertonIndianapolis Colts

 

Format

No more AFC vs. NFC, folks. This is a whole new ballgame.
No more AFC vs. NFC, folks. This is a whole new ballgame.Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

After the 2013 debacle that caused the NFL to seriously consider dumping the Pro Bowl altogether, the league devised a different plan to attract interest. 

We're going to have a draft, people.

No more AFC vs. NFC and, hopefully, no more apathy.

Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice—former teammates on the San Francisco 49ers and a couple of the league's all-time greatest players—will act as team captains and make alternating selections. Both teams will end up with 43 players, as Andrew Siciliano of NFL.com notes:

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The draft will kick off on Tuesday Jan. 21. NFL.com provides the info on what to expect: 

On Tuesday, alumni captains Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice get the party started on NFL Network at 8 p.m. ET, primarily by drafting offensive linemen. (One fullback, one punter and one special teamer per team are also selected.)

In total, 22 players will be selected on Tuesday.  

On Wednesday, the other 66 players will be selected. 

We could see some teammates going up against one another, depending on where they end up in the draft, which would certainly make things interesting.

However, not everyone's on board with the notion. San Francisco's Patrick Willis doesn't fancy having to tackle Frank Gore, for instance, as Taylor Price of 49ers.com points out:

It wouldn't be an NFL game without a bit of controversy, though, right?

In addition to the "Unconferenced" rosters and draft, there are other changes worth noting, as relayed by USA Today Sports' Nate Davis:

— Every quarter will end with a two-minute warning and change of possession to promote more quick-strike drives (teams will not be allowed to sit on the ball since the clock will stop on any play that doesn't gain positive yardage inside two minutes).

— There will be no kickoffs; all quarter-opening possessions will start at the 25-yard line with the first determined by coin toss.

— Kick returners will be replaced by an extra defensive back on each 43-man roster.

— Cover 2 and press coverage will now be allowed; only man-to-man coverage was allowed in the past, goal-line situations notwithstanding.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hopes these changes will improve the overall quality of play and give fans more of what they expect to see, per Davis: "The players made it clear that they wanted to continue the Pro Bowl and were committed to making it better than ever. We think these changes will enhance the game for both fans and players."

 

Will it Matter?

While the new format sounds exciting, it's going to be interesting to see if the players treat this upcoming Pro Bowl any differently than in recent years. 

Last year's game was so bad from an effort standpoint that ESPN's Trey Wingo predicted the entire thing would be squashed in a few more years with the same effort in the future:

Players just don't want to risk getting hurt in a game that doesn't mean anything, as B/R's Michael Schottey pointed out before last year's game:

Look, maybe once upon a time, long ago, when men were men and football was played with leather helmets, the Pro Bowl meant something. Nowadays? Nada, zilch, zip, zero. The game means nothing.

The selection process is a joke. Most of the players don't want to play (or even pretend to participate if they show up). 

The league hopes it fixed its selection process by going to the "Unconferenced" look, but not all are convinced the system is fixed—Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports being one in that camp:

At least the league is attempting to solve the problem, but it remains to be seen if these "fixes" will actually do anything to make the game more watchable. 

The draft sounds fun, but will the game be played at a high level of competition, or will the players continue to give half an effort? The way they answer this question will have a lot to do with how the Pro Bowl is viewed going forward.

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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