2013 was a successful season for the Panthers and with team success comes individual awards. There will be 6 players representing the Panthers in the 2014 Pro Bowl. Ron Rivera and the rest of his crew will be calling the plays for Team Rice. The NFL adopted a new format for the Pro Bowl this season in an effort to add more excitement and draw more viewers.
Rather than an NFC vs. AFC matchup, players were selected from a draft pool by the two honorary captains, Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice. The draft was two day longs, with the skill positions being drafted on the second day. Deion Sanders had the first selection of the second day and opted to draft Andrew Luck over Cam Newton with his first pick. The media has tried to make a big deal over this but I wouldn’t read that far into it. Chuck Pagano is calling plays for Team Sanders and Prime promised Pagano he’d take Luck first. Primetime selected Cam with his next pick and there have been rumors that we may see Luck and Cam on the field at the same time. It will be interesting to see what Pagano draws up with all this talent at his disposal.
The other Players representing the Panthers are Ryan Kalil (C), Jordan Gross (LT), Luke Kuechly (LB), Mike Tolbert (FB), J.J. Jansen (LS), and Kraken (DE). Thankfully Deion Sanders drafted Greg Hardy and Luke Kuechly for his defensive squad. I don’t know if either of those guys know
how to turn off their motor. No Panthers fan wants to see Kraken coming after Cam all game. Ron Rivera will have Ryan Kalil, Jordan Gross, and Mike Tolbert for Team Rice’s squad. Jordan Gross and Greg Hardy will be an interesting matchup as the two go against each other in practice everyday. J.J. Jansen was assigned to Team Prime to be their long snapper.
My money in this game is on Team Sanders. He drafted better than Jerry on both sides of the ball. Cam Newton and Andrew Luck have receivers A.J. Green and Dez Bryant, just to name a few, at their disposal. A defensive line consisting of Suh and Kraken is fearsome with Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis lurking and ready to make a play and of course Luke Kuechly is there to clean everything up. The new draft format is a good idea and has given the Pro Bowl a fresh new feel. We have the opportunity to see new matchups and battles between teammates this time around. The game starts at 7:30 on NBC. Tune in because it will be the last time to see some of your favorite players in a game until next season.