The unconferenced Pro Bowl still needs a coaching staff from each conference. The NFC sent the Panthers, and head coach Ron Rivera.
Rivera, who’ll be facing a team that includes his quarterback (Cam Newton) and middle linebacker (Luke Kuechly), believes that the new format will make for a better game. Rivera also realizes that, if the game isn’t better, the game could eventually disappear.
“The players understand what’s at stake in terms of we need to come out there and we need to show who we are as far as being football players,” Rivera told David Newton of ESPN.com. “It’s been a heck of an experience. I’m excited about it. I just hope it’s a good show.”
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey previously has predicted that the game will be “real competitive,” in part because of the way some players reacted to their position in the fantasy draft ultimately run by Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders.
Maybe it will indeed be a competitive and compelling game. And maybe it’ll stay that way until a Pro Bowler destined for free agency suffers a serious injury that prevents him from getting the payday that otherwise was in his grasp.