On Monday morning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saluted the players taking part in the Pro Bowl for playing “much harder” than in recent years.
One sign that the players were putting a little more into the contest came when linebacker Derrick Johnson, playing for Team Rice, nailed his Chiefs teammate Jamaal Charles with a hard tackle during the game. Charles said after the game that he wasn’t expecting to take a shot from his teammate, but that he had no complaints about it.
“I didn’t expect it, but he’s out there doing his thing,” Charles said, via the Associated Press. “I can’t get mad at him — it’s just about football, and you’ve just got to be ready.”
The Chiefs might not have been thrilled to see one of their own players hit their star back a couple of weeks after suffering a concussion against the Colts in the playoffs, but it was exactly the kind of thing the league was hoping to see when they went with a draft for teams this year rather than the usual conference format.