Big plays, points expected at Pro Bowl despite new faces
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram has ridden every roller-coaster he could get to at Disney World the past few days.
Space Mountain. The Incredible Hulk. Expedition Everest.
His favorite? Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which reaches nearly 60 mph.
The thrill rides are probably the only full-speed adventures Ingram will find this week.
Even though the Pro Bowl has more than 30 first-time participants, the NFL’s annual all-star game Sunday is expected to be another up-tempo walkthrough filled with big plays and plenty of points. Avoiding injuries is more important than eluding criticism for looking little like a normal game.
“We’re out here, first and foremost, to have a little fun and put on a show for the fans,” Ingram said. “And we don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
The Pro Bowl returns to Camping World Stadium in nearby Orlando for the second straight year. The league has one year remaining on a three-year deal to play in the tourist city that’s home to Disney World. Teams practiced all week at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex.
It was a family affair, highlighted by Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown bringing their kids along for loosely structured practices.
Brees, Brown and others have done this before.
All the newcomers have simply followed the veterans’ lead and asked questions along the way. The main one: How hard do you play in the game?
“You don’t know,” Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith said.