The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs each landed a league-high eight players in the 2014 Pro Bowl announced Friday. It features a significantly revised format in the NFL's latest attempt to make the event more attractive.
The game will be played Sunday, Jan. 26 -- a week before the Super Bowl -- and will be televised live on NBC at 7 p.m. from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Unlike other Pro Bowls since 1971, this one will not divide the players so they compete as the AFC vs. the NFC. Instead, Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders -- who were teammates while with the 49ers and combatants while on competing teams -- will take turns picking from the selected players in a so-called "draft," but which is essentially schoolyard style.
With the NFL's insistence on playing this event out as much as possible, the Rice/Sanders drafting of teams will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 22, on NFL Network (8 p.m. ET). The two NFL legends will each be assisted by two active player captains and one NFL.com fantasy football champion in the draft process.
As they helped make the announcements Friday night on NFL Network, Rice, the longtime 49ers wide receiver, and Sanders, a vagabond cornerback and return man, became feisty and challenged each other to get on the field one more time, man-to-man.
The Pro Bowl selections were determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group's vote counted one-third toward determining the 86 Pro Bowl selections announced Friday. Two additional "need" players will be chosen by each head coach and must be long snappers.
Six quarterbacks were picked, including Denver's Peyton Manning, whose 13 Pro Bowl selections make him by far the senior player in this all-star lineup. The other quarterbacks are New England's Tom Brady (ninth selection), New Orleans' Drew Brees (eighth), San Diego's Philip Rivers (fifth), Seattle's Russell Wilson (second) and Carolina's Cam Newton (second).
2014 Pro Bowl players by club:
Listed by player, position Pro Bowls
John Abraham, Outside Linebacker, 5
Justin Bethel, Special Teamer, 1.
Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, 3
Haloti Ngata, Defensive Lineman, 5
Terrell Suggs, Outside Linebacker, 6
Justin Tucker, Placekicker, 1
Marshal Yanda, Guard, 3
Jairus Byrd,Free Safety, 3
Kyle Williams, Defensive Lineman,3
Mario Williams, Defensive End, 3
Greg Hardy, Defensive End, 1
Ryan Kalil, Center, 4