The AFC Pro Bowl squad practiced for about 90 minutes this morning at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Practice started at 10:30 a.m.
Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, wide receiver Andre Johnson, linebacker DeMeco Ryans and defensive end Mario Williams looked right at home with their all-star teammates. This is Johnson's fourth Pro Bowl, Ryans and Williams' second and Schaub's first.
Schaub, who led the league in passing yards this season, will start in the game on Sunday. We caught up with him after practice to talk about his first Pro Bowl experience, so be on the lookout for a video and story about him later today.
In the meantime, here are a few notes from practice:
- It was a picture-perfect day - 70-degree weather with a lot of sunshine and a cool breeze. Hawaii it was not, but it felt pretty close.
- Practice was a long and glorified walk-through, as expected for the Pro Bowl. Not surprising --- these guys are here to have fun and enjoy a reward for outstanding individual seasons, not to hammer away at each other during practice. The main focus of practice is learning the offense and getting on the same page with one another.
- In a rare and rather odd sight, Schaub and Johnson lined up on the kickoff coverage team for a few snaps. Obviously, they were out there just to give the AFC squad some practice bodies. Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco kicked the ball off once during practice, drawing plenty of chatter and laughter from the sidelines.
- Speaking of the sidelines, they were filled with media members. Plenty of big names were in the crowd, including Ron Jaworski and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Vic Carucci of NFL.com and Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com. The NFL Network had a stage set up at one corner of the practice field, with hosts Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin on set.