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McCoy, Revis Land on Team Sanders

Posted Jan 23, 2014

Thanks to the draft picks of Pro Bowl team captain Deion Sanders, Buccaneer all-stars Gerald McCoy and Darrelle Revis will work together on Sunday instead of on opposite sidelines

Gerald McCoy and Darrelle Revis are playing in their first Pro Bowl as Tampa Bay Buccaneer teammates. Thanks to Deion Sanders, they will actually be playing together.

Neither McCoy nor Revis will be making his first all-star appearance on Sunday when the 2014 Pro Bowl is conducted in Honolulu. McCoy was selected for a second straight year while Revis is in Hawaii for the fifth time in the last six years, a streak only interrupted by the knee injury that wiped out most of his 2012 season. However, like their 80-odd fellow all-stars this year, the two Buccaneers are experiencing a brand new kind of Pro Bowl.

-- Deion Sanders, one of two Pro Bowl captains, drafted both available Buccaneers, DT Gerald McCoy and CB Darrelle Revis
Call them guinea pigs for the NFL's new "Pro Bowl: Unconferenced." In addition to wiping out the line separating the AFC and NFC, the NFL instituted some new game rules and radically altered how the two teams are formed. Over the last two days, the competing squads were separated by a schoolyard-like draft, with Hall-of-Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders serving as team captains-slash-draft room GMs.

One unusual possibility that draft created was that players from the same team could end up on opposite sidelines when the Pro Bowl is actually played on Sunday. And, in fact, that did happen for some teammates, such as the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant (Team Sanders) and DeMarco Murray (Team Rice). At least Bryant and Murray, as a receiver and running back, won't have to actively face each other between the lines. How is Kansas City's pass-rushing linebacker, Justin Houston, going to feel about trying to beat his Chiefs teammate, tackle Branden Albert, to get to the opposing quarterback? More to the point, what if Indy's Robert Mathis does beat his blocker only to find himself bearing down on Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck?

McCoy and Revis won't have to worry about divided allegiances. McCoy was taken by Sanders as the third overall pick in the Tuesday portion of the draft that doled out the interior linemen as well as the guards, centers, fullbacks, punters and special teamers. The remainder of the players were drafted on Wednesday, with Sanders grabbing Revis in the seventh round (13th overall).

Now that Sanders and Rice (with the help of a pair of team captains each) have selected the two sides, they will be coached by the Colts' Chuck Pagano and the Carolina Panthers' Ron Rivera. Pagano gets Sanders' squad while Rivera will work with Rice's team. While Pagano gets to work with his own quarterback (Luck), Rivera will be scheming against Panthers QB Cam Newton, Luck's teammate on Team Sanders. Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, defensive end Greg Hardy and long-snapper J.J. Jansen are all on the opposite side from their coach, as well, but at least Rivera has Panthers center Ryan Kalil and fullback Mike Tolbert on his squad.

The 2014 Pro Bowl will kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 26. It will be televised nationally by NBC.