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Excitement is building in as the Pro Bowl nears

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2545">Chargers.com</a>

    <img width="330" height="232" alt="Chargers Pro Bowlers 2006" id="image1926" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/Chargers%20Pro%20Bowl%202006.jpg" />

    By Scott Yoffe

    HONOLULU - Excitement is building as the 2006 Pro Bowl is a little more than one day away. Friday afternoon, the AFC squad held it's first public practice at Aloha Stadium, site of Sunday's all-star game. The players are beginning to feel some of that excitement as several thousand fans turned out for the open practice session.

    "The game is always fun because it's another opportunity to compete against the best guys in the National Football League," said running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

    Tomlinson seems very relaxed and he appears as though he's really enjoying himself this week. His wife, LaTorsha, is here with him, as is running backs coach Clarence Shelmon, who is here as a guest of Tomlinson and fullback Lorenzo Neal. Earlier this week, Tomlinson spent time on the NFL Network's Total Access set, joining hosts Rich Eisen, Rod Woodson and Ray Lewis.

    "This whole week's been going good," he said. "I'm happy to be back out here and be around so many great players. It's always fun because you get to bring your family out here and it makes things more relaxing."

    One new twist that Tomlinson will face come Sunday is coming off the bench. Of the six Chargers selected to the Pro Bowl, only LT and special teamer Hanik Milligan are not among the starting 22. Indianapolis' Edgerrin James will get the start running back while Tomlinson and Kansas City's Larry Johnson will back him up. Tomlinson laughed a bit when asked to recount the last time that he didn't start in a meaningful football game. He's started all 79 games he's played with for the Chargers

    "Well, the last Pro Bowl I started so it's been a while," explained Tomlinson with a huge grin. "It's been a while, yes it's been a while."

    Antonio Gates, another fan favorite who will be in the starting lineup on Sunday afternoon, also is beginning to feel the excitement of the upcoming game. He's looking forward to suiting up for his second-consecutive Pro Bowl.

    "It's always exciting to see fans here rooting the players on," said Gates. "Right now, it's just exciting to be here."

    On Friday afternoon, Gates returned to the Marriott Ihilani Resort and took part in the made-for-TV Pro Bowl Skills Challenge, which will be televised by ESPN from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. (PT) on Saturday, February 11. He was one of four Chargers to participate in a variety of events. Gates competed against other tight ends and wide receivers in the Best Hands portion of the competition, but joked afterwards that his event should have been called the Fastest Man.

    "Man they tricked me, they said best hands and this is a speed course," said an exhausted Gates after his heat. "Man, I felt like a tight end when I got to the end. I see why they (the wide receivers) get paid the big dollars."

    Other Chargers who competed in the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge were fullback Lorenzo Neal (Strongest Man), linebacker Shawne Merriman (Open Field Obstacle Course) and safety Hanik Milligan (Fastest Man). Tune in to ESPN on Saturday afternoon to see the results for all of your favorite Chargers.

    Pro Bowl week wraps up on Saturday morning with another practice at Aloha Stadium. It is part of the ‘Ohana Day Celebration that will include a performance by the NFL all-star cheerleaders who are in Hawaii representing all 32 teams, including Lacy from the Chargers. There will also be performances by The Backstreet Boys and JoJo as well as the U.S. Navy Seal "Leap Frogs," who have appeared many times at Qualcomm Stadium.

    Don't forget that game time is 3:00 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, February 12 as ESPN brings you the 2006 Pro Bowl. Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire will call the game with Suzy Kolber reporting from the sidelines.
     

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