The 2016 NFL Pro Bowl will take place later today and we'll be treated to some of the
best worst football that we have seen all season. However, with the ever-changing world of the NFL that is loaded with huge contracts, we have become accustomed to the nonchalant play that we see on an annual basis.
With that said though, the game still has various storylines and for the casual and hardcore football fan alike, it can still provide entertainment value. Make no mistake though - this game will not be very competitive, even though some of the players this week are doing their best to rally their teammates to make it an interesting game.
"Yeah we've talked about it," New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning told NFL.com. "We want to go out there and put on a good show. We want to play well, so I think a lot of it is just having pride about this game, about our skill sets. I think guys want to go out there and be productive, play well and put on a good show. Obviously, our No. 1 goal is to stay safe, stay healthy, but we gotta compete and try and get this win."
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson echoed those thoughts and said that at the end of the day, the competitive juices will be flowing.
"As players, we understand that we want to keep each other safe. But we have a lot of alpha males over here, or else we wouldn't be here. So when those competitive juices get flowing."
The Miami Dolphins have four players participating later today - Branden Albert, Reshad Jones, Brent Grimes and Jarvis Landry. All of them were chosen as alternates after the players before them couldn't commit to it. At the end of the day though, these are the players that are taking part in the game and some will aim to propel themselves onto the national spotlight.
One such player is none other than Landry, who finished the 2015 season with 110 receptions and 1,157 receiving yards. To begin, he is already someone who is outward in his emotions and expressions. Being on a national stage with all the focus on this game will do nothing to diminish those feelings. Now, when you add his best friend and former LSU teammate Odell Beckham to the mix, things are bound to get a little crazy.
Landry and Beckham share an unbreakable bond and they will be on the same team together for the first time since 2013. Everyone knows Beckham's name, mainly because of his spectacular one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2014 season. Since then, he has made jaw-dropping plays on a weekly basis and is currently one of the most popular players in the NFL.
Landry, on the other hand, has slowly been getting his fair share of recognition as a playmaker. However, his star is slightly tarnished because he is on the Dolphins and they, of course, have not been very good for the past decade or so. The only way to brighten that star is to make plays when the national spotlight is on you and you better believe that he will be ready to go when the ball is kicked off from Hawaii. That's because he is always ready to play, regardless of the situation.
"I've always taken the field, the practice field, and approach every game like I have something to prove to everybody, not just to myself but to everybody," he told the Dolphins official website. "And that's been my attitude, my mentality, and I think that is what has allowed me to have this success so far. It's something I continue to use. I use the fuel of not making the playoffs. Use the fuel of everything that we went through this past season. Use that to play the way that I play, and you can see that with the passion and the attitude that I play with."
On Saturday, the NFL tweeted a teaser with a picture of Landry, saying that there will be trick plays throughout the game. In addition to that, Beckham confirmed to NJ.com that he and Landry will have something planned for pre-game.
"There definitely will be something. We'll rig something up for you guys, for sure. And enjoy. Have fun. That is what we're here to do. To have fun. It definitely is a blessing."
The last time an offensive member of the Dolphins made a huge impact in the Pro Bowl was Brandon Marshall in 2012, when he caught six passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns. To no one's surprise, he was also named MVP of the game. Ironically, he was traded just weeks later by head coach Joe Philbin as he didn't fit in with the team's vision of the future.
When the ball is kicked off at 7 PM EST tonight, Landry will be looking to etch his name into the history books as he attempts to put on a show that will propel him onto the national stage.
This column was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter! Follow @FinsInsider