Friday, February 2, 2001
Pros ready toHad you made a call to Miss Cleo and she told you last spring that a Maryland-area team was going to win the Super Bowl, you would have cut off her psychic connection and headed straight to Las Vegas with a trunk full of cash.
Washington's four players on the
NFC team look forward to having
Coach Schottenheimer and a shot
at next year's Super Bowl
Dunn's good deeds
Pro Bowl activities
By Paul Arnett
"Put it all on Washington, my man. And I'll see you guys in January."
Too bad for the Redskins that things didn't go quite as planned. Expected to be one of the prime cuts of not only the National Football Conference, but the entire league, Washington was anything but choice during a season of disappointments.
Not from lack of talent, perhaps, or even desire, but somewhere along the way, the Redskins took a wrong turn and just kept on going, costing head coach Norv Turner his job, and leaving those fans in D.C. wanting more.
Who: AFC vs. NFC
Where: Aloha Stadium
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Tickets: $30 North end zone, 1,500 remain; the NFL has expanded the TV blackout deadline to 12:30 today.
TV: ABC (KITV), if game is sold out
To make matters worse, it was the Cleveland ... no, Baltimore Ravens, who Miss Cleo saw on her teleprompter as the Super Bowl XXXV champions. Instead of a victory parade traveling up Pennsylvania Avenue, it was the city of Baltimore that dressed up in ticker tape.
For the four Washington Redskins taking part in this Sunday's 51st annual Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium, being in Hawaii carries mixed feelings. On the one hand, it's an honor to walk and talk among the league's best. But on the other, it's hard to watch the fans flock to the Ravens wherever they go.
"They had a great team, you can't argue that," 24-year-old cover corner Champ Bailey said. "It was tough not being there because we felt like we had the talent to make a run at it. We have a good team and we can get the job done, no matter who's in there. But we're definitely looking forward to seeing what the changes bring."
Washington recently hired Marty Schottenheimer to be the new head coach. His style is more demonstrative than Turner's. He is quick to praise, loves to teach and could bring about the kind of change that leads to the promised land of the playoffs.
At least, that's what Washington tight end Stephen Alexander is hoping. The third-year player from Oklahoma was able to celebrate the Sooners' recent title run. He would like nothing better than to have similar success in Washington this fall.
"I think hiring coach Schottenheimer is a great move," said Alexander, who finished the year with 47 receptions for 510 yards and two touchdowns. "They always say that change is good. Let's hope that's the case with this thing.
"I think he's obviously an experienced coach. He's used to winning. He's been involved with successful programs everywhere he has been, every year. I think it's going to be a positive experience for us. Let's just keep our fingers crossed. I definitely feel we have the talent to get it done. It's just going out and proving it each weekend on the football field."
Nine-year veteran Marco Coleman carries a similar sentiment with him. Like Bailey and Alexander, the first-time Pro Bowl linebacker is convinced the talent is there on both sides of the football.
"It's just a matter of coming together as a team," said Coleman, who had 51 tackles this season, including 12 quarterback sacks. "We've got to get the camaraderie every team has that wins. We didn't have that last year. We split from the program and it hurt us.
"I just think we need a little something, maybe a little push in that right direction. And I think our new coach is just the man to do that job. I know I speak for my teammates when I say I believe this team can contend for the playoffs."
Two-time Pro Bowl running back Stephen Davis agrees. But right now, he just wants to kick back, relax and enjoy what Hawaii has to offer.
"This is my second year, and it's nice because you can be out here with the best players and get to know them," Davis said. "I'm not going to worry about last season or next season right now. I'm going to relax, have fun and recharge."
Pro Bowl 2001
Open to the public
Pro Bowl activities
11 a.m. --2001 NFL Alumni Legends Beach Bowl, Hilton Hawaiian Village/Fort DeRussy Beach
Noon --NFL Charities Beach Bowling Bash, Hilton Hawaiian Village/Fort DeRussy Beach
Noon-10 p.m. --Topps NFL Experience, Hawaii, Aloha Stadium. (Special price for any military and a special competition between the Air Force, the Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy, 3-5:30 p.m.)
7-10 p.m. --Pro Bowl "Friday Night Experience." Topps NFL Experience, Hawaii concludes with a special fireworks show, beer and wine service, at Aloha Stadium
9-11 a.m. -- Cheerleading and Dance Competition, Waikiki Shell
10 a.m. -- Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens photo and practice at Aloha Stadium
11 a.m.: Super Bowl New York Giants Photo and Practice at Aloha Stadium
10 a.m.-8 p.m. --Topps NFL Experience, Aloha Stadium (Announcement of the Hawaii High School Coach of the Year, noon)
2:30 p.m. --Special Olympics/NFL Football Challenge, free admission, Ihilani Resort
7 p.m.-1 a.m. --Pro Bowl Block Party, free admission, Aloha Tower Marketplace
9:30 p.m.-midnight --Pro Bowl Tailgate Party, Richardson Field
8 a.m.-noon -- Topp's NFL Experience, Hawaii, Aloha Stadium
Noon --Pregame festivities, Aloha Stadium
12:30 p.m. --2001 NFL Pro Bowl Game, AFC All-Stars vs. NFC All-Stars, Aloha Stadium.
Pro Bowl 2001