All 86 players in the Pro Bowl have one goal.
“Nobody wants to come out here and get hurt,” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.
Winning is secondary to staying healthy, but not everyone is treating the game like an exhibition.
Jaguars teammates Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, both first time Pro Bowlers, are ready to get after it.
“We trying to have the fans enjoy the whole experience and do what we do but at the same time, there’s money on the line, there’s bragging rights on the line so I’m sure it will get competitive,” Ramsey said.
Pro Bowls are traditionally high scoring games with little emphasis on defense.
But last year it was 20-13, matching the lowest scoring game in 25 years.
"This is what the league wants, this is what the fans want, guys to play a little bit harder and I think everybody out here is committed to that,” said Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, who played college football at Florida.
Said Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas III: “If you get a chance to knock somebody out, cool, but it’s not a violent game, not the Pro Bowl.”
McCoy is playing in his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl. He’s learned it’s impossible to predict how hard guys will play.
“You never go overboard in this game but if guys go, then you go,” McCoy said. “You just play to the tempo, really.”
And none of the players will know the tempo until they step on the field Sunday afternoon at Camping World Stadium.