Poolside in paradise

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews gets into the swing of things at the Marriott Ihilani. (Perry Knotts/NFL)

HONOLULU — Welcome to paradise.

Pro Bowl week officially is under way, as evidenced by the trickle of players already finding their way to the Marriott Ihilani on Monday afternoon.

Matthews gives Honolulu two thumbs up. (Perry Knotts/NFL)

Packers LB Clay Matthews was first in the water, immediately picking up an intense game of cross-pool catch with a group of kids, some of whom appeared to belong to the ever-present Matthews clan — basically the NFL’s version of royalty.

That’s clearly what this week is all about for the players here — family, fun and relaxation.

A couple of guys who are way better with a camera than me — NFL.com video editor David Benhaim and Perry Knotts, our photographer on hand — were snapping a few shots poolside, piquing the interest of Von Miller. Apparently the Broncos rookie is a bit of a photo enthusiast, chatting up Benhaim on his new Canon 5D (is that a good camera?).

Behind the scenes, a crew of league employees is working around the clock — yes, some people actually are working here — to make sure everything goes smoothly and everyone gets to where they need to go (hint: They’re all going to Honolulu). This is where the ever-changing Pro Bowl rosters essentially are formed. Over my left shoulder, someone is booking Frank Gore‘s travel as I type this. I spotted Packers WR Greg Jennings in the lobby.

That’s literally all the “news” that’s fit to print for now. Keep it here, as well as our Pro Bowl page, all week as we do our best to bring you the sites and sounds of the NFL’s (almost) annual takeover of Honolulu.

Plenty more players should be arriving Tuesday. Then practices start Wednesday, where I’ll be riding shotgun with NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington, catching up with various players. Until then, aloha.

– Aron Angel

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