HONOLULU — It was Ohana (family) Day at Aloha Stadium on Saturday, offering local fans a chance to watch the AFC and NFC squads go through their final preparations for Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
A casual atmosphere (casual, of course, being a relative term) pervaded Saturday’s practices, with cheerleaders and mascots roaming the sidelines, and in some cases taking the field with the players.
While the AFC continued to keep things strictly business, the NFC again toyed with various offensive alignments and formations.
Continuing a theme from Thursday’s practice, Panthers QB Cam Newton got in a little more work at wide receiver, handing off a reverse to WR Steve Smith before turning upfield and catching a touchdown pass from his teammate.
Newton lined up wide left on the next play, with WR Greg Jennings taking the shotgun snap. Jennings looked to Newton in the corner of the end zone, but his pass came up woefully short and was intercepted by Seahawks CB Brandon Browner.
Jennings was back in shotgun on the final play of practice while his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, lined up wide left. Instead, RB Marshawn Lynch took a handoff up the middle.
All of this, of course, is to be taken with a grain of salt. While it would not be a surprise to see Newton catching a few passes on Sunday, keep in mind that Jackson DeVille and Freddie Falcon — the Jaguars’ and Falcons’ mascots, resepctively — also lined up wide left a couple times during practice.
The only difference is the mascots were waived off by Newton.
– Aron Angel