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Pro Bowl play improved from last year

HONOLULU (AP) - At least one key NFL executive thinks play improved at the Pro Bowl this year: Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell said Monday during a one-hour question and answer session on the social network Reddit that he thought the game improved from last year, when players were clearly not trying and were booed by fans in Hawaii.

``I watched the game and noticed the improved quality of the game,'' Goodell said.

The NFC dominated the AFC 62-35 on Sunday in a game that had some highlight-quality plays but that quickly became lopsided.

Goodell said he appreciates the commitment from players to make the game better.

``We need to continually work to make our game better for the fans,'' Goodell said. ``I look forward to getting detailed player comment and input over the next few weeks.''

Goodell interacted with fans during an ``Ask Me Anything'' session on Reddit, a popular message-board style website that allows users to vote posts and comments up or down. Goodell's session drew hundreds of questions and thousands of responses; the commissioner answered 14 questions.

The league has said it plans to decide on the future of the Pro Bowl by April, when next season's schedule is expected to be released.

Pro Bowl players immediately defended their play after the game, saying they tried hard and hoped the festivities would continue for future Pro Bowlers.

``I think he got what he asked for,'' said Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who set a Pro Bowl record with 10 catches.

``I think guys were intense, I think we understood exactly what he wanted, guys were making plays all over the field,'' Cruz said.

The game had its share of shenanigans, as well. Green Bay center Jeff Saturday lined up for one play on the AFC side even though he was a captain on the NFC team. That allowed him to snap one last ball to Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, his longtime teammate in Indianapolis before this season.

Houston defensive end J.J. Watt also lined up at wide receiver, getting two targets but recording no catches.


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The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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