ST. LOUIS -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is one of four Pro Bowl captains, the league announced Thursday. It's probably safe to say nobody was happier than Brees himself to see his co-captain is St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn.
In the first year of the new Pro Bowl format, the idea of conference teams has been abolished and captains will select teams in a playground-style draft. Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice are the celebrity captains, but Sanders and Rice will work in conjunction with two captains each, one on offense and one on defense. Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt are the other two player captains.
Which captains go with Sanders and which work with Rice will be determined by a coin toss on Jan. 21. The draft will take place that night, and on Jan. 22 on NFL Network.
Quinn continues to rack up the honors for his huge 2013 season in which he posted 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles. This week he earned the Pro Football Writers of America's defensive player of the year award, and he's already earned first-team All Pro honors to go with his first Pro Bowl berth.
Although the speed of the Pro Bowl doesn't usually allow for much pressure on quarterbacks, Brees is probably pleased to see Quinn on his side this time. Quinn harassed Brees for two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a quarterback hit and seven quarterback hurries in the Rams' 27-16 win against the Saints on Dec. 15.