The intensity immediately caught my eye. Pro Bowls aren't known for rushing the passer or trying to get the quarterback down -- especially not the 2012 version -- but there was no denying that the AFC players went hard after Carolina quarterback Cam Newton late in last year's game.
The only sack of the game came against Newton, as did most of the pressure. All the other quarterbacks sat back, no intensity with the pass rush, and completed pass after pass. Players did the tap-and-stand moves on the line with the other five quarterbacks in the game.
Newton was rushed. Why?
Was there a reason for this? Was this like Michael Jordan's first NBA All-Star Game when guys like Isaiah Thomas froze him out? Newton, after all, was a big-time rookie fresh off a record-breaking season.
I mentioned that theory to Newton this summer.
"It is what it is," he said, barely looking up from the stool in front of his locker.