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LIVE from the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl: Day 3 of Practice

Posted Jan 24, 2015

Giants.com's Dan Salomone brings you up-to-the-minute coverage of the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl and WR Odell Beckham Jr.


Odell Beckham Jr. is carrying the flag for the New York Giants this week at the 2015 Pro Bowl.

As he gathers with other NFL all-stars in Arizona, Giants.com will follow the rookie wide receiver throughout the festivities leading up to the annual showcase game on Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Here are highlights from the 2015 Pro Bowl:

SATURDAY

INSIDER: ODELL BECKHAM JR. ON PRO BOWL GAME PREP
Odell Beckham Jr. chats with Giants.com as Team Irvin wraps up their final practice
ODELL BECKHAM JR.'S MOM DISCUSSES HER SONS RISE TO FAME

We caught up with Odell Beckham Jr.'s mom Heather Van Norman to discuss her sons rise to fame

TEAM IRVIN PRACTICE AT SCOTTSDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Watch the best Odell Beckham Jr. highlights from Saturday's practice
PRO BOWL PRACTICE PHOTOS
View the best Pro Bowl photos from Saturday's practice


FRIDAY

THE DEBATE: BRENT GRIMES VS. BECKHAM JR. CATCH
We caught up with Pro Bowl corner Brent Grimes to ask him if he thoughts his interception vs. Detroit was better than Beckham Jr.'s catch vs. the Cowboys After witnessing Brent Grimes’ interception in Week 10, the NFL had its play of the year.

Cut. Print. It was a wrap.

But then along came Odell Beckham Jr.

Two games later, the Giants’ rookie made the catch tweeted ‘round the world and upstaged the Miami Dolphins cornerback, who had pulled off an eerily similar play with a backward, one-handed grab on a pass intended for Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

But just because it was a defensive play, Grimes went on the offensive and said grinningly that his own was the better catch.

You decide.

“I think mine’s the better catch. I’ve got this,” Grimes, a teammate of Beckham’s for the 2015 Pro Bowl, said with a smile after Friday’s practice at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. “But, man, that was an awesome catch…When you watch, it’s amazing. But I think mine’s amazing, too. It’s an opinion.”

Grimes didn’t see Beckham’s play live because the Dolphins were just wrapping their Week 12 game in Denver. But by the time they boarded the team plane back to Miami, rookie wide receiver and Beckham’s former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry had it pulled up and showed the play to Grimes.

“I tell [Landry] all the time, ‘How did y’all lose any games in college?’” Grimes recalled. “I watched him play and I said he was good. We got on the plane, and he was like, ‘Did you see this?’ He had a picture of him stretched out. I was like, ‘That was a sweet catch.’”

That sentiment was common this week among other Pro Bowl defensive backs.

“I actually saw it live,” Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib said. “I had my brother and a couple of my homies on the way to the house and I saw it live and I rewound it, and I paused it. And I said, ‘Y’all got to see this.’ It was crazy.”

Talib is playing for Team Carter on Sunday in the Pro Bowl and will go up against Beckham.

“He’s explosive, man,” Talib continued. “We’re definitely going to have to watch him. We can’t let him get behind us, can’t let him get behind the secondary, man. He’s one of the guys we’re definitely going to have our eye on as a team.”

That includes San Francisco 49ers safety Antoine Bethea.

“Bright future, bright future,” Bethea said when asked about Beckham. “At the beginning of the season, he was hampered by some injuries, but he came on strong, made some significant plays. He has a real bright future ahead of him.”

WHAT DID J.J. WATT THINK OF ODELL'S CATCH?
Giants.com caught up with J.J. Watt at the Pro Bowl to get his reaction on Odell Beckham Jr.'s rookie year
By now you’ve seen or heard about Odell Beckham Jr.’s circus catch routine before games.

But did you know Houston’s All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt has one of his own? After all, the 6-foot-5, 289-pound MVP candidate is now an accomplished receiver to go along with becoming the first player in NFL history to record multiple 20-sack seasons.

Before games and practices, Watt lines up behind the goalpost and hauls in passes thrown by teammates in the end zone. And like Beckham, Watt works on one-handed grabs.

“It’s something that I feel like as an athlete, you just try and do as much as you can,” Watt told Giants.com after Thursday’s Pro Bowl practice at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. “It’s something I do before every game, actually, and in practice and stuff like that, just hand-eye coordination, athleticism. Yeah, you guys definitely have one of your own who knows how to do it well.”

Practice made perfect for both 2015 Pro Bowl players, who will square off against each other on Sunday. Watt is the active player captain of Team Carter while Beckham was taken by Team Irvin in last night’s draft.

In addition to recording 20.5 sacks and bringing his four-year career total to 57.0 with the Texans, Watt caught three passes for three touchdowns in 2014.

From one matchup nightmare to another, he was a fan like everyone else when Beckham made “The Catch.”

“It was incredible,” Watt said. “Just anybody who’s watching that, is a fan of the game, it’s a pretty exciting play. It’s one of the best catches of all time, no question. Just everything about it, everybody looks at the catch first, but then staying inbounds, scoring the touchdown, the penalty, everything involved with it, it was a great play. And obviously it put him on the map.”


BECKHAM JR. HIGHLIGHTS FROM PRO BOWL PRACTICE
Watch the best Odell Beckham Jr. highlights from Fridays' practice
PRO BOWL QB'S TAKE ON ODELL BECKHAM JR.

When wide receiver Calvin Johnson bowed out of the 2015 Pro Bowl due to injury, rookie Odell Beckham Jr. stepped in as the first alternate.
Now after two practices of throwing to the Giants’ rookie, Matthew Stafford, who is Johnson’s quarterback in Detroit, sees that he didn’t have to downgrade.

“I’m sure Eli [Manning] loves it,” Stafford said after Friday’s workout at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. “It’s fun to play with guys like that. With Calvin, I’ve got one of the best, if not the best, of all time. It’s fun to play with guys who are special like that. It makes the game easier for you.”

>> PHOTOS FROM DAY 2 OF TEAM IRVIN PRACTICE

Stafford is one of three quarterbacks “drafted” earlier in the week by alumni team captain Michael Irvin, who also took Beckham as his first wide receiver.

“He’s really impressive. He’s a bigger guy than I thought he would be just because when you watch him run on tape, you think he’s a small, shifty guy,” Stafford said of the 5-foot-11, 198-pound Beckham. “He’s bigger than he looks on tape and he’s made all sorts of great catches already this week just goofing around in practice. Obviously [everyone] knows the one [against] Dallas where he caught that ball over his head. He’s showing flashes of that each and every day.”

Meanwhile, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who has his own pair of Pro Bowl receivers in Atlanta with Julio Jones and Roddy White, is just as impressed with Beckham.

“He’s special, Odell’s special,” said Ryan, who is also playing for Team Irvin after being selected to his third Pro Bowl. “And I think he’s shown that in a short amount of time in the league. He has put himself on the map, specifically with the catch. The catch that he made this year is pretty unbelievable. But he’s been great to throw to. He’s extremely quick, gets out of his cuts really, really well. He’s got great hands. He’s a good teammate. He’s fun to be around.”

Ryan also knows he’s more than just “The Catch.”

“I think, first of all, he’s got a skillset that’s pretty special,” Ryan said. “He’s elite when it comes to getting in and out of his breaks, his set of hands; he’s got incredibly soft hands. But he’s also, in the little time that I’ve been around him, he’s a smart guy. He’s good when it comes to talking about route concepts and things that he likes. And I’m just very, very impressed with him.”

PHOTOS: 2015 PRO BOWL TEAM IRVIN PHOTO SHOOT

Check out photos of Team Irvin's photo shoot at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in advance of the 2015 Pro Bowl.





THURSDAY

ODELL BECKHAM JR. WIRED FOR SOUND AT PRO BOWL PRACTICE
Get an inside look at Odell Beckham Jr. at Team Irvin's Pro Bowl practice
TEAM IRVIN HOLDS FIRST PRO BOWL PRACTICE
Check out photos of Odell Beckham Jr. and Team Irvin getting ready for the Pro Bowl
Luke Air Force Base


MICHAEL IRVIN ON WHY HE DRAFTED ODELL BECKHAM JR.
Team Irvin captain Michael Irvin discusses why he wanted the Giants rookie WR on his Pro Bowl team

ODELL UNVEILS PRO BOWL JERSEY

On Thursday Odell Beckham Jr. showed off his new “Team Irvin” jersey for the 2015 Pro Bowl. The single star above his last name indicates his first selection to the NFL’s annual all-star game.

IM THANKFUL #TeamIrvin #ProBowl #Royal

A photo posted by Odell Beckham Jr (@iam_objxiii) on


WEDNESDAY
ODELL BECKHAM JR. SELECTED 4TH OVERALL BY TEAM IRVIN, FIRST ROOKIE
The Arizona Biltmore

It’s a rare feat to be drafted twice in one year.

But thanks to the new Pro Bowl format, Odell Beckham Jr. did just that.

The rookie wide receiver, whom the Giants selected 12th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft last May, was taken fourth on Wednesday night in the 2015 Pro Bowl Draft, held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in advance of the annual NFL all-star game on Sunday.

“It’s crazy re-living that little draft experience. I’m the fourth pick. I’ll definitely take that and I think we’ll negotiate a new contract and stuff right now,” Beckham joked. “But I’m definitely looking forward to this experience.”

And the man on the other side of the negotiations was Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, the alumni team captain who snatched up Beckham before fellow Gold Jacket receiver and opposing captain Cris Carter could get him.

“Cris and Irvin… are guys who I’ve talked to and kind of tried to pick their brains,” Beckham said. “I didn’t know which team I was going to be on, but I’m happy to be part of Team Irvin.”

It makes sense that Irvin and Beckham, the first Giants rookie wide receiver ever selected to the Pro Bowl, would be on the same team. While breaking league and franchise records with 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014, Beckham joined Irvin as the only players in NFL history to post nine consecutive games with at least 90 receiving yards. Irvin did so in 1995.

Meanwhile, to no surprise, Team Irvin turned into Team Cowboys.

In addition to Dallas head coach Jason Garrett and his staff leading the team, Irvin, who won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys, drafted six current players from the NFC East rivals, including quarterback Tony Romo.

Now they are Beckham’s teammates.

But don’t fret, Giants fans. It ends Sunday night.

“I kind of feel like I’m playing for the Cowboys right now with all the guys that were picked,” Beckham said. “I asked somebody, ‘Is this the Cowboys or Team Irvin?’ Mike’s a Cowboy guy, so no bad blood or anything like that, for now, until next year. And then I guess the rivalry will resume.”


The first 10 picks of the 2015 Pro Bowl Draft:

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
2. Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
3. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
4. Odell Beckham, WR, Giants
5. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
6. Tyron Smith, T, Cowboys
7. Patrick Peterson, CB, Cardinals
8. Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers
9. Mario Williams, DE, Bills
10. Cameron Wake, DE, Dolphins




PATRICK PETERSON VS. ODELL BECKHAM JR. 

Somewhere in the skies between Seattle and Arizona, Patrick Peterson caught “The Catch” on an airplane TV.

The Cardinals cornerback was flying back from a Week 12 road game against the Seahawks when Odell Beckham Jr. made a play for the ages in a prime-time bout with the Cowboys, launching the rookie’s status as high as Peterson’s elevation at the time.

From one LSU product to another -- and now Pro Bowl selection to another -- Peterson always tunes into Beckham.

“It’s a pleasure to watch him work, it really is,” Peterson said Wednesday night after the 2015 Pro Bowl Draft at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. “Not only in the NFL, but when he was at LSU, I’m always watching LSU football. So to see the growth, the strides he has taken throughout his young college career and now to his young NFL career, it’s definitely an honor to be part of.”

Now they will go head-to-head on Sunday.

Beckham was the first rookie taken by alumni captain Michael Irvin and will face Peterson and Cris Carter’s team in the 2015 Pro Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

Beckham and Peterson talked backstage at the draft show.

“Actually Odell was just asking me, ‘Are you going to go hard in the game?’” said Peterson, who made his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl since being drafted out of LSU in 2011. “I said, well, I won’t tell you exactly what I said. But I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going hard in the game.’ Because he was like, ‘I hope we get drafted [together] because I don’t want to go against you.’ But going against Odell is going to be my first time actually because when I was leaving he was coming in.”

The two would have squared off professionally in Week 2 this season during the Cardinals’ trip to MetLife Stadium, but Beckham missed the first four games of the season for the Giants due to a hamstring issue.

“He was a guy that I’ve always, always wanted to play against or play with, or whatever the case may be,” Beckham said of Peterson. “But we do get to match up against each other. I told him just to stay on the other side and do his thing, and I’ll be over here. And maybe I’ll see him a little later in the game.”


ODELL BECKHAM JR. VISITS LUKE AIR FORCE BASE



TUESDAY

2015 PRO BOWL DRAFT (DAY 1)
The Arizona Biltmore

Alumni team captains and Pro Football Hall of Famers Cris Carter And Michael Irvin made their initial draft selections for the 2015 Pro Bowl on Tuesday. 

Irvin won a coin toss at Tuesday’s press conference and elected to choose Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray and Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden as active player captains. Carter chose Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Following Tuesday’s press conference and initial captain selections, 26 players (13 per team) were subject to pre-draft selection from certain position groups: guards, centers, fullbacks, interior defensive linemen, placekickers, punters, return specialists, and special teamers.

The second-ever Pro Bowl Draft will continue with 56 players yet to be selected during a nationally televised primetime broadcast on NFL Network at 8:00 PM ET on Wednesday, January 21. The 2015 Pro Bowl Draft is being held at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. All 88 Pro Bowl players are expected to be in attendance for Wednesday’s live show.

TEAM CARTER (THROUGH DAY 1 PRE-SELECTION)

WIDE RECEIVERS
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (Captain)

GUARDS 
Evan Mathis, Philadelphia
Mike Pouncey, Miami
Josh Sitton, Green Bay

CENTERS
Jason Kelce, Philadelphia
Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh

FULLBACK
John Kuhn, Green Bay

DEFENSIVE ENDS
J.J. Watt, Houston (Captain)

INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Marcell Dareus, Buffalo
Dontari Poe, Kansas City
Kyle Williams, Buffalo

SPECIALISTS
Justin Bethel, Arizona
Devin Hester, Atlanta
Pat McAfee, Indianapolis
Cody Parkey, Philadelphia

TEAM IRVIN (THROUGH DAY 1 PRE-SELECTION)

RUNNING BACKS
DeMarco Murray, Dallas (Captain)

GUARDS
Kyle Long, Chicago
Zack Martin, Dallas
Marshal Yanda, Baltimore

CENTERS
Travis Frederick, Dallas
Nick Mangold, New York Jets

FULLBACK
Marcel Reece, Oakland

CORNERBACKS
Joe Haden, Cleveland (Captain)

INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
Geno Atkins, Cincinnati
Aaron Donald, St. Louis
Sheldon Richardson, New York Jets

SPECIALISTS
Kevin Huber, Cincinnati
Darren Sproles, Philadelphia
Darrell Stuckey, San Diego
Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis


Meanwhile, here is a look at rule changes and new features implemented in the 2015 Pro Bowl:

Timeouts – Each team will be granted two timeouts per quarter instead of the customary three timeouts per half. If a team only uses one timeout in the first or third quarters, the team can carry one over one timeout to the second and fourth quarters, respectively.

Narrower Goalposts – The goalposts in each end zone are narrower and were moved from 18 feet wide to 14 feet across.

Offensive and Defensive MVPs – Media will choose two game MVPs this year – one offensive player and one defensive player. Each MVP will be presented with a new GMC vehicle, and an MVP medallion to commemorate the achievement.

Game within the Game – A two-minute warning will be added to the first and third quarters and the ball will change hands after each quarter.  This will increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct “two-minute drills,” which are especially exciting for fans.

No Kickoffs – The coin toss will determine which team is awarded possession first.  The ball will be placed on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after scoring plays.

Rosters – The rosters will now consist of 44 players per side, including an additional defensive back for roster flexibility.

Cover Two and Press Coverage – The defense will be permitted to play “cover two” and “press” coverage.  In previous years, only “man” coverage was permitted, except for goal line situations.

Stopping of the Game Clock – Beginning at the two-minute mark of every quarter, if the offense does not gain at least one yard, the clock will stop as if the play were an incomplete pass.  This rule will make the team with the ball attempt to gain yardage toward the end of each quarter.

Game Timing – The game clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the referee, except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half.

Play Clock – A 35-second/25-second play clock will be adopted instead of the typical 40-second/25-second clock.

Sacks – The game clock will not stop on quarterback sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game.  Currently, the game clock stops in these situations outside of two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.


STILL TO COME…


SUNDAY

2015 Pro Bowl
University of Phoenix Stadium

The game will be televised live on Sunday, January 25, on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.

MICHAEL IRVIN ON WHY HE DRAFTED ODELL BECKHAM JR.