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Pro Bowl Breakdown: ST


The Falcons have a league-high nine players on the Pro Bowl roster and as practice begins this week in Hawaii begins a breakdown of each player on Atlanta's roster on hand for the league's all-star game, who they're playing with and some of the interesting matchups that present themselves within the game.

Special teams:One of the most interesting things about special teams at the Pro Bowl is the number of players that will have to play on return and coverage teams that usually do not or haven't in years.

There's one special teams player on each roster that earned that position for his roles on special teams on his teams. Representing the NFC this year is Atlanta's Eric Weems.

Though he's a wide receiver by trade, his primary role will be to help block for return man Devin Hester of Chicago and help in coverage against the AFC's return man, Marc Mariani of the Titans.

The best part about watching Weems play special teams is seeing him blow through some of the true NFL stars that will be playing on the squad or level one with a block to try to break Hester free.

Weems may also be given an opportunity to return a kick or two to give Hester a break, if the offenses are producing points at break-neck speeds, which is always a possibility.

One other thing to watch closely is how Falcons coach Mike Smith, the head of the NFC Pro Bowl squad, manages special teams. On the first day of practice earlier this week he cited that phase of the game as the most difficult aspect of the contest since so few have been involved there on their regular teams.

As expected, Smith is prepared for it.

"We have a plan for that," Smith told the Associated Press.

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