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Casey Hayward Sets High Bar for Pro Bowl Debut

Casey Hayward goes by the nickname "Showcase" for a reason.

True to form, the NFL's interception king has high hopes for his Pro Bowl debut.

"I am just going to go out there and have some fun, buuut I am going to try and keep my reputation going," he says with a chuckle. "I am going to be starting in the game, so I am going to try and make them throw it to the other side if I am out there. That is what I have told the (NFC) quarterbacks. Hopefully they will throw in my direction so I can get an interception, maybe two. We'll win the game and I'll get MVP. Something like that!"

Swagger is a necessary trait required to succeed at cornerback, and Hayward has it in droves.   In his first year with the Bolts, he led the league with seven picks and ranked third with 20 passes defensed.

Already an established corner prior to his 2016 campaign, Hayward is soaking up every moment this week has to offer.  After all, he's cognizant that only a select few make it to the NFL, and even fewer appear in the Pro Bowl.

"They say the NFL stands for Not For Long, so to get here and play for this long is amazing. It just shows the hard work that I have put in over time has paid off.  To make the Pro Bowl is nothing short of amazing. I'm blessed to be here at the Pro Bowl with all these great players, and represent this great organization."

Hayward is also happy he doesn't have to do it alone. He's long believed the Bolts deserved multiple representatives, but that didn't seem the case when he was the only one named to the Pro Bowl in December.  Then, as he prepared to head to Orlando, he found out he'd be joined by a pair of teammates in Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon.

It only seemed right.

"It feels good to have them here! We deserved to have more than one as a Pro Bowler. So now to have Philip and Melvin join us, it is great."

Hayward also explained he's had some fun going against Rivers in practice.

"Phil and I are still competing hard in practice," he said.  "He tried to throw one over my head the other day and I told him it was a violation. Later one of the receivers caught the touchdown and I was like, 'Come on, man!' But Sunday, the most important thing is being able to compete, do well and represent the Chargers."

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