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Chargers Feeling Right at Home at Pro Bowl


It's Chargers East this week in Orlando.

A conference-high six players coupled with the entire Bolts coaching staff will lead the AFC team at this Sunday's Pro Bowl from Camping World Stadium. It's a final get together surrounded by the NFL's best before the offseason officially begins.

The familiarity among coaches and teammates has made Florida feel like a second home for the Chargers. For rookie safety Derwin James and center Mike Pouncey, it actually is. James grew up a stone's throw from Orlando. Pouncey did, too, and he'll rotate into the game on Sunday with his twin brother, Maurkice, who's making his seventh Pro Bowl appearance as a center for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"To be able to share these moments with my brother at this point of our careers – to be able to be in the Pro Bowl together – it's just an awesome feeling," said Mike Pouncey, who earned his fourth trip to the NFL's all-star game. "We'd rather have been in the Super Bowl, but to be able to share these moments – our hometown's 30 minutes from here so our whole family will be over here (on Wednesday). We rented a nice big house for everybody to come hang out and enjoy our family vacation here."


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Defensive end Melvin Ingram and wide receiver Keenan Allen are making their second consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl. They're familiar with how the week works, but the increased number of lightning bolts on the practice field has given the 2019 version of this event a different feel.

"Everybody's comfortable being around one another," said Allen, who caught 96 passes for 1,196 yards in 2018. "(It's) just getting another chance, (an) opportunity to be with each other for one more time this year."

Allen added that it's also great to be around the other exceptional players representing the AFC. James, who had battles this season against the likes of Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill, said he thinks they have the talent to get a win over the NFC.

First-time Pro Bowler Adrian Phillips acknowledged that it's different sharing the field with division rivals, but it's been an enjoyable experience getting to know them as people. He also referred to the AFC squad as a "super team" – one that just happens to be spearheaded by the Chargers.

"We're pretty much running the whole thing right now, so it feels good," Phillips said.

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