FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Chad Ochocinco took a snap and tested his punting leg, then later tried out as TV commentator while his opponents practiced.
Donovan McNabb pumped his fist in mock celebration when he completed a short pass to an unguarded receiver.
"Ah, that was awesome right there! Woo!" McNabb shouted.
NFL all-stars held their first workouts Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's showcase, which has a new venue and a new place on the league calendar.
As a one-year experiment, the game has been moved to Miami from Honolulu, its home since 1980. And for the first time, it's being played the week before the Super Bowl instead of in its customary slot the week after the NFL's title game.
The switches paid off in ticket sales. The league expects a sellout, and the crowd of more than 70,000 will be the largest for a Pro Bowl since 1959 in Los Angeles.
Still, more than a dozen players turned down the chance to play, citing injury. In addition, the Colts and Saints won't be represented because they're preparing for next week's Super Bowl, also in Miami.
That's the drawback to scheduling the Pro Bowl as a lead-in to the title game.
"It's unfortunate it has to be before the Super Bowl," McNabb said. "It doesn't do any justice for the guys who are playing in the Super Bowl game. But all of us who are here would love to be playing next week."
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It's old hat to Lewis, chosen for the 11th time, the most of any player in this year's game. He said he decided without hesitation to take part.
"I love it too much," Lewis said. "It's one of the greatest accomplishments you can have outside of the Super Bowl. Whether it's your first time or your 11th time, it's the same reward. You understand these times will never be again."
At the other end of the spectrum is Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, the league's most prolific tackler over the past decade. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time as a replacement for the Saints' Jonathan Vilma.
"Once I knew I was going to the Pro Bowl, I was so excited about it," Fletcher said. "It has been a long time coming, but I'm here now."
Fletcher would have been just as happy playing in Honolulu, where the game will return in 2011 and 2012. The site for 2013 is undecided.
Several Pro Bowlers said they liked the change in venue.
"It's a good idea to have it here in Miami," Ware said. "It's a little bit different."
And then there are the six former Miami Hurricanes in the game, including Lewis and Andre Johnson.
"You can't argue with being at home," Johnson said.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press