"I think, so," Anderson said after the AFC's first practice on Tuesday at Kapolei High School. "This is still a great opportunity and I am honored to be here with a chance to compete with some of the other guys. And join my (Cleveland) teammates here to represent the Browns."
The Browns quarterback was ready to go even if his helmet wasn't -- it had been shipped to Aloha Stadium and he practiced sans head gear on Tuesday. Anderson is one of many players relishing his chance to participate in the Pro Bowl.
First listed as an alternate, Anderson knew he was going to get his opportunity to play when Brady injured his ankle in the playoffs. So he spent the last few weeks practicing and waiting. Waiting, like he had during the early part of his career.
The training camp and preseason competition between Charlie Frye and Anderson was so close that coach Romeo Crennel literally flipped a coin to determine who would start the first preseason game. Frye eventually won the job almost by default and was the team's Week 1 starter.
But one bad start by Frye gave Anderson the shot he needed.
Anderson now has a chance to become the city's most beloved quarterback since Bernie Kosar. Interestingly, Kosar was cut by then-Browns coach Bill Belichick, currently Brady's coach in New England.
"I hope to be (in Cleveland)," Anderson said. "It's out of my hands, and time will tell."
Anderson is one of a number of first-time players at the Pro Bowl, relishing the chance to be in Hawaii. San Fransisco rookie linebacker Patrick Willis is taking the time to enjoy Hawaii and brought along his legal guardian, Chris Finley, to enjoy the festivities. Willis hopes this is the first of many trips to the Pro Bowl, as he intends to bring along his brothers and sisters on future trips.
"The Pro Bowl is still the goal for every player," Cooley said. "Plus, it's great to see everybody from around the league. I spent 15 minutes last night talking to Roy Williams. Can you imagine that, a Cowboy and a Redskin sitting together and talking?"
The event isn't just for wide-eyed rookies and breakthrough players. Peyton Manning was out working in practice, just like you would imagine that he would at any time during the season.
Manning obviously doesn't have much to prove, and nobody would raise an eyebrow if he had a mysterious ailment that kept him from making the trip. And while superstars like Brett Favre, Brady and Moss continue to beg out of the event, Manning was at practice on Tuesday, even taking the time to talk to fans, sign autographs and honor media requests.
"It's an honor to be voted in by the fans," said Manning, the last AFC player to get on the bus back to the hotel. "I'm proud to be here."