To kick off ChicagoBears.com's "Pro Bowl Postcards" series, cornerback Jaylon Johnson shares how he has spent his first few days at the 2024 Pro Bowl Games in Orlando.
Pro Bowl Postcards: Jaylon Johnson | Thursday, Feb. 1
As told to Gabby Hajduk
I have officially made it to my first Pro Bowl. My mom, girlfriend, daughter and I touched down in Orlando Tuesday night, grabbed some dinner then settled in at our hotel for the week.
When we showed up, everything was still being set up for arrivals on Wednesday, so I was able to spend some much-needed family time. It's something I've really enjoyed after being away for the long NFL season.
I'm really excited to be here and share this experience with the people closest to me. My dad, his wife and my brother flew in earlier today, and my grandfather is coming Friday. I'm looking forward to hanging out with them and really just going out and having fun. Orlando is new to all of us, so we want to explore different malls or different restaurants; I'm looking forward to the whole experience down here.
Since our flight landed, my 4-year-old daughter, Zaveah, has not stopped talking about Disney World. She's so excited to see the princesses from her favorite movies and Mickey and Minnie. We're headed there tomorrow afternoon and, honestly, I'm just as excited to see it myself.
I never went to Disney World growing up so I'm gonna be like a big kid at the park. Being able to channel my inner child and experience that excitement as a father is going to be incredible. Zaveah and I watch all the Disney movies and she knows all the characters, so it'll be fun seeing her reactions.
On Wednesday, I got my first taste of the Pro Bowl Games activities. I participated in a golfing challenge — the Closest to the Pin skills competition — with a few other players. We had to hit over the water and see whose ball landed the closest.
From the NFC, Bryan Anger (Cowboys punter), Jake Ferguson (Cowboys tight end), Julian Love (Seahawks safety) and Darius Slay (Eagles cornerback) joined me. Competing against us from the AFC were AJ Cole (Raiders punter), Kyle Hamilton (Ravens safety), Alec Ingold (Dolphins fullback), Raheem Mostert (Dolphins running back) and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Browns linebacker).
I have never really golfed aside from taking a couple swings at a charity golf tournament I hosted. I was terrible at the challenge. I wasn't even concerned about getting it close to the pin. I was just trying to make contact with the ball, so that was interesting. I need to get some more practice reps in next time. Luckily, the NFC still came out with the win.
Practice starts tomorrow, so I'm eager to see what's to come this weekend — how the game is gonna go, what happens at the Skills Challenge and being around different guys in the league. I'm just excited and grateful for the opportunity to be here and represent the Bears in Orlando.